Harnessing technology to improve customer service
By Membes | 4 January 2024
Associations are facing increasing pressure to adapt and embrace technology in order to meet member needs in the fast-paced digital environment. Technology is not only streamlining processes; it can also enhance member experiences, fostering stronger connections between members and the organisation.
There are many ways Associations can leverage technology to improve how they engage and interact with members, below we share some of our top suggestions.
User-friendly Member Portal
The Member Portal is an essential piece of technology for all Associations – it is one of the main ways your members can engage with you and reap the benefits of their membership. It’s important that it’s intuitive and easy to operate so members can find what they need, when they need it.
Investing in a responsive and well-designed portal enhances accessibility and member satisfaction.
This is where it pays to have complete data profiles in your management system so you’re able to customise communications; for example, including their first name or membership number in the subject line of an email. This will make the communications stand out to them, making them more likely to open it and read it.
Taking this one step further and segmenting your communications based on interests / personal preferences is a great way to demonstrate that you understand them and their needs.
Provide equal access opportunities
If you serve a national, regional or multi-state membership-base, providing opportunities for all to attend events is key – this is where virtual events and webinars are essential. The digital nature of these events makes them more dynamic and enables more frequent events to be conducted which is a great way to engage directly with members and expand your network.
There are many platforms out there that facilitate seamless participation, interaction and knowledge sharing.
Simplify membership renewals and payments
Implementing online membership renewals and payments is not only an advantage for members but a huge time saver for Associations, enabling staff to focus on more valuable areas. The renewals process can virtually happen automatically without the need for staff intervention, eliminating the intense pressure during renewals.
Collecting and implementing feedback
Conducting surveys and asking members to provide you with feedback is a great way for you to understand what you are doing well in and where there could be improvements made. There is ample technology available to help you build a survey, this can be shared with your members via your regular email communications and even shared in the Member Portal.
The technology will make understanding the data easier so you can detail actions needed to then be able to communicate any changes with your members.
Utilise a dedicated digital help desk for members to seek support
Having a dedicated help desk in place for your members to reach out to you if they have any questions regarding their membership, or anything else in regard to the Association is key. A help desk framework will allow your team to better track communications with members and even pick up where another team member left off if needed. This will ensure faster response rates for members as the help desk can be regularly monitored in a dashboard instead of having to check multiple email accounts or channels and relying on one person to respond to incoming enquiries.
Artificial intelligence (AI) may even be able to play a larger role in the future by being able to answer the simple questions so your staff can focus on more complex cases.
Embracing technology is not just about keeping up with the times, it's about creating a seamless and engaging experience for members. By implementing these technological strategies, Associations can elevate their customer service, strengthen member relationships, and position themselves as forward-thinking organisations dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of their members.
The Membes team are hard at work on creating a more streamlined way for you to engage with members who need help and are looking at how AI can be leveraged to further enhance this – watch this space in 2024!