February 4, 2019

5 Must Haves for Your Member Portal

5 Must Haves for Your Member Portal

We’re all accustomed to going online to manage our relationships and business with brands. We don’t even think about the concept of self-service. We expect it.

Consider your own life. If you subscribe to a meal, produce, or clothing delivery service, you expect to be able to take out your phone and modify your subscription, shipment frequency, and payment method. Your members are no different! They bring their online expectations as a consumer to their membership experience.

A member portal helps you live up to those expectations. It’s your constituents’ “one-stop shop” for learning about and registering for events, making profile changes, buying publications, checking into the community, renewing membership, and more. It’s where they take care of professional development, networking, and association business.

What Users Expect from a Member Portal

We’re in an Expectation Economy. Members have a high set of expectations they apply to every product and service they purchase or use. If you don’t meet those expectations, they’ll find another place to spend their time—and money. Here are some ways you can make sure your member portal meets and exceeds expectations.

#1. Mobile Responsive Design

Every website visitor nowadays expects a site they can navigate on any device—mobile, tablet, or desktop. It is critical to provide the user experience members want in order to increase their ability to engage with your organization online through a mobile responsive member portal.

According to this study, more website traffic now comes from mobile devices than from desktops. Of course, your website traffic data may tell another story; however, keep these two caveats in mind:

  • If your members got frustrated visiting your site before you made it mobile-friendly, it’s possible they haven’t used their phones to try again.

#2. Easy Initial Login

Another expectation is single sign-on (SSO). Members don’t want to keep track of more than one username and password to take care of association business. Member-only website pages, online community, online learning platform, and member portal—it’s all your association in members’ minds.

It should all look the same too. For example, the MemberSuite portal look and feel is configurable so you can have the same association branding in the portal as you do everywhere else on your site.

Additionally, if portal visitors—members and non-members—don’t want to remember another username and password, consider giving them the ability to simplify the process by signing in with their Facebook and Google credentials. People like having choices. For some, this is the choice they rather make.

#3. Time-Saving Features

Your member portal should have an intuitive design. Members should be able to find what they need quickly without having to overthink it. Fewer clicks means less confusion and less of a chance they’ll bail out on the experience.

Members who have organizational login rights should be able to easily switch between their individual and organizational profiles from a single login. They can come to the member portal to update employee records, for example, adding a few new staff members and updating the records for several others. After they cross that task off their list, they can take care of personal business—reading the latest discussions in the online community or registering themselves for an event—without having to log out and back in again.

#4. Security Measures

Members and customers expect your association to vigilantly guard their personal data. An identity management service like Amazon Cognito can help you securely manage authentication and authorization for users accessing your member portal.

#5. Personalized, One-Stop Service

A member portal makes it easy for members to find everything they want and need in one place. Because you have their attention during their visit, you can make members aware of relevant events, products, and services. Best of all, the portal provides a valuable and personalized membership experience.

  • Greet members with a personalized welcome message.
  • Remind them about the events they’ve registered for—and suggest events (or products) that might interest them.
  • Display automated notifications about their membership renewal.
  • Give members the ability to update their record, including their payment method and communication preferences—a great way for members to customize their association experience.

You can also encourage members to interact with your organization by making it very easy for them to:

  • Search the member directory for the person they met at the luncheon.
  • Read the latest online community discussions.
  • Register for next week’s webinar.
  • Check to see how many more CEUs they need for recertification.
  • Buy the new book everyone’s talking about in the community.
  • Make (finally!) a PAC donation.

Everything the member needs is at their fingertips. Because some of these actions require the use of data from other systems, your portal must be able to integrate with those systems to provide that seamless one-stop membership experience members expect.

To learn more about the many benefits a portal can bring to your members and organization, checkout MemberSuite’s mobile-responsive portal.