Member service organisations need to communicate accurately and efficiently with individual members, either as individuals or as members of groups. This has to be achieved against a background of changing contact details and a rapid adoption of electronic communication methods.
Most web services enable the member to log-in to the organisation website and update their contact details. This is a basic service. So the member organisation can start to rely on the web service data being more accurate than any locally held contact information. This means that the web service can now take on the mantle of "most validated data source"!
So what can you do with this accurate data?
Email from the web service
Xpor provides the ability to email people directly from the web service. Emails can be compiled and sent out from the service to individuals, Groups and mixes / matches of the two. Additionally, the email can carry "mail-merged" data, directly from the database. These emails can be sent as single campaigns or as scheduled emails, by date (various "repeat options"). Furthermore, the email can be delivered in response to an Event, generated from the Xpor WorkFlow system.
Email from your Office system
A smart export function is provided for the creation of Spreadsheets based on data held in the contact management (organisOR) system. This facility allows a capable Outlook user the potential for importing the web service contact data into an Outlook file, for email purposes.
A simple extension of the export feature is the mail merging into the Microsoft Word application, to produce letters and address labels.
RSS News Feed
The Xpor system generates RSS compatible news items. News folders can be placed in Group folders, with permission allocated such that only relevant Groups are informed of the new news item. For those of you who don’t use RSS, this clever system delivers your news articles directly to the readers desktop. (the user must have a news reader to receive it and must list your service as one they want to keep up to date with. You can achieve this with a simple link on your website, for the user to click and set things up)
This is a fairly unique application for Xpor. The system provides a process called collaboratOR, which allows groups of people in your organisation to communicate via a rules based system. For example, you can set the system up such that member #1 can start a new subject. #1 creates an email in the Microsoft Outlook program, inside the mailbox account provided by your Xpor web service. The email then follows a rule set that you will have created. For example you might then allow User #2 to read the email and respond "Approve" or "Reject". The email will then drop into #3s email box and allow this user to respond accordingly.
This clever system might sound complicated BUT it does have some significant benefits to member organisations.
Firstly ALL of the emails are stored on your web service. You can track who said what and when.
Secondly, the User does not need to log into the system to receive email .. it simply appears in the Outlook "inbox".
Thirdly, although you can allow then to type a considerable response, you can get the system to simply use words such as "Yes", "proceed", "Approved", "No", "Reject", "Try Again" etc. to get the system to allow the next user to see / action the subject concerned.
Fourthly, the email is maintained away from the Users main email account ... easy to see new email.
Xpor provides a fully permission controlled forum feature. Users can be permitted to Read, Reply and even edit their own messages ... all under the control of you, the administrator. These discussion systems are ideal for "no-pressure" debates. Members can choose to contribute, or not, and can simply visit the service at their convenience. (Xpor will provide an email notification to article authors and Group administrators concerning forum activity, if so required)
Xpor can provide an IE (version 6) toolbar link to your member service. This is an ideal way of providing rapid access to Group information, perhaps new library items or discussions / tasks). By providing this as a toolbar, it is also possible strongly brand the service.
Xpor can provide a taskbar communication method, relying on the internet connection and a low level "protocol". This feature can be simply installed by the User and will then allow new web items (such as new Events, calls for papers, Group activity etc.) to "pop-up" from the Users task bar, similar to the pop-ups provided for new emails.
Validated, on-line data can form a corner-stone of any member organisations activities. As the on-line world takes a grip, these methods will be further exploited to improve an organisations visible activity and member service.