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Finally: An “Ombudsman” at an AMS Vendor
20 October 2009, by , in Rants and Kudos, No comments

I wrote about the concept of a “client ombudsman” a couple of years ago (you can read it in its entirety here). What I said at the time was this:

“Every AMS vendor should have a client ombudsman. The ombudsman’s job is to reach out to every single client on a regular basis, to get a sense of what the client is doing, how happy or unhappy they are with the AMS product, and what kinds of issues the vendor should be focusing on.”

I was pleased to learn the other day that in the past year, Aptify has created such a position. Aptify calls it the “Director of Customer Care” and, according to Aptify’s CEO, Amith Nagarajan, this position reports directly to him, and is not party of any other Aptify department. Amith, with no prompting from me, tells me he views the position as an ombudsman for Aptify clients.

I also spoke with David Frick, who holds the position at Aptify, and he said he views his job as a “neutral arbiter” between the client and Aptify, to help resolve issues on projects and to help clients get more from their AMS implementation.

My idea of the “ombudsman” dates back to around 2000, when I first started consulting. Back in that 2007 post I wrote:

“The reality is that the vast majority of associations that I talk to feel like they’re out there on their own when it comes to their AMS. They feel like the only time their vendor listens is whent they’re spending money.”

I think that still holds true for far too many associations. Associations have to work at the relationship, but vendors do, too.

So kudos to Aptify for working at making this happen.

Full disclosure: EDM is an independent third-party consulting firm. This means we have no financial relationship with any of the vendors mentioned in this blog. We provide unbiased opinions on what we see.

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
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Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

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Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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