When purchasing a membership management software, it is important to make sure that it caters to your company’s specific needs. Here are a few helpful points to consider before making that purchase.
1. Member Information Management
Often times, the use of membership management software creates duplicate accounts for one customer. Duplicate accounts are essentially unavoidable, but can (and should be) diminished as much as possible. When purchasing one of these softwares, it is important that your software attempts to minimize these instances. Aluvii, for example, offers a membership management software that, when a duplicate account is found, allows you to merge the two accounts into one, retaining all possible information about the customer. This software also allows for the splitting of an account, if for some reason one member decides to purchase separately from others on the account.
Membership Management software can also be a great aid in your endeavors with customer relationship management (CRM). Keeping track of customer specific purchase history is something that a membership management software is capable of, and something that is extremely helpful with CRM. Make sure to double check that your membership management software provides assistance to you in this area before purchasing it.
2. Membership Types
Membership management software, of course, should fit the specific needs of your company, so make sure that your software offers enough options for your customers. Memberships come in different forms, including punch-pass style memberships (allowing customers a certain number of entries), season memberships (seasons defined by your company), and memberships for a specific amount of time (monthly, yearly, etc.).
Some membership management softwares include account level memberships in addition to guest level memberships. Account level memberships allow a group of people (oftentimes a family) to buy one membership that is valid for all guests listed on the account. This is an appealing option for customers, as the pass can be used by any member of the account, without the expense of buying individual passes for the whole group. Some companies, such as Aluvii, even allow the customer in ownership of the account to allocate certain commodities or funds to specific members of their account (for example, a parent could allocate $10 to each child to spend for the day, or a tube for one and money for another).
Benefits and options as far as membership types go are very important to consider when purchasing this kind of software, as they could satisfy both your company’s specific needs as well as your customers.
A membership management software is most convenient when it is integrated with other softwares, and allows you to market straight from the software platform. There are benefits to having your membership management software integrated with your point of sale (POS) software. Not only does this integration make the set up and employee training easier (as the softwares are all in one), but it allows the otherwise separate databases to communicate if you will. Keeping track of customer spending is an important aspect of POS software, and can be put to good use when coupled with membership management software. Keeping track of specific customer spending allows you to give discounts to loyal members on specific products, and allows you to see who your most spending customers are.
This integration also helps with marketing in other ways. One nice aspect included in some membership management softwares is the ability to email blast and market members straight from the software platform, rather than copying and pasting the emails from the database into an email.
4. Payment Plans and Options
A membership management software should also offer options to customers regarding payment plans and payment methods. The software should keep the payment information of each of your customers on file, an allow for automatic renewals. If the customer chooses, they can sign up for their pass to be renewed as soon as they expire, and the software will automatically charge the card on file.
Other payment options that should be included in your software are payment plans, monthly payments, and vouchers. Allowing the customer more affordable options such as payment plans or redeemable vouchers (redeemable directly through the software) is an appealing aspect for customers, as well as companies (as it can ultimately result in more business).
5. Other Benefits (rarely thought of and always appreciated)
With an on-the-cloud membership management software (as opposed to an on premise option), customers can access their accounts online; allowing them to update their information at any time, purchase memberships at any time, and make payments without coming into an office. Though this may sound like a small thing, it is not. This accessibility is extremely convenient for both the customer and the company, and can result in less miscommunication and more updated accounts.
When customers are able to access their own accounts online and make purchases through their portals, it minimizes the occurrence of duplicate accounts, as a new account is not made each time a membership is purchased. This helps the company as it keeps customer data more organized and accurate.
Another benefit to a cloud based software is that it allows for multi-location memberships. If your company has more than one location, this is the option for you. Because the databases between the locations are all on the cloud, they can recognize all memberships, no matter where it was initially purchased. This is both attractive to customers, and simple for the company.