From our Community Brands Digital Member Study, we learned there’s a strong correlation between member loyalty and technology. Members who believe their professional membership organization is an early technology adopter are generally more satisfied and feel more connected to their organization. We see these loyalty metrics rise even more when members perceive their organization’s use of technology as “excellent.”
There is a disconnect on priorities, however, as only a quarter of professional membership organizations say they will increase their technology investments in the future. Why? Our research tells us that cost is the number one concern organizations have. Other top concerns include questions about return on investment (ROI), the ability to really impact the member experience, integrations, and member usage.
So, with all these concerns, how can you convince your leadership to love a platform enough to invest in new and better technology? We are here to help you make your case.
Cost. It’s no wonder nearly two-thirds of those surveyed described cost as the number one barrier to implementing new technology. Asking your boss to shell out more money for a different system can be a tall order. Make sure to come to the table with the pain points your new system is going to solve to demonstrate the value of the investment.
Perhaps the efficiencies of an improved platform will allow you to save staff time or even headcount and focus on other areas of the business. Possibly the system will allow you to branch out into varied delivery methods, so you can add additional streams of revenue. Maybe the system has bundling, subscriptions, coupons or other promotion features that allow you to sell more than ever before. Present how your desired solution will make the upfront investment worth it for your organization.
Ability to really impact the member experience. The key here is to walk a mile in your members’ shoes to determine what changes will make the most impact. Create journey maps for the interactions your members have with your online learning platform and examine each step of the journey. Conduct a focus group to determine what’s working and what could be improved. Remember, experiences can vary across age groups and engagement levels, so get feedback from a variety of members. Determine the most common gaps in experience, and tell your leadership how this new technology will help you bridge the gaps, and, in turn, positively impact the member experience.
Return on investment from new technology. To measure your return on investment you must discuss your organizational goals and what success looks like for you. What is most important to your organization? What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? Is it revenue, member satisfaction, number of orders, quantity of programs delivered? Once you have a vision of where you want to be, explain how the technology will get you there. And, don’t go it alone. Share your KPIs with your learning technology partner, and team up to create a plan of attack.
Members ability to use new technology. Here’s the truth: You’re not giving your members enough credit. They’re ready and waiting for better technology. In our research, we found 63 percent of members rated their personal technology adoption as ahead of the curve or early adopters. That same percentage say technology plays a BIG role in their life. Embrace your early adopters, and include them in the process of determining what’s needed when updating your technology. Use their testimonials to help convince leadership that your members are ready to be on the cutting edge.
Ability to integrate legacy and/or multiple platforms/solutions. Many organizations don’t find out their new platform is not going to integrate until far too late in their search. Come to the table with your must-have integration points and your desired user flow (based on your user feedback and gap analysis). Find a partner with strong and flexible integration capabilities, and have a discussion on the options at your disposal.
Don’t be afraid to bring in your technical team to get into the nitty-gritty. Once you determine the ideal integration configuration, work with the technology partner to document the user flow and how data will pass from one system to another. A flowchart of the user journey works well when briefing executives.
With these tips, you should have everything you need to allay your leaders’ concerns, and allow them to fall in love with new and better technology.