Good technology is a vital part of recruiting and retaining members as well planned and implemented technology software and hardware can enable significant reductions in service costs, increases in service standard and enable greater surplus to be generated from membership.
Imagine a large professional association with a head office in Canberra and state offices in all states. They have a database at head office and each state maintains their own database for their state. When processing a new member the scenario likely goes – membership form comes in, gets copied, one copy goes to accounts for processing and entry into MYOB, the other copy goes to the membership person for entry into the member database. A copy of the form is sent to the state offices to be entered there. The administration office manually enters the members details into the new member letter and manually types out a label for the package being sent. The members’ information is being re-entered five times. Five opportunities for error. A lot of wasted resources.
Contrast this with an association that has a web-based database that is integrated with accounts. The new member form comes in and goes to the accounts person. The new member details are entered and the payment processed. This information is automatically recorded for accounts purposes. As the database is accessible by all staff no one else needs to enter details. The administration person presses a button that automatically generates a targeted information kit and label for the envelope.
In the second example there is only one opportunity for error. Much less time and financial resources are wasted on administration.
The possibilities of technology are endless and getting more and more inexpensive every day. Successful associations should be able to keep abreast of technology improvements that enable them to deliver bigger, better and more cost effective services.
For those associations serious about targeting communications to specific member segments, good technology is essential to enable members to be able to nominate the type, frequency and means of communications they receive.
Technology supports and facilitates the process and lays the foundation on which you can create amazing member experiences. It is a wonderful tool and one that should be explored.
However it is important to remember that the strength of your association will be in the member experiences. Your investment in technology should enable you to gain efficiencies as well as positively reinforce the member experience.Comment on this resource