When it comes to shopping for an association management system, the questions people ask are often pretty routine: How much does it cost? What features are included? What does the timeline for implementation look like?
But while those questions are important, they aren’t the end-all-be-all. In fact, it’s just as important to establish a good partnership with your future AMS provider. That said, here are six questions - beyond features - you NEED to ask your potential AMS provider:
1. Why do you do what you do?
When shopping for an association management system, it’s crucial that you understand the vendor’s mission. Remember, this company could be your potential technology partner, so it’s important that you understand their vision and their culture. Ask them what their “why” is - what drives their company decisions?
2. What makes you different?
There are many AMS providers out there, so it’s important that you find a few that target your type of association, specifically. Pay close attention to culture here. What is their culture, and more importantly, does it align with yours? Also, what does their typical customer profile look like? Do they serve other industries or solely the association space?
3. Do you understand us?
Rather than just asking the vendor questions, give them an opportunity to explain how they understand you. What specifically do they understand about you in comparison to other associations? For example, do they understand you have limited time and resources? Do they understand you need an outsource partner?
4. How can your system help us accomplish our mission?
At the end of the day, your members and your mission are what matter most. That said, you need to find an AMS provider than can help you achieve that particular mission.
So how do you do that? Well, start off by asking the company if they offer software as a service. How many customers do they have and how have they helped those particular customers (in terms of their mission)? Are there any case studies they can share with you?
5. Do we want to do business with your company?
Prior to selecting an AMS provider, be sure to ask for ample reviews and references. And when looking at those reviews, take notice as to whether or not the company has improved upon them. For example, if you notice a few old reviews complaining about XYZ, has the company since improved upon XYZ? Are there newer reviews supporting that?
6. How do we get started?
If you find an AMS provider that seems to fit the bill, first of all, that’s GREAT, but second of all, start asking about next steps! What does the activation process look like? What is the overall timeline? Is the pricing transparent? Leave no stone here unturned.
Now this is just an overview of what you should ask your potential AMS provider, but trust us, there’s plenty more where that came from. This is a company you’ll be working day-in and day-out with (at least in the beginning), so it’s imperative that you find your perfect fit.
For a more thorough breakdown of what to ask your potential AMS provider, check out our free guide below!