Factors to consider before investing in your membership management system
You are ready to upgrade your approach to membership management and buy a digital solution, but what are the factors you need to consider?
What is wrong with the existing process?
If your current system wasn’t broken, you probably wouldn’t be looking to fix it! Look at your existing process to work out where inefficiencies and errors are creeping in. Firstly, you may find that your existing membership administration scheme is administration- and resource-heavy and uses different systems ‒ both on and offline ‒ to manage customer transactions and accounts. Secondly, you might find that it is proving too difficult to keep on top of a growing membership base and service members’ needs properly without rapid access to their data and member history. You might also be keen to offer members self-service and intelligent marketing based on their preferences and user history.
What is your budget?
There are a number of membership management systems on the market, and costs vary widely. Consider whether you want a cloud deployed solution, which has a number of benefits. Firstly, this tends to be costed by licence or user, and as an annual fee. Secondly, system upgrades are deployed via the web so that there is no downtime, which can be a real asset to a busy business. Thirdly, these off-the-shelf systems tend to have different options that you can choose to plug in to your eventual package, depending on your objectives and available budget.
What are your resource needs?
You may have an IT team that can manage the technical elements of the implementation, or you may prefer to buy this in; equally, you may have an in-house training team that can upskill your staff, or you may not. Be very clear on what resources you have available before you assess your solution. Membership management staff are the obvious choice to train up on the new IT-based solution, but bear in mind that some budget may need to be allocated for their personal development. You can find support, advice and training at your local Chamber of Commerce, or why not visit Ofec for a membership management system and a supportive team?
What other factors will you be considering before you invest in your next membership management system?