Managing members and providing them with the best-in-class service; is a major cost that eats into an organisation’s profits. In fact; modern healthcare organisations, educational institutions, professional associations and/or non-for-profit companies have found it challenging to maintain a healthy bottom line whilst attracting and retaining customers. Good customer service is crucial and organisations are hiring more staff to cater to increasing customer enquiries. If your business involves signing up customers as members and providing member-only services; then it is advisable to have a member management solution to keep operations running smoothly.
Moving on from Access or Excel
It has been found that most businesses are content with using Microsoft Access or Excel to manage members. If you are one of them; think again. As long as the member database is small; Access or Excel database system works fine; however as the business grows and the number of signups increase; clinging onto to such a type of arrangement is not a good idea. This could be one of the main reasons why small-to-medium businesses are struggling to find the right balance between offering service and increasing profits.
Rather than get a new solution every time your requirements change it is worthwhile to get a robust solution that caters to your current situation and is scalable enough to accommodate your requirements as the business grows.
Choosing a member management system
Before going out and purchasing the first member management solution, it is better to analyse what you want from your member database system.
An ideal member management solution captures member interaction, purchase history, events attended and their account activities. It provides customers with the ability to access their details anytime from anywhere. They can instantly log and track service requests, view their membership status, renew their subscription as well as register for events/programs at their convenience.
A member management solution allows businesses to align and automate manual tasks such as sending promotional emails, event invitations and renewal reminders. The analytics offered by the solution helps determine which processes are working and which ones aren’t assisting them to weed out the inefficient ones. The system provides businesses with easy integration options to connect with their in-house technology as required. Overall, a member management software is a dedicated member – only self-service portal for users; to function independently with minimal intervention from company staff.
Once the analysis is completed; it is time to determine if you want to purchase an off-the-shelf product or get a custom solution developed. In case your company wishes to get a custom solution developed; choosing the right platform is the next step.
Before zeroing in on a technology platform; you need to evaluate the technology’s features, integration capability, frequency of updates offered and finally ease of use. Microsoft has been providing some scalable and versatile platforms for developing and deploying custom solutions. One such technology is their latest offering – Dynamics 365.
Why Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 has combined ERP and CRM capabilities into intelligent business applications suited for everyday business activities. This technology offers three pre-built portals for businesses interested in extending the solution’s capabilities to specific business needs. In addition to its three pre-built portals; Dynamics 365 also provides users with the option of developing custom portals according to the individual business goals.
Dynamics 365 portals provide a platform for external users to securely access Dynamics 365 content. In other words it creates a dedicated website for users with ‘member-roles’ with content specific to the users. With Dynamics 365 portals; businesses are able to create a collaborative forum space for members as well as provide them easy access to FAQs and knowledgebase articles and/or product instruction manuals.
Dynamics 365’ tight integration with Power BI; provides businesses with the insights required to define member behaviour which can be used by the sales team to upsell or resell products/services; and develop meaningful relationships and converting them to loyal customers.
Consumers are having more power than ever before and if your business wishes to retain existing members whilst attracting and adding new members then you need to take advantage of Dynamics 365. Internally you can use it as your CRM solution at the same time providing your customers with a dedicated self-service portal. For a custom-built portal for your organisation’s customers and clients; contact the Empower IT team and speak to one of our Dynamics consultants.