Below we’ve answered the 3 most popular questions organizations ask about online registration software. In future posts we’ll take on writing an effective application, answer popular questions on social media for marketing and connecting with clients and even more answers about specific challenges and topics in the online registration software world!
Question 1: Should I move my registration process online?
Using an online registration system and putting your event or program application online is the key to a successful registration season for your organization. Being online allows you to work with the best technology has to offer. It allows you to increase the accuracy of the information you receive from applicants. It also allows you to increase the efficiency of your registration process.
An online software allows you to set each individual applicant on their own unique registration path, based on the information they enter as they move through your application. What an upgrade from the traditional paper model! Being online and customizing the process provides your applicants with a professional experience, which reflects back on your organization and ultimately the impression applicants have of you before fully committing and paying! Studies have shown that over 90% of applicants prefer an online application. Listen to them!
Questions 2: Do I need to hire a developer to build my registration process or online application?
Without the tools or resources to build and manage your online registration software (like for instance, a full time developer on staff or on retainer), starting your online application might feel like a daunting task. Worry not! Just find a company that specializes in registration software.
Finding a reputable company to build your system will go along way in increasing the number of applicants who complete your application as well pay on time, or even earlier, than what is normal for your organization.
The pro to hiring a developer is you will get a custom built system that will be customized to your needs and the needs of your organization. This usually comes at a high cost, including future costs down the road for updates as your organization grows and your needs change.
Finding a software company with a software product is often the cheaper and better option, however finding the RIGHT company is something you will need to put some effort into. Try to find a company that will allow you to adapt their base software into what you need instead of boxing you in to their logic and application templates.
Whichever way you go, make sure the company or developer understands your business, your needs and the needs of your applicants. Otherwise you’ll have a registration system that is online, but doesn’t function for your organization type and needs.
One way to help the company or developer learn about your organization is to explain all the conditions throughout your application that would trigger different paths for different applicants. Creating this ‘unique’ experience for each applicant is what nets you faster payments and more completed applications.
This might sound contrary to what’s stated above but if you can’t afford or don’t create a quality registration process, just stick to what you’re doing on paper! The worst thing that you can do for your business is provide a poorly designed and functioning online application. If your system fails or doesn’t work properly, it looks unprofessional and amateurish. And the whole “saving time” benefit of a quality system (online vs. paper) actually costs you even more time fixing the problem and troubleshooting with unhappy or frustrated applicants. Your applicants might think, if they can’t get this together, what else can’t they get together? That’s an applicant that just decided to check out your competition.
Question 3: My paper application works just fine. What are the benefits to moving my registration online?
Is it really worth the investment of both time and money to overhaul your application and registration system? The challenge of making changes can sometimes feel overwhelming and is it worth it?
While every organization is different, there are very few examples of businesses, who once they go online, regret it and go back to paper. And while the upfront investment of time and money seems like a lot, the savings of both time and money in the long run, far outweigh the initial setup. At Regpack we have moved hundreds of clients from paper online. The results speak for themselves. These clients are reporting on average:
- 25% more completed and on time applications
- 15-30 days faster payments.
- 60 hours saved a month on administrative tasks
I think that the 60 hours a month alone is worth the initial effort. This means that after investing some time in setting up your system you will have a lot more time to work on meaningful tasks that only you can do. Leave the heavy lifting to the computer!
The goal to a great system is making sure your applicants spend less time confused on your registration process and making sense of your application and more time completing it and paying their balance! You’ll also spend less time fielding calls from confused or frustrated or forgetful applicants to help them complete your process. A quality online registration software will generate the information you need, and nothing more and give your applicants a quality and professional experience.
Making the decision to move registration online is a big one. Finding the right software to fit your budget AND your needs can be challenging and is a big decision! Assuming you find a great software, it’s a no-brainer if you should move registration and your application online. It’s great for your business and for your applicants! If one of your applicants first experience with you is via an advanced and intelligent online registration system, you’ve already created the foundation for a great relationship with who will be your client soon!
Check out this post about choosing the right online registration software for your organization if you’ve decided to make the leap and find a software to implement for you organization!