Is it time for your association to invest in new technology? Maybe your current association management software is starting to cost you in complex customizations and product upgrades. Perhaps you’ve lost staff because of broken digital processes and slow technology. You might even notice your member retention numbers are slipping, as individuals choose other associations with better technology to provide a superior member experience.
If you’ve seen any of these trends at your organization, you might be a candidate for a technology assessment. Here’s how you can be sure:
Five tips to try if you think your association needs a tech assessment
According to the Community Brands 2022 Association Trends Study, 63% of members and 65% of association professionals agree that organizations that don’t transform technologically within the next few years won’t survive. Like never before, there’s an imperative to upgrade your association’s technology. But first, ensure your organization is ready for a technology assessment by following these tips:
1. Begin research. Start by exploring the current digital landscape to help understand how your association management software (AMS) compares to what’s currently on the market. Doing so will indicate whether your association is due for an upgrade. As you conduct research, list desirable features you see in available membership management software.
2. Survey staff. Ask your staff to further understand what kind of technology your association can adopt to improve both the staff and member experience. Send an anonymous survey to all staff to get their perspective on where they experience organizational friction. Maybe your staff wishes they could streamline more operations, freeing up time to focus on the member experience.
Whatever the feedback, consolidate the responses, using them to make an informed technological decision when the time comes.
3. Ask members. You’ll also want to gain your members’ perspectives on their professional and personal technology usage. Do they have experience using customer relationship management (CRM) software or an AMS at their workplace? How often are they connecting in your online member community versus your association’s social media pages? Encourage open dialogue during association events and keep the conversation going in your organization’s virtual community.
Seeking your members’ perspectives can offer invaluable insight in approaching technology upgrades at your organization and working to improve the member experience.
4. Evaluate membership benefits. Review your value proposition to ensure all benefits are relevant to today’s members. Consider how your current membership benefits work to improve a member’s career and life. Technology can further boost the member experience, aiding in how individuals use and enjoy their association benefits.
Survey current members to ask how they would rate your association’s benefits. What’s working? What isn’t? How can we improve our technology? Consolidate feedback for future technological purchases and address any weaknesses as soon as possible.
5. Consider staff resources and skills. Honestly, ask yourself if your staff possesses the bandwidth to adopt new technology. While there might be an imperative for associations to transform technologically, your staff must have all the necessary resources and skills to adjust during the implementation process.
As you research available membership management software, look for options that provide innovative features and are also a good fit for your staff. Ensure you find a tech vendor who’s willing to work with your staff during the implementation period and is available at any time for questions or concerns should they arise.
If you still have questions on whether completing a technology assessment is the right next step for your association, you won’t want to miss our upcoming webinar—Technology Assessment Checklist for Today’s Association Professional.