Customer vs. staff

Customer vs. staff

In a properly designed AMS, when the customer goes online to your website to do business with you (e.g., join, renew, register for an event, buy a product), the website is interacting directly with the AMS. In other words, any data changes being made by the customer are going directly to the database with no staff intervention required. All modern AMSes work this way.

Because the database is being used by both staff and customers, there is an inherent tension for system design. On the one hand, the customer needs a very simple interface that allows her to quickly and easily take care of the business at hand. On the other hand, staff needs to have complete and total access to all data to manage any type of scenario that arises.

One trap that many associations fall into is trying to design the customer interface to manage as many scenarios (exceptions) as possible. This is a mistake. The customer interface should manage the most common interactions that occur and should make that process as efficient and simple ("idiot-proof") as possible. Anything that is exceptional should be managed by staff.

This is a great place to apply the 80/20 rule. Your customer interface should be able to manage 80% of the interactions and the remaining 20% is managed with staff assistance.

So look at your customer interface and ask yourself: Is it fast and easy to use? Have we tried to accommodate too many exceptions? Make the process for the customer as easy as possible and let staff manage all the hard stuff!

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Don’t be a hoarder!

April 3, 2024

Don’t be a hoarder! The simple truth is that it’s almost “free” to collect data. […]

With data analytics (as with most things), keep it simple!

March 27, 2024

With data analytics (as with most things), keep it simple! Over the past several years […]

Don’t forget about periodic maintenance

March 20, 2024

Don’t forget about periodic maintenance Just as most automobiles need periodic maintenance, keeping your data as […]

Users Groups are ALWAYS Valuable

March 13, 2024

Users Groups are ALWAYS Valuable I am a huge fan of users groups. (Here’s a […]

But will you DO anything with that data?

February 28, 2024

But will you DO anything with that data? I frequently exhort my clients to always answer […]

It’s not what happens, but how you react…

February 21, 2024

It’s not what happens, but how you react… “It’s not what happens to you, but […]

Saying it and doing it are two different things

February 14, 2024

Saying it and doing it are two different things When I work with my clients […]

Benefits downstream are difficult to implement

February 7, 2024

Benefits downstream are difficult to implement In my 25 years of consulting, one of the […]

Your first answer may NOT be the right answer!

January 31, 2024

Your first answer may NOT be the right answer! I’m a big believer in “go […]

You don’t have to automate EVERYTHING to be successful

January 25, 2024

You don’t have to automate EVERYTHING to be successful I was discussing a data management […]

Scroll to Top