The Caldwell Chamber’s Bryan Moore discusses the benefits of switching from ChamberMaster to GrowthZone software.
Why did you switch from ChamberMaster to GrowthZone?
ChamberMaster had been the stalwart platform that we used for years and in my opinion, we were probably only using about 10% of the value of ChamberMaster. Then, hearing from some of the leaders within GrowthZone about how more dynamic the new platform was, it was really compelling for us to take a look. It’s really not that much more of an expense when you look at the value and the return on investments. This is not version 2.0 of ChamberMaster, this is the next step. Going through the transition process helped us understand that this is a completely new platform, not just an upgrade.
Give examples of new efficiencies with GrowthZone.
Efficiency-wise, it comes down to your staff being interested. Myself and my staff are 100% into it. We love the fact that we went through this together. When you get down to the nitty-gritty/nuts and bolts of the membership management and application processes, we can now tag and group everybody so that our ambassadors can be grouped, and our partners can be grouped. We can onboard new members in a unique way. The communication platform from my perspective is amazing. What we can utilize the communication for with the drip campaigns, there are so many components. We’re using way more in the system than what we used in ChamberMaster.
Was it easy to switch?
GrowthZone is not at 2.0 of ChamberMaster. I worked with your implementation team on all levels on what that was going to look like. Everybody at GrowthZone was fantastic in terms of wanting to know our part, specifically just for us, and how that transition was going. So there was some time investment, but that time investment was well spent because we have a cleaner system and cleaner data now. Really over the last three or four years, we have changed how we operate every aspect of our business.
What about ROI?
From an efficiency perspective, we can get more done so that we can stay in the lanes that we’re in and really work on the membership value. We’re able to provide value to our members in a better way. The user portal is fantastic and our members can access and log into it. We push that directly out to them and their login process is great. It just fundamentally feels better.
Has reporting gotten easier?
I’m an old-school kind of guy and I’d rather take some information and data points and put them into a spreadsheet. That’s just the way I work and my staff is moving me out of that thought process and use reports. They customize the reports the way I want them to look and I can just click on the button and go. It’s really cool for an old-school kind of guy like myself who is spreadsheet-heavy, to get away from that. We know that we can go in, customize, and do the things we need to do to make our job easier.
What about member feedback?
Obviously, being a membership-driven organization, the member piece is really important. From our perspective, we’ve got so many compliments on our website. They’re also using the info hub more effectively and our billing process is streamlined. They just seem to like it, it feels right, and our branding is consistent now. We’re also able to do specific email blasts for specific groups.
What advice do you have for other chambers?
Invest the time because it’s not quick to get it operational. Know that you’re going to have to invest a little bit of time, but in the long run, it’s way worth it. Also, invest the money. It’s really not that much more money. When you bill it monthly, it’s a minuscule increase compared to what your return is, what you’re able to use for your members, and what you need to make your operation work seamlessly. This is the way to go in the future. The technology has changed and it’s more intuitive, robust, and user-friendly. I’m sorry we waited two extra years to make the transition compared to when I first heard about it.
Are you glad you made the switch to GrowthZone software?
We’re absolutely glad we made the switch and it feels like it was the right business decision because, at the end of the day, the Chamber of Commerce is a business that serves businesses. To have a robust platform like ChamberMaster is good, but upgrading from ChamberMaster to GrowthZone is better. It makes us look better, it helps us with our events calendar, and every aspect of what we do. It helps us operationally be a better organization.