Ian Robinson / Tuesday, February 07, 2017 / Categories: Solutions, Membership Four Key Features for Your Online Member Management Software The importance of an online presence is well established within the business world. Any business with member relationship management responsibilities, such as the club or association industry, has the unique ability to build an outstanding web experience for its members. Yet while many organizations recognize the amazing potential of a strong web experience for members, many fail to recognize a benefit because their online member management software missed the mark. To help businesses build a stronger web experience for their members, we’ve put together this list of four key online member management software features… Let’s get started. Key Feature #1: Design – Responsive and Consistent Your web portal should utilize a responsive design. Many organizations make use of apps instead of responsive web design for member portals, so let’s clarify the difference. A responsive web design will dynamically change the appearance of a website depending on the screen size and orientation of the user’s device. Alternatively, an app allows you to build a platform tailored to each device, but does require unique design and coding for each operating system (and there are many). A responsive member portal is a far superior option, it’s less expensive as development only needs to be completed once. Responsive portals are easier to maintain and update as well since content and functionality changes can be completed on a single platform. Also, many users prefer not to use apps – in fact, according to a Quartz study, 65.5% of American Smart Phone users download zero apps per month. That’s right, almost two-thirds of American’s didn’t download a single app last month. In addition, a responsive design makes it far easier to ensure your web portal is consistent with the culture and feel of the organization. Are you ultra-professional or do your members prefer a modern coolness? Whatever the case may be, it’s much easier to ensure your member portal and main website have a consistent appearance with responsive design. Key Feature #2: All-in-One This is particularly relevant to multi-faceted organizations with two or more lines of business. Say your business has retail, a restaurant, banquet hall, tennis courts, golf or lodging – you need to house as many of these as possible behind a single member portal. Users want four things when they use the web: (1) answers to their questions, (2) to solve a problem or complete a task, (3) content that is quick and easy to find, and (4) they want it now! On the internet the competition is one click away – if you frustrate them they’ll simply head elsewhere. By allowing members to review the latest news and updates, purchase retail items through e-commerce, reserve a table at your restaurant, register to an event, departmental calendars and more all through a single easy to use portal, you can ensure that members receive a seamless experience. Key Feature #3: Unique Logins It may sound obvious to have unique logins, but you’d be surprised at the frequency of which we find organizations using a single password for all its members. Site building tools like Wix or Weebly provide the tools to password protect pages with a single password – hence the frequency this is found. By utilizing a single password for all users, you have limited control over who accesses the site, reduced analytics on individual user actions, and everyone has the same level of access. By providing members with unique logins, you can provide a superior experience. For instance, upon registration you can send an automated yet personalized welcome e-mail. You can also track the analytics of what each user does within your web portal. You can also provide members with specific account information such as statements, activity records, electronic receipts, and much more. Key Feature #4: Social Interactivity Your customers will look to you to help them network with peers, provide them with an outlet for those conversations through your member portal. Building social interaction into your web portal gives them a reason to come back beyond just paying their bills. Some tools at your disposal include forums, chat rooms, a friends list, contests, surveys and new content. Having your members complete surveys through the portal regarding preferences, referrals, clothing size, brand preference and more will allow you build programs that match their preferences. You should also consider including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds baked into the portal. Providing a variety of tools to encourage interaction between members will help support conversations and increase utilization of your member web tools. Conclusion When you look at a new web experience for your members, make sure you review the various features of the tool in question. If any of the above are missing from the solution, it will not be well-suited to an organization that wants to make their customers a priority. Always remember that while having powerful member management software tools on the back-end helps your staff, you must ensure that your web solution is robust for your members on the front-end as well. For the Quartz Statistics please visit: https://qz.com/253618/most-smartphone-users-download-zero-apps-per-month/ TEI Welcomes Shawn May to the Team Tried & True Food & Beverage Happy Hour Ideas Print 615 Please login or register to post comments.