If you have any kind of customer database to manage, then you’ll know how much time and effort is needed to stay on top of the work involved. Whether you have a paper-based or digital system, the chances are it isn’t particularly slick, up to date, or integrated with your other business systems. So what alternatives are there?
In recent years, a new breed of membership management systems has arisen. They offer a range of benefits that can help businesses, charities, and other organizations to operate more efficiently. For businesses, better efficiency translates into lower costs and higher profits, along with the chance to offer a better customer experience.
A good membership management scheme will allow you to reduce administrative and routine task time, by automating a large portion of these jobs. This allows your talented staff to spend their time working on higher-value tasks and projects. As well as providing greater immediate value to the business, there is a motivational impact to affected staff members, who will see an opportunity for their development.
License-based systems also offer flexibility for organizations in that different staff members can be given access to manage different elements of the system, with different authorization levels dictated and the ability to access the database via the internet.
Modern systems from providers are designed specifically for membership management, rather than being general or generic packages adjusted for this purpose. The bespoke nature of a membership management package means that the functionality is defined and highly relevant, and the overall system is easy to use. The solutions are also highly scalable, meaning that they can be used for 200 plus members, with easy growth over time.
The systems will be suitable for a wide range of businesses and bodies, including commercial organizations, charities, regulatory and membership bodies, trade associations, clubs and societies, and community groups. They are as valuable for chambers of commerce as they are for large sports organizations, and some also offer integration with other systems such as email communications providers, for providing a seamless and enhanced membership experience.
Better customer service
A good membership management system will benefit the customer by providing a faster and more reliable service, with added value features such as an online account area and the ability to self-manage elements of membership. Many allow the user organization to brand up the interface so that the customer is receiving a brand congruent experience, and feels as though they are being offered something of demonstrable value within their membership package. There is often an ability to offer add-on services such as links to additional sales and online forums.
An off-the-shelf targeted system is also typically less expensive than an older model bespoke package which lacks scalability and database integration. Some solutions offer per-user license models delivered by the cloud, and typical returns on investment tend to be realized in under 18 months. In fact, as a higher value package, some membership organizations feel comfortable in charging slightly higher membership fees to their new customers, because they can offer a better online experience as part of their overall membership offer.