Before you invest in a new Membership Management system, it makes sense to first ask a series of business questions. These will help to pin down your objectives and ensure that the resulting investment is a profitable one. Companies such as www.ofec.co.uk/web-and-software-development-services/membership-management-systems.aspx provide systems that can be trialed and demonstrations have seen to ensure that the system you purchase will be suitable for your membership needs.
What do your customers want?
This is a vital question! Engage with your customers to work out what features are vital to them; for example, your members might want to sign up to events online, manage their membership payments online, have a user account, and receive e-communications from your membership organization. These features can all be delivered with a membership management system.
Will they pay for it?
Are your members prepared to pay for the features and system you are looking to buy in? All investment costs will ultimately be passed on to the end user in one way or another. Many businesses will invest in systems that allow them to achieve internal efficiencies, but are members ultimately prepared to pay for an enhanced package? Many will be when they understand the value they will get from modern membership management systems.
Who will manage the system internally?
There is no point in investing in a system if it is not managed and updated. Although you may only need a smaller membership administration once your processing system is digitalized, you will still need a system operator to update records, check for issues, carry out manual transactions, deliver reporting and carry out other functions. Establish this resource as part of your project budgeting.
What other systems will you look to integrate with?
Systems offered by professional providers will integrate with other CRM systems, websites, and databases, thereby facilitating greater business efficiencies and joined up processes. This helps to bring your IT team together with your membership management system provider at an early stage so that integrations can be mapped.
What is your budget?
This is a vital question to know before looking at different options. Consider your ongoing costs in addition to the initial investment.
What level of support are you looking to buy in?
Do you need an off-the-shelf system that can be customized to your needs and delivered by a cloud system? This will minimize ongoing support, as updates can be done later down the line via the cloud.