If you’re looking for association management software, you likely have specific features on your wish list that you can’t do without – and some “nice-to-haves”. Of course, it’s important that the product you choose offers the feature set you need, but there are some intangibles that are often overlooked in the process of shopping for an AMS.
If you’re looking for an AMS that’s going to be with you for the long haul, be sure to ask these three questions when researching association management software solutions …
Can we customize it?
There’s no other organization exactly like yours and no one-size-fits-all solution. So it’s important to find a software product that can be customized to work with your membership structure.
You also want to think long term. While a product may seem like the right fit initially, it may not be so perfect once you integrate it with your business processes. You may also find that your needs shift and change over time. Software that isn’t flexible and customizable can force you to create inefficient workarounds – leading to wasted time and a frustrated staff. Going for customizable association management software reduces the risk of encountering unexpected issues down the track.
Does it offer flexible payment processing?
There’s that word again … flexible. You never know when things will change for your organization, so it’s useful to have options when it comes to processing payments. Look for association management software that gives you the choice of using your own payment processing provider (if you have one), opening a merchant account, or using a gateway like Paypal or Authorize.net.
Does it include human technical support?
Online help centers aren’t really helpful if you can’t find the topic you’re looking for. When a question arises, you want to be able to pick up the phone, talk to a human being, and get a response quickly.
Getting up and running with a new AMS can take time, so don’t underestimate the value of having access to a good support team that can guide you through the process and help you get the software working exactly the way you want it to.