Over the decades, the world has transformed in a way that makes technology indispensable to organizations with any kind of customer service.

We see so many new technologies that allow associations to keep existing members happy and renewing membership all while targeting prospects in order to grow their membership. They also allow associations to recognize time and money savings while shifting staff focus on other high value tasks. Incorporating automation into your association’s processes can help your association save time and money while freeing up staff to focus on delivering member value.

For example, credit cards change every couple years and consider how much of a nightmare it can be to get all of the information updated. Thankfully, a lot of systems have the technology to get the updates on an expired credit card. For instance, it could get the new expiration date, or if there was a fraud event, it could get the new credit card numbers. I’m the Senior Vice-President & General Manager of Nimble AMS at Community Brands, and we have seen 30% of credit cards that are updated each year, and 1,332 unique transactions via Nimble AMS where credit cards were automatically updated, sparing staff the task of attempting to get updated credit card information. That’s $530k of payments collected from Nimble AMS that would have been otherwise declined and potentially lost. So adopting these kind of technologies can really add up to a big revenue number!

But of course, looking at new technologies to improve processes needs to be a part of an association’s culture in order to see successful adoption. And the leadership of that organization plays an important role in fostering the right culture. I’ve seen scenarios where the association’s staff prefer to automate some of their repetitive tasks, but the leadership didn’t recognize the value of doing so. It’s important that the leadership of an organization understands the value because they have a great deal of influence. Here are two ways leaders can shift the culture:

  1. They can spearhead the change.

If a project to make a shift in technology is led by the CEO, for example, then the staff is motivated to make changes because they know they’re fully supported by the ones on top and that their effort will not be wasted. The staff is in the best position to know the key areas where the technology could help in since they are likely tasks they deal with everyday.

  1. They can help lessen fear and offer support. 

Some staff members might not want to participate in a project because they think automation will take away their job or change it drastically. Having members of leadership involved can help calm these fears and support them by giving them other high-value tasks that are more impactful to the organization.

Leadership can be very influential in motivating both those who see all the benefits and want to be supported in implementing the change, and those who might not want to do it because of the way the technology might affect their job. By fostering such a culture, the leaders of an association can help drive the organization forward in better serving their members and to see a big ROI for their efforts.

Sig is the Membership Software Evangelist for Community Brands, where he focuses on thought leadership through public speaking and writing. Sig has been working with professional and trade associations for over 26 years and is inspired by being part of the association community. Sig was the founder of NimbleUser, which was acquired by Community Brands in 2017. He frequently speaks on the culture of innovation, association technology trends and the human aspects of technology interactions. He has presented at CESSE, ASAE Tech, AMS Fest and a variety of user conferences.

Sig is the Membership Software Evangelist for Community Brands, where he focuses on thought leadership through public speaking and writing. Sig has been working with professional and trade associations for over 26 years and is inspired by being part of the association community. Sig was the founder of NimbleUser, which was acquired by Community Brands in 2017. He frequently speaks on the culture of innovation, association technology trends and the human aspects of technology interactions. He has presented at CESSE, ASAE Tech, AMS Fest and a variety of user conferences.

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