Not Just a Pretty (Inter)Face

Susan Pollara August 19, 2015 About YourCause

When I speak with prospective clients about joining the YourCause community, they often say a great user interface is one of their top priorities for a new technology platform to manage CSR and Employee Engagement programs.  They want it easy for their employees to log in and give money or record volunteer hours.  And they want it pretty.  And social.  Did I mention easy?

Making sure our CSRconnect platform is easy to use, pretty, social, and engaging, are table stakes at this point in the CSR platform space.  Our UI team is constantly evolving our product based on client and market needs, and also driven by best practices in the SaaS space.  Easy to use – check. Pretty interface – check. We’ve got that covered.

But a pretty interface only gets you so far.  And as much as I love technology, the interface is only one piece of the puzzle for successful employee engagement programs. There are other factors I encourage prospects to consider when evaluating if YourCause (or another vendor) is the right technology partner for them.

Here are my other factors:

  1. Wrap Around Services  How can the technology partner help you evolve your programs so that you can reach more employees and deepen their commitment to a cause or a specific non-profit organization?  What services and support will the technology partner provide? And, of course, what’s the cost for those services?
  2. Customer Service How does the partner support your employees and your program administrators? Do they charge more for more responsive service plans? Do they view themselves as simply a self-service platform? At YourCause, our Customer Advocates speak, live chat, and email with passionate employees around the globe to answer any questions that may come up.  We’ve also got a dedicated team working with our non-profit partners.  Offering best in class Customer Service is in our DNA.
  3. International Support Last year, users accessed the CSRconnect platform from 140 different countries.  International support is more than just translating the site (although that’s a pretty big deal).  It’s making sure local currencies are supported and partnering with the right organizations to make sure funds are disbursed appropriately.  International employees should not feel like an afterthought, but an integral part of your programs and welcomed users of your platform.
  4. Culture  Does the culture of the potential technology partner align with the working style and culture of your team and your company?  Launching and managing a new technology platform can have some bumps in the road.  Those bumps feel much smaller when you genuinely connect with your partner.
  5. Know the Business Model It’s important to know the business model of your prospective technology partner, and to make sure that model aligns with your budget, your culture, and your values.  YourCause was founded on a commitment to ensure that the entirety of an employee’s donation goes to the cause they want to support.  Here at YourCause, our business model and our values go hand in hand.  Our annual subscription fee also allows you to predictably budget your platform costs for the year. Some vendors take a percentage of the employee’s donation or corporate match to fund their platform.  Still other vendors charge by transaction. So if a program becomes very successful, the CSR department gets a bigger invoice.

Yes, pretty interfaces and easy to use systems are at the top of many lists.  But it’s what makes a technology platform tick, truly what’s at the heart of the company, that will determine if a company is the right partner for you.