How Software Integrations Facilitate Seamless User Experiences
Look for these capabilities before embarking on a digital transformation journey.
By Sarah Spinosa, Product Marketing Manager at Higher Logic
Association leaders know they need digital tools for community-building, personalized marketing, and member management. What’s often overlooked when implementing such systems is whether they can coexist peacefully.
That’s where integrations and expansion packs come in, connecting siloed applications and data to form a single source of association truth. Prioritizing such functionality in software choices makes for richer, more consistent member and staff experiences while positively impacting your association’s bottom line.
“The ability to seamlessly integrate tools for communication and community engagement with your existing technology maximizes the value of your software investments,” said Lizzie Urban, Senior Manager of Product Management at Higher Logic.
A Streamlined, Modern Member Experience
The pandemic made it painfully clear that an organization’s virtual products and services are just as important as those offered in person. Between offerings like curbside pickup, contactless delivery, and digital customer assistance, consumers quickly became accustomed to fast and personalized experiences.
As consumers themselves, association members now expect similar conveniences in their professional lives. Through the power of integrations, associations can connect the backbone of their operations—association management systems—with member engagement and marketing platforms designed to meet changing expectations.
Working from a unified data source provides associations with a 360-degree view of their members in real time, allowing them to track member engagement more accurately and uncover the insights needed to build meaningful member experiences. In addition to creating a happier and more engaged community, a focus on boosting the member experience keeps members coming back.
“Expansion packs built to encourage and increase overall community engagement can make your community stickier,” Urban said. “For example, some of our expansion packs allow you to run your mentoring and volunteering under the same umbrella as your community, reducing complexity and driving value for end users.”
The more value members and staff see for their organization, the better your word-of-mouth marketing and recruitment, retention, and engagement outcomes will be—ultimately enhancing financial vitality.
Healthier, More Productive Operations
Forward-thinking association leaders value their people as much as their members—and as the Great Recession has illustrated, employee expectations are also changing rapidly. According to Deloitte, Generation Z and millennials in particular are prioritizing “good work-life balance and learning and development opportunities.”
One way to provide a more fulfilling and less overwhelming working environment is to eliminate monotonous and redundant tasks. Storing member and organizational data in a centralized location helps streamline operations by reducing tech stack complexity, eliminating time-consuming data entry, and freeing up time for more creative pursuits.
“You don’t want staff or volunteers learning or even logging into 12 different solutions—they don’t need that friction,” Urban said. “That’s why we have things like single sign-on (SSO), which is very helpful for those tasked with managing the system while also providing a seamless experience for members.”
Great Recession aside, many associations have always had lean marketing and technology departments—and depend on streamlined operations as a matter of survival. Integrations designed to solve multiple needs across the association space reduce complexity for these time-strapped employees.
And they come in all forms. “At Higher Logic, for example, we have integrations that are built by Higher Logic, we have integrations that are built by third parties that integrate with Higher Logic (such as Stripe for payments), and we also have a way for people to build their own integrations based on the problems they’re trying to solve,” Urban said.
Your Resources, Built on Your Property
Connecting siloed applications and data through integrations and expansions also enables associations to grow and scale in step with new technologies and member demands. For example, an association might start with community and event software and add volunteer management, a space for ideation, or other relevant solutions.
By building these new resources upon an existing platform, associations can continuously drive members back to the digital space they own rather than pulling them away via a disparate channel where their data will belong to someone else.
“You want to provide that full experience where a member is signing up, registering for events, then coming back into the community to talk about the event,” Urban said. “Then, maybe they’ll download a webinar or raise their hand to volunteer—all in the same place within the organization’s owned technology and data. Facebook groups and Google Docs can be useful, but capturing and reporting on that data is difficult.”
Associations ultimately stay relevant by standing as pillars of their industries. With all digital resources and improvements securely located on an expanding association home base, members will always know where to turn for industry leadership.
Higher Logic Thrive is a member experience solution that provides a powerful, but simple approach to community, marketing, and member engagement. For more information on how Higher Logic’s years of experience, research, and feedback can solve your challenges, visit thrive.higherlogic.com.