4 Signs It's Time to "Break Up" With Your Membership Software
Break ups can happen in any shape or form. It doesn't necessarily have to be calling it quits with a person. You could "break up" with a TV show(s) because your favorite character was killed or written off for no valid reason (still not over it, Game of Thrones or The Originals) or cut ties with your favorite brand because they've discontinued a certain product you love. And, of course, breaking up with a person is even worse, knowing how much time, energy, and emotion was invested into the relationship.
That said, breaking up can be just as hard to do with your software vendor.
Since membership software plays an integral part in managing your organization to its full potential, it makes sense to be aware of when your relationship with your system and vendor has reached the end, and you know it's time to "move on."
Here are four signs to recognize when it's time to "break up" with your AMS software.
It's emotionally draining
You probably spend as much time with your software system as you do with your significant other (SO). Maybe there's a bit of an emotional connection to your software too. Think about it. If the software doesn't allow you to easily and intuitively pull a view of your members, do you find yourself getting irritated? What if it's a persistent problem? Do your emotions continue to escalate?
Here's another one for you: Does your current system allow you to view big data easily in one place? Or does your organization have a lot of duplicate data that stems from your software implementation that took place long ago?
If reading these scenarios is giving you an eye twitch, then that could be a warning sign. And let's say the majority of your staff shares these negative feelings towards the software, then yes, you do need to seriously consider moving on because everyone is invested in this relationship (including your software vendor), and it's messing with everyone's emotions and affecting your work life.
And just like your SO and your favorite TV shows are a part of your lives, so is your AMS software vendor. If your vendor hasn't continued to invest their time into your relationship long after your go-live, then something is amiss and it needs to be addressed. Without a functional software and a vendor who values your relationship, it will be much harder to achieve your organization's goals, and it will certainly affect your bottom line.
At the end of the day, AMS software is supposed to help you do your job more efficiently and streamline business processes so you can focus on achieving your organization's goals. It's that simple.
You're feeling trapped
An outdated software system can leave you feeling trapped because you’re unable to perform certain tasks. Let's say you want to alter a member record. Is your current membership software inflexible in that it’s difficult for staff members to make changes themselves? A customizeable system makes it extremely difficult to make adjustments without the aide of a skilled programmer. And once the changes have been made, you still need to test everything to ensure it's properly updated because you were making adjustments to the original coding. It would be more ideal if you could simply make the changes yourself instead of having to rely on another person to do it for you.
In the case of a relationship, there could be a variety of reasons for feeling stuck. You might feel overly dependent on the other person. Maybe you’re in a long distance relationship and it’s apparent that it isn’t going anywhere, but you’re unsure how to call it off. Or do you spend all your free time with that person, but you know deep down you need personal space, and you don't know how to broach the subject.
It's not supporting your goals
A enterprise-level software has the capacity to do a number of things to take your organization to the next level. You need to invest in something that will up your member engagement game and allow you to do your job with a minimal amount of stress.
Your relationship with your AMS software also extends to the vendor itself. Having a strong relationship with your vendor is essential, and it should be treated as a partnership. You want each other to succeed and are rooting for each other. There needs to be honesty, empathy, and trust between the vendor and the client. If you don't have these ingredients in your relationship, then you're not setting yourself up for a successful long-term partnership.
When you're at a crossroads regarding whether you and your team are ready to break up with your system, make sure you set aside time to discuss it. In this case, everyone who uses it will be affected by this break up so it's important to consider everyone. Of course, it might be impossible to please everyone especially at a larger organization, but if the majority of people is feeling a certain way, it's important to weight their opinions.
From a relationship's perspective, here's what I've learned from personal experience. You should never let someone else put their goals and dreams above your own. It's okay for each person in the relationship to have their own ambitions that they want to pursue, but they should be treated as equally as important. One isn't less valid than the other. Teamwork plays a huge part in a relationship, and if you aren't being supportive of one another and celebrating each other's successes, then there's some underlying issues there.
The cons outweigh the pros
I'm a big fan of making a pros and cons list. Sometimes seeing it in writing can help you look at things more clearly if you're unsure what to do next. If you find yourself with a growing list of grievances that your software (and vendor) can't deliver, and it's impacting your day-to-day job, then you need to step back and evaluate your software.
The same can be said for a relationship with your SO. Are the cons simply a short list of trivial annoyances such as he/she leaving dirty dishes in the sink? Or are they seriously driving a wedge in the relationship? It's pretty simple, if your list has more drawbacks (significant ones that is) than positives, then it's pretty obvious what needs to be done.
Next time you find yourself fighting with your membership software over something you're unable to do, ask yourself this…is it time to break up?
Want to know what it's like to start something with someone new? Check out our eBook on what to expect during an AMS implementation.
About Chandra Chakravarthi
As a Coordinator of Content, Branding, & Buzz at Aptify, Chandra supports the department with content creation, digital advertising, and overseeing the social media channels. Outside of Aptify, you can find her exploring Chicago and eating too much pizza while she waits for her letter from Hogwarts.