Is Your Association Providing a Quality Digital Experience?

Protech's Fusion 2020 App
Do you know whether your association is providing a quality digital experience?

By Brian Smith – Communications Specialist

Many of our daily interactions and communications are through screens, and it’s not just television. Ware increasingly relying on mobile devices and apps to get the products and services that we need in our lives. In fact, a recent report from eMarketer revealed that people spend on average 4 hours a day on their phone. 

Yet, some organizations can lag in developing the technologies they need to provide a satisfying digital experience for their customers. 

Our webinar – 6 Tips for Improving the Member Digital Experience – with Refactored’s Chief Strategist Rob Bean addresses this exact problem. Rob’s in-depth session offered suggestions on how association management software (AMS) and content management system (CMS) integrations can improve your nonprofit’s online engagement and brand awareness. 

Below are a few key takeaways from Rob’s discussion. 

What is the Digital Customer Experience? 

The digital customer experience is a combination of all your association’s digital interactions. Typically, those interactions include your public relations and marketing activities, social media posts, email newsletters, webinars, blogs, SMS and podcasts. 

Depending on the size of your staff and budget, and the expectations of your members, you will spend more time on certain areas of the digital customer experience than others. Understanding how each channel provides your association value in making those connections with members, potential prospects and the general public will help grow your revenue. 

What CMS Functionalities do Members Expect? 

Whether it’s a 30-year member or a first-time visitor to your website, the experience they have navigating web pages impacts your association’s brand. 

What are some of those must-have CMS functionalities? Here are Rob’s suggestions:  

  • Single sign-on (SSO) between your AMS and CMS 
  • Multilingual content 
  • Personalized content
  • Content review and workflow processes
  • Testing and optimization of pages 

Your CMS should be designed to help the learning needs of your target audience and build trust with your membership. As you post content to your website, always ask this question from a member’s perspective: “What’s in it for me?”  

There are plenty of free CMS platforms that could provide what your association needs, but as you grow, you’ll want to start shopping for licensed enterprise options that can combine with your AMS. 

What is the Member Journey Loop? 

The member journey loop is an illustration the represents the journey of an ideal member and it looks like this: 

Photo credit: Refactored

Each point on the loop represents a major milestone on the member journey.  

Loop 1 – Buy (Market and Sell) 

A non-member has a need that can potentially be filled by an association, he or she then researches the choices that are available, and finally selects and purchases a membership. This part of the journey is primarily handled by your CMS. 

Loop 2 – Own (Support and Serve) 

On the back-end of the member journey loop, the new member receives perks – like discounts to the association’s online store – and uses internal resources highlighting industry knowledge. The association then maintains the relationship with the new member by making new recommendations based on data obtained and leveraged in their AMS. 

Why does the Member Journey Loop Matter for Digital Experiences? 

Knowing what your association’s strengths and weaknesses are in relation to the member journey loop can help you ensure your member is satisfied at every step of their online experience. Always remember, if the website is not easy-to-use, intuitive and familiar with their other online experiences, they are unlikely to return. 

Closing Thoughts on Digital Experience 

These continuing trends towards mobile apps and increased screen time means that developing seamless online experiences for members will be high priorities for association executives for years to come. Enterprise CMS platforms are always innovating their services and creating new integrations with AMS solutionsso it’ll be crucial for nonprofit professionals to leverage data from both systems to provide a quality experience their members expect. If you want your brand awareness to grow, working on digital experiences will be how do it. 

Check out our webinar “Using Data to Prove Membership ROI” and learn how to show your association’s membership what they are getting with an ROI dashboard.