Almost every AMS on the market today has some form of CRM (customer relationship management) functionality that allows staff to track contacts made with members and customers (e.g., phone calls received or made). This CRM functionality provides an opportunity for the association to capture and track the kinds of interactions the association is having with members and customers. This data can then be used for (among other things) promoting membership to non-members and demonstrating the value of membership during the renewal process.
For example, one of my clients provides legal service to both members and non-members. They keep track of all phone calls related to their legal service in their AMS. Here’s what they can do with both members and non-members:
For members, during the renewal period, they can include within the renewal letter a short note that says “Over the past year, we’ve assisted you with legal information calls on three different occasions. Renewing your membership will ensure that you can continue to receive this type of information quickly and easily.”
For non-members, when they save a call for a non-member, as soon as the call is logged into the AMS, a workflow can automatically send an email thanking the non-member for the call and asking them to join.
These kinds of activities require discipline on the part of the staff (to ensure calls are logged) and a decent CRM system that will allow you to capture the calls and pull the data when needed (e.g., during the renewal process). The technology to do this already exists and chances are you have an AMS that can accommodate this. Now it’s up to you to get into the habit of logging the calls!
“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.”
“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan
“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”
Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance