How to Find the Perfect CMS to Improve the Member Digital Experience

Find out how the perfect CMS can enhance the member digital experience.

By Ryan Bruffey, MX Business Development Manager

Member expectations continue to grow at your association. When logging onto your website, members want an experience that matches their preferred for-profit brandsAny issues during their online visit will be remembered, and they will find other means to get what they came for. 

This is not anecdotal either. A study from SuperOffice CRM reported that a whopping 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, and one-third of customers will leave a brand they love after just one negative incident.  

To help associations adjust to these growing expectationswe’d like to share some tips on evaluating your content management systems (CMS) to improve the member digital experience, including some tips gleaned from our webinar with Refactoreds Chief Strategist Rob Bean.

Finding the Perfect CMS to Improve the Member Digital Experience

Define Your Approach 

Before you start the hunt for your perfect CMS, ask yourself and your organization some of the following questions: 

  • What systems play a role in elevating the member digital experience?  
  • Are systems separated, or are they integrated with your association management software (AMS) 
  • How are certain functionalities of those systems processed by your staff 
  • What can be improved?  
  • Are you able to reach your primary stakeholders with the current systems? And if not, will free online platforms be enough, or do you need an enterprise, licensed system?  

Do Your Homework 

Spend time looking at reviews, engaging with your network on social media and reaching out to vendors to get a full understanding of available software systems. Perhaps you’ll learn that you don’t need a complete overhaul, but instead need a few simple updates to online platforms and applications already in use. 

In the webinar hosted by Protech, Rob Bean encouraged associations to survey members and staff. Then, reaffirm what the common pain points are and begin further research using their feedback. 

Consider Alternative Options 

You might be familiar with software-as-a-service (SaaS), but what about CaaS? Content-as-a-service is emerging as a viable alternative. A recent piece by Ernie Smith, of Associations Now, explains the fundamental distinction of CaaS:  

By treating content as data distributed via API, you open up opportunities to better structure the content you build and distribute it wherever it’s needed — including websites, apps, or anywhere else your data can live. That means flexibility amid a changing world. 

Confirm with your association if a free system can manage the content, or if you need to go with the enterprise, licensed software route. 

Remember, You’re Not Amazon 

Unfortunately, no one has the near limitless revenue of Amazon to simply spend their way out of this issue. But your members still expect you to provide a quality experience like the tech giants of Google, Facebook and Amazon. 

Here are a few member-facing features and back-office capabilities you’ll be able to provide with most CMS platforms:  

  • Mobile-friendly interface
  • 24/7 customer service 
  • Data security and privacy 
  • Flexible app integrations 

Elevate the Member Digital Experience 

Members make the association world go round. Their expectations are growing beyond just a discounted price in the e-store or at the annual conference. They want to connect online and grow with a network of similar professionals on a determined mission. 

Basic HTML pages just don’t cut it anymore in providing a quality online experience for membersLuckily, CMS solutions are rapidly innovating and keeping ahead of the pace, so much so that you don’t have to be like Amazon to provide a seamless, easy-to-use and intuitive experience.  

Want more insight on the latest trends driving CMS innovation? Download our webinar with Refactored – 6 Tips for Improving the Member Digital Experience.