UPDATE 11/11/2016: This article has been updated from its original content to reflect feedback and further research.
Do you remember when you were a fresh teenager at the age of thirteen? You’d finally made it to your major growing years, and grow you did.
Your old jeans turned into high waters as your legs grew longer, your old shirts turned into crop tops as your torso grew taller, and your old shoes no longer fit on your monstrous feet.
These were very obvious signs you had outgrown your childhood clothes and were ready to move on to cringeworthy teenager attire.
Your membership management software works the same way as your organization grows in members, programs, and responsibilities. No matter how perfect your membership management software is, nothing stays perfect forever and someday you will have to go out and find a new, better fitting tool.
Here are the four signs you need new membership management software!
1. You’ve Reached Your Limit For Members
This should be the most obvious sign of them all.
Sure, that free membership management software has treated you well… up until now. You have finally reached the cap on your total members and further expansion requires a software system that allows higher membership numbers.
Luckily, many paid membership management software solutions are highly affordable, with much higher member limits that will keep your organization functioning and keeping records for years to come.
2. Not Enough Software Updates or No Updates At All
Our tech world is constantly changing around us at breakneck speed. Just nine years ago the first iPhone was released to the public, which was considered revolutionary to the phone industry, yet after many generations the iPhone has become so commonplace that the amazement has worn off. The iPhone has also gone through so many evolutions and updates that the original iPhone now looks like a dinosaur.
Your membership management software should behave the same way, changing with the times and adapting to all the new technological advances. What use is software that has been rendered completely obsolete and incompatible with the technology of today? If your software isn’t updating enough to keep up with technological changes, such as compatibility with new operating systems or Office programs, or isn’t updating at all, then it is time to consider a new membership management software system.
3. No Cloud Compatibility
Granted this is JUST a sign, but in today’s rapidly evolving world, there is almost no excuse for new software that can’t be accessed remotely from almost any location. Cloud connectivity is becoming an indispensable tool for software, which gives employees, students, and anyone who uses computers in their day-to-day life the ability to access their work and information from anywhere with an internet connection.
Many new web-based software solutions offer these cloud capabilities, however many older, installed software solutions were released before the idea of the cloud was invented and haven’t necessarily kept up with the times.
Is cloud computing an absolute necessity in today’s world? Not yet, however the convenience of being able to access your own databases and any other kind of digital work you have stored in the cloud can immensely increase your productivity. When unexpected (or expected) absences occur and you have no way to come into the office, you will be glad you can access all of your work from any internet-capable device.
4. Limited or no Support Systems
Your free and open source membership management system was cost effective for your organization when you started out. It provided the basic foundations, such as a small member database, email integration, and Excel spreadsheet integration, but what happens when things start malfunctioning with your software? What kind of support do you expect to receive from the software vendor using their free option? In the case of open source software solutions, don’t expect any technical support at all, except from community forums.
Unless you are a tech-savvy computer whiz, solving all your software issues can be a daunting task without a support team to back you up, and if you are a midsize organization without a carte blanche budget, a full-time IT team isn’t a realistic solution.
Upgrading your membership management software can offer you quality tech support help from your software vendor at a fraction of the cost of hiring an IT team, and save you loads of time going on Google hunts to search for solutions to your problems. Spend a few extra bucks now, save yourself tons of time later when things inevitably go wrong.
Tasks Tend to Take Longer Than Usual (Update addition)
I used PCs for years and, each time, the hardware would break down and my software would slow down after two or three years, leading me to either replace hardware, do a hard reset on my laptop, or buy a new computer altogether. I am quite savvy with computers, so it wasn’t due to not knowing how to maintain one. It was, rather, the quality of the computer was lacking, leading to failures well before I got my money’s worth out of the machine I bought.
Reliability and speed matter a lot to me, which led me to switch to a MacBook Pro a few years back, and I still don’t regret my decision to this day. Now, instead of wasting my precious time working on simple yet slow tasks, I am able to breeze through my work at the same speeds I did when I first bought the Mac.
Slowing software is a glaring sign that it is time for a new membership management system. This problem goes hand-in-hand with a lack of software updates, since many software speed issues stem from those lacking updates. However, not all speed issues may be due to a lack of updates, since not all software is downloadable software. If you find your online software slowing down, the host may be having constant server issues which are inhibiting your ability to be productive.
Whatever the reason for the slow down, you shouldn’t have to struggle to complete your daily tasks because your software can’t keep up with your pace. If this is the case, it is time to look elsewhere for your membership management software.
If you related to any of these signs, then it is finally time to leave that old membership management software behind and explore the possibilities out there!
If you’ve experienced any issues with your current software or if the software you switched to solved these issues, be sure to leave a review on our page so that we will stay up-to-date with the best solutions!
Looking for Membership Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Membership Management software solutions.