Chartered institutes and other membership associations play a vital role in maintaining professional standards across diverse industries in the UK and Ireland. By setting and enforcing ethical guidelines, professional competencies and best practices, they help to uphold the integrity of their respective professions.
As we continue to progress through the digital age, it’s becoming increasingly important for membership organisations to keep up with technological advancements in the fields of automation and AI.
Adopting these capabilities doesn’t have to be complicated. With numerous accessible and easy-to-integrate automation and AI solutions, membership organisations have ample opportunities to boost member engagement, streamline operations and provide outstanding services. However, the MemberWise Digital Excellence Report for 2021/22 found that only 32% of respondents have a digital strategy in place.
In this blog, we’ll discuss seven ways in which membership organisations can harness intelligent automation – a combination of automation and AI capabilities – to overcome common challenges and effectively achieve their goals.
1. Communicating value effectively
A significant challenge faced by membership organisations is attracting new members while keeping existing members engaged and active. A clear member value proposition is crucial for highlighting the benefits of joining and encouraging renewals. This helps justify fees, generate revenue and build a solid membership base. However, the MemberWise Digital Excellence Report 2021/2022 revealed that only 58% of organisations have a member value proposition in place, and just 40% of those effectively communicate it to members and staff.
Intelligent automation technologies can be used to integrate different communication channels to break down information barriers. Automated analytics and reporting tools can also offer real-time insights to inform decision-making and engagement strategies. By understanding member preferences and behaviour, organisations can deliver personalised content and experiences that reinforce the membership value proposition.
2. Keeping members engaged and retained
Measuring membership engagement accurately is crucial for retention, but the MemberWise study revealed that only 53% of organisations do so, mainly due to data management challenges. These challenges stem from insufficient integration among databases, websites and membership management systems, as well as members’ diverse digital platform use, including social media and mobile apps.
Intelligent automation offers a solution to these challenges by seamlessly integrating systems for more precise engagement measurement. By understanding member preferences, organisations can provide personalised content, offers and experiences that effectively drive engagement and retention.
3. Boosting applications and renewals
Smooth and straightforward membership application, payment and renewal processes are essential for reducing friction and creating a positive experience. Automation can simplify these processes, making them more user-friendly. Solutions may include automated candidate screening or streamlined onboarding processes that handle tasks like document collection, training scheduling and communication. Moreover, AI-powered community platforms can foster networking, collaboration and knowledge-sharing, ultimately leading to increased member retention and renewals.
4. Easing the transition from student or graduate to full-time member
Students may not fully understand the membership value proposition or how it can support their future careers. To address this, it’s crucial to engage with students throughout their academic journey via targeted, relevant communication. Automation can be used to send personalised reminders and incentives, encouraging students to upgrade their memberships when they meet eligibility criteria. Offering affordable membership options early in their careers also helps professional bodies nurture graduates and ease their transition to full-time membership.
5. Streamlining accreditation and training
Offering accreditation, certification and training is a key function of membership organisations, enabling professionals to showcase their expertise while contributing to a high level of competency in the industry. Automation can help manage applications, process payments and even evaluate candidates’ qualifications through AI-powered assessments, reducing the time and effort required from all involved.
Additionally, AI-driven learning management systems can deliver customised, adaptive training content, helping members gain the skills and knowledge needed for certification.
6. Encouraging ongoing professional development
Chartered institutes often provide training, resources, and opportunities for networking and knowledge-sharing to help their members stay up-to-date with the latest developments and advancements in their fields. AI can analyse vast amounts of content to identify the most relevant resources for members, helping them keep up with news and industry trends.
7. Managing multiple suppliers
Membership organisations often depend on various external suppliers to help with their operations and goals. Having an effective supplier management strategy is essential for providing top-notch services to members while keeping costs low and reducing risks.
Automating procurement processes, such as vendor selection and invoice processing, saves time and makes tasks more efficient. Intelligent automation can, for example, analyse criteria like expertise and service quality to select the best suppliers. It also helps monitor supplier performance in real-time, manage risks through predictive analytics and identify areas for improvement.
In summary, intelligent automation technologies offer membership organisations the means to become more efficient, responsive and effective in achieving their goals. By harnessing the power of readily-available and user-friendly automation and AI technologies, these organisations can streamline operations, provide superior support to their members and make a significant impact in their respective industries.