Website Redesign Increases Member Engagement, Retention & Value: Associations Now



By Lisa Boylan / October 19, 2021
(Chaosamran_Studio / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Listening to what members expect from their digital experience can pay off in many positive ways. Find out how a website redesign has yielded several mutually beneficial results for an association and its members.

The staff of the Automobile maintenance association realized that members needed to have a better digital experience and better access to information about its tools, resources, products and services. But tackle one website redesign is not a quick process. It takes a lot of groundwork. Before even talking about technology, it is essential to do some research on the needs of the business.

“There has to be a really good alignment between what the association wants, the critical needs of the business, and ultimately understanding what users are hoping for,” said Nathaly Branham, ACA Web Manager. . This means focus groups and member surveys, to understand why they are visiting your site and what kind of content they are looking for. It also requires buy-in from internal management and the board to support the necessary technology upgrades.

Once the ACA got a good idea of ​​what members wanted, it was clear that they needed updates to the Content Management System (CMS), Customer Relationship System (CRM), and Association Management System (AMS) to support all of the new bells and whistles from the redesigned site. . The existing systems could not support what the new website is capable of doing now.

The power of updates is apparent in several ways. For example, a streamlined online shopping process means members no longer have to deal with cumbersome faxes and invoices and spend time on the phone with an ACA sales representative.

“Now they can go ahead and go through the whole buying process online,” Branham said.

DIY member updates

An ongoing challenge for associations is to keep member information up to date. ACA’s new website allows members to log into the site, update their profile, update their location, view peer information, and add new employees to their membership.

All employees of ACA member companies are automatically members. Giving members the ability to update their own information has nearly tripled connections to the ACA website, as members see the benefit of being able to access their own information, Branham said. Previously, only a primary contact in a member company or a few people who used membership had this option.

Opening this access to everyone also gives ACA a chance to engage with more employees from each member company. And that means every business is better able to see how ACA is a valuable resource for its employees, which helps in member retention.

Better engagement

Because the new site is so easy for members to navigate, the average session length has increased exponentially, up 242%. Another added benefit to a more easily navigable website? ACA customer service has seen a decrease in member inquiries and an increase in less vague and general inquiries than before. “Now it’s smarter, more informed,” Branham said.

Members see the information on the website and can clearly understand what they want to add to their subscriptions. This means the sales team doesn’t have to search for answers because members know what they want from the start. This saves a lot of time and wasted effort on everyone’s part.

As is often the case, listening to members to find out what will truly improve their experience, careful planning and leadership buy-in can yield fantastic results. “The website redesign has really helped us bring that level of personalization, quick access and discoverability to the different types of members that we have in the association,” said Branham.

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