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 ask for what you don’t need!

September 14, 2022

Don’t ask for what you don’t need! Recently I received a bill from a doctor’s …

Don’t ask for what you don’t need! Read More »

It is never done – so celebrate!

September 7, 2022

It is never done – so celebrate! A client of mine recently had their official …

It is never done – so celebrate! Read More »

MDR (Minimum Data Required)

August 31, 2022

MDR (Minimum Data Required) I’ve written about minimum viable product (MVP) in software development in the …

MDR (Minimum Data Required) Read More »

Simpler and Faster is Better

August 24, 2022

Simple and Faster is Better Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to attend a …

Simpler and Faster is Better Read More »

Patience and grace

August 17, 2022

Patience and grace A past client of mine recently told me: “You inspire confidence and …

Patience and grace Read More »

Sometimes you just have to try it and see what happens

August 10, 2022

Sometimes you just have to try it and see what happens The single greatest key …

Sometimes you just have to try it and see what happens Read More »

Training and testing

August 3, 2022

Training and testing I’ve written before that the best form of training follows this process: …

Training and testing Read More »

How to save a “failing” project

July 27, 2022

How to save a “failing” project It is not unusual for me to receive a …

How to save a “failing” project Read More »

How to avoid the “IT black hole”

July 20, 2022

How to avoid the “IT black hole” Going all the way back to my days …

How to avoid the “IT black hole” Read More »

The “People” are important!

July 13, 2022

The “People” are important! I’ve written a lot about people, process, and technology over the …

The “People” are important! Read More »

Scroll to Top