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Case Studies

Revolutionizing Member Onboarding: Raleigh Chamber’s Journey to Automation with MC Trade

Year after year, Raleigh, North Carolina is voted among the top cities to work in America. Looking around, it’s easy to see why. Local startups, massive corporations and everything in between seem to thrive in the city—two-thirds of them as members of the Raleigh Chamber.

Yet, while members and opportunities to find new ones abound, the chamber experienced potholes when it came to joining. While manual onboarding communications majorly drained staff, new members contended with high barriers to entry and delayed benefits. In this case study, we highlight the challenges Raleigh faced in onboarding new members, their goal of a simple, secure and convenient member sign-on and how Eric Darnell, Vice President of Information Technology, and the Raleigh team reimagined this process through automation with MC Trade.

The Problem:

When a new member joins the Raleigh Chamber, they’re rearing to go. These ambitious, hard-working professionals want access to member benefits immediately to utilize them for networking, business and informed decision making. However, several roadblocks prevented the team from delivering benefits to eager members right away.

First, without automation, the chamber needed to pour significant energy into onboarding new members manually, considerably prolonging the onboarding process. Manual data entry, dues calculations and onboarding communications like welcome emails ate up staff time while opening important processes to the risk of human error in tracking and other areas.

The amount of manual effort in onboarding didn’t just extend to staff—it affected members too. When joining an organization, new members typically expect a quick, smooth and seamless experience that mirrors workflows from their daily technology use. Think of sending an email from your phone, scanning a QR code in seconds or effortlessly signing up for SMS communications with a text. In contrast, Raleigh’s new chamber members faced high friction joins, having to complete manual processes like making phone calls, attending in-person meetings and writing checks—all inconvenient barriers to overcome when entering at base levels.

All this manual effort led to delayed delivery of benefits for eager new members. After joining, members had to wait significant periods of time to unlock the advantages of directory exposure, special pricing, access to networking and other included benefits.

The Goal

For the Raleigh Chamber, the goal was simple: deliver an easy, secure and convenient membership sign-on experience for new members and internal staff, with direct access to benefits immediately upon joining.

The Methods

With the features and functionality of MC Trade, achieving this goal became easy. MC Trade is an all-in-one solution for chambers of commerce and other trade associations in need of help navigating the complexities of membership—so that chamber professionals can focus on providing more member value.

Eric Darnell and the Raleigh team were able to streamline their onboarding process from end to end, starting with forms requiring a member’s relevant information for membership dues calculation. From there, once all data and payment methods are accurate, each member receives instant communication and access to member benefits, including automatic inclusion into chamber-member communication, and an automated welcome email with onboarding instructions and easy to follow How-To's.

Best Practices: Automate, Automate, Automate!

One of the best features MC Trade has to offer is its automation capabilities. By automating manual processes, MC Trade helps organizations lighten the load of managing a vast number of members. With MC Trade, the Raleigh Chamber leveraged automation in four key areas: basic data entry, payment, member benefits and email communications.

Whenever a new member signs on, MC Trade requires all key contact information immediately. This enables instant email communications and access to more benefits down the line. Next, new users are asked to add related profiles, and to set up their username and password details immediately to access account updates as soon as they’re implemented.

Payment of dues revenue is critical to keep chambers of commerce running. With MC Trade, chambers can make these payments a requirement to continue accessing benefits—ensuring on time payment and the stability that comes with it. MC Trade functionality also allows chambers to offer their members flexibility on when and how they pay their dues, with options for automatic recurring or monthly payments, plus automatic renewal annually or monthly. Finally, MC Trade generates automated receipts so members can keep track of their membership and how much they’ve paid.

With their AMS, the Raleigh Chamber was able to apply benefits based on custom-created levels, managing both current and potential profiles within multiple functional hierarchies. From there, they could add members to different mailing lists, upgrade listings and track reasons for joining to maximize benefits and attract new members via similar channels.

Last but certainly not least, the chamber was able to make the most out of email marketing. With MC Trade’s email capabilities, Eric and the Raleigh team can now send out automated welcome emails to new members detailing benefits and outlining next steps. Additional drip email campaigns and reminders ensured each member could receive the most out of their investment in the long term.

The Results

Thanks to MC Trade, the Raleigh Chamber is succeeding with automation. By looking inward, the chamber was able to pinpoint their members’ most significant pain points and respond to them in turn. With automated onboarding processes like data entry, dues calculations and email communications, Raleigh is now able to cut out manual effort on both the member and internal end, leading to a streamlined sign on experience and direct, immediate access to benefits—along with plenty of opportunities to make the most of them down the line.

The new automations have proven instrumental in streamlining the chamber’s operations and in maximizing member value. Prior to automation, the manual onboarding processes drained staff resources and led to significant delays in delivering benefits to new members. This not only hindered the member experience but also posed challenges for internal efficiency. With immediate access to benefits upon joining, members can now leverage the chamber's offerings to network, conduct business and make informed decisions without unnecessary delays.

By leveraging the capabilities of MC Trade, the Raleigh Chamber has successfully transformed its onboarding process, enhancing member satisfaction and maximizing the value proposition for both existing and prospective members. This underscores the importance of MC Trade in ensuring the chamber remains a vital resource for businesses in Raleigh— contributing to the city's continued economic growth and prosperity.

Ready to see how MC Trade can revolutionize your members' experience, just as it did for the Raleigh Chamber?

Book a demo with our team today and discover the transformative power of the right software for your chamber!