Adopting new technology - whether it’s a new membership management system, a learning management system, a conference app, or something else entirely - is exciting! Think about all the new capabilities you’re about to have! And not just you, but your members as well. (Remember, software helps them too!)
But, before launching that new technology, it is worth communicating that shift to your members - especially if it’s something user-facing that they’re bound to notice or interact with.
To avoid unnecessary concern or confusion, we highly recommend abiding by the following best practices:
1. Give them ample notice
No one likes to be caught off guard, so if possible, try giving your members a little ‘heads up.’ How early you should give that heads up and how many total times all depends on how drastic of a change it is. If you’re redoing your website and implementing a new membership management system that will impact what members will see upon login, that’s worth communicating early and often - because that directly impacts the member experience.
But in a good way! Which is why you’ll also want to…
2. Explain the benefits
You didn’t decide to just get new technology just to get new technology. You likely got it because it’ll help you out AND improve the member experience. So let your members know that! Going back to the example of the membership management system upgrade, will that make logging in, registering for events, and renewing one’s membership online easier? If so, let those improvements be known! (Particularly if you’ve received complaints about those functions in the past.)
And don’t forget to show enthusiasm! Enthusiasm is contagious, and if you’re excited, your members will feel that and, hopefully, get excited too!
3. Provide them with a point of contact
As with any type of change, questions are inevitable, so be proactive by providing your members with a point of contact. Let them know you’re ready and available to answer any questions and/or address any concerns they may have. Sometimes just having a point of contact is comforting.
It’s also not a bad idea to encourage your members to provide feedback as well, whether that’s through the point of contact or an online form. By asking for their feedback, that shows you genuinely care about their experience, and that this software change or technology adoption wasn’t just for you and your staff - it was for them too! (Plus, the earlier you can get some of those kinks worked out, the better.)
Ok, let’s back up for a second. Before you even get to the point of telling your members about a new software system, you need to find something that both you and your members will love. Check out our free guide below for questions you NEED to ask when software shopping - to find that perfect fit!