When my clients are working on implementing a new association management system, they often worry about how the members and customers will react to the new system.
For example, often when a system change is made, the username and/or password that customers were using in the past will have to be changed. So that change needs to be communicated to the members and customers. I always recommend that the message sent to customers starts with a note that the association is changing data management systems which will require some changes.
The thing to keep in mind is that every member of our associations is also a consumer. And as consumers, they’ve seen these kinds of messages before from their banks, their online shopping sites, their insurance companies, and so on. In other words, our customers are accustomed to these types of changes. Heck, chances are they’ve experienced system changes in their own organization! So they get it.
So don’t worry about how the customer will react; they get it. Just be sure to be as transparent as possible with them, letting them know when the change is occurring, and how it will impact them (if at all).
“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