APA Enhances Workflow and Member Experience with Aptaria and Salesforce

Aptaria customized and enhanced a Salesforce-based system for the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Now staff can save time and access more valuable information about members.

APA advances the field of psychiatry through professional guidelines, research, and education. Before working with Aptaria, APA moved its database to MemberNation, an association management system built on Salesforce.

However, the transition to MemberNation required additional work to solve APA’s data challenges. Different departments at APA used unconnected systems. In particular, the marketing and service teams lacked efficient connections between their platforms and the central member database.

The association hired Aptaria to unify its disparate platforms through 2 parallel projects for the marketing and service teams. In both cases, we set up automated Salesforce solutions that seamlessly flow into APA’s central database and reveal more about member behavior.

Project #1: Aptaria Helps APA’s Marketing Team Manage Email Campaigns Faster and More Easily with Salesforce

Each year, APA’s marketing team engages in hundreds of email campaigns, ranging from small segmented communications to conference invitations and donation appeals.

“We have a number of marketing needs under one banner as an organization,” says Ryan Vanderbilt, Director of Integrated Marketing. “Because we’re communicating about several different products and services, it’s important to help our members design the communications experience they want to have with the Association.”

As a result, APA’s marketing department depends on a highly customized email preference center. But this requirement prevented a simple Salesforce integration.

Coming from an email system disconnected from the Salesforce environment, each campaign involved extra steps and a waiting period to obtain data. Before sending, the marketing team had to ask the IT team for a segmented list. After sending, a review of performance metrics required a great deal of manual exporting and calculation.

To overcome these obstacles, APA needed a Salesforce certified consultant with a special skill set. “We looked around for a potential Salesforce partner, and we found Aptaria to be a good match because of their work with associations,” says Vanderbilt.

“We also wanted a partner that could make the connection between our email platform and our database. Aptaria had experience integrating Salesforce Marketing Cloud,” Vanderbilt notes.

We found Aptaria to be a good match because of their work with associations. We also wanted a partner that could make the connection between our email platform and our database.

APA signed on Aptaria. Our certified Salesforce developers and consultants quickly began to apply their expertise to the Marketing team’s obstacles.

Our team at Aptaria set up Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud. Then we integrated it with MemberNation so that employees can access subscriber list data and campaign metrics.

We found that Marketing Cloud’s standard email preference center did not meet APA’s complex needs.

Instead, our Salesforce developer created a customized preference center with APA branding and more choices. In addition to a 1-click unsubscribe, recipients can select “Manage My Preferences” from the footer of any email and access more than 20 options.

“It was important that our new preference center should include a mobile-friendly design,” Vanderbilt notes. “But our new email platform and preference center weren’t yet integrated with our new database. The preference center we built with Aptaria achieved our goals and is very robust.”

We set up the new preference center to push up-to-date subscriber information into APA’s larger Salesforce system. The database stays in sync with targeted subscriptions lists, as well as metrics collected from email campaigns.

For Vanderbilt and the marketing department, “The real impact—and the power of the integration—is the time it will save our team. It’s a lot faster to get the emails templated, the lists built, the campaigns sent out, and review the metrics, all on one platform.”

The real impact—and the power of the integration—is the time it will save our team. It’s a lot faster to get the emails templated, the lists built, the campaigns sent out, and review the metrics, all on one platform.

By connecting Marketing Cloud and MemberNation, APA’s marketing team has more control over their email center. Preferences can be turned on and off within Salesforce with ease.

The new system provides a better user experience for APA employees and members alike.

“The preference center puts the power in the hands of the member to decide the frequency and types of emails they receive,” says Vanderbilt. “It’s one of the best solutions for this problem that I’ve seen in our industry.

Project #2: Aptaria Enables APA’s Service Team to Capture More Data and Better Understand Members’ Needs

Meanwhile, APA’s call center needed an integrated system for tracking calls and email requests. Beyond a log of the phone lines and shared email inboxes, the staff lacked a record of individual cases.

How many calls and emails did APA receive about specific problems? How many cases were escalated to another department? How were those cases resolved? The call center required a solution to help answer those vital questions, since their everyday activities were not yet connected to the MemberNation database.

Our team at Aptaria began by mapping out staff’s everyday tasks and protocols. Next, we translated those actions into a Service Cloud system on Salesforce.

As Monique Stevens, the Call Center Manager for APA, recalls, “We explained to Aptaria how we handle the majority of our calls and what we need from a number of different departments. Then we gathered a list of people that we transfer calls to. From there, Aptaria put the system together.”

Our team organized the system so that APA staff can conveniently open Salesforce, find the member making a request, and open a case for each call. Call center reps can escalate cases through Salesforce, and the corresponding department will get an alert.

To handle service emails, we linked APA’s general inboxes with Salesforce and established a queue system.

As each email comes in, the system forwards it into Salesforce, creates a case in the database, then puts that case into the queue. Representatives can easily check for new cases and look up the status of open requests in their assigned queues.

“We have the emails in the Salesforce system, so we can connect the email to the record for the member that sent it. If that request has to go to someone else, there’s a case number that goes with the email,” explains Stevens.

Each individual handling an email or call request can now instantly access the history of the case and the member attached to it.

We released APA’s Service Cloud solution in early 2017, around the same time as the Marketing Cloud system.

How has the call center seen the impact? Stevens appreciates how Service Cloud gives her a complete picture of open cases. “With the new system, I can see all of the cases to check whether they’ve been resolved or not. And that means everyone’s cases, including what my staff and the membership department’s staff have entered.”

Service Cloud gives call center reps the ability to categorize requests, as well as create and store templates. They can respond to cases more quickly and consistently.

“We can create our own templates for emails and add our own topics and subjects when we’re creating a case,” says Stevens. “We don’t have to go to Outlook. We can take care of our emails right in the database instead of going to another system or screen. It’s easier and it saves time.”

Best of all, “we have full autonomy over our system. We don’t have to wait for someone to enter our data into the database. We can do it ourselves.”

We don’t have to go to Outlook. We can take care of our emails right in the database instead of going to another system or screen. It’s easier and it saves time.

Stevens and the call center can independently run reports on types of cases, case outcomes, and more. Because Service Cloud connects to MemberNation, the entire organization can better understand members’ everyday needs and problems.

Moreover, departments outside of marketing and the call center are feeling the benefits of our implementation.

“The membership department mentioned that it’s faster to retrieve information through the case system,” Stevens reports. “They can go to one location to see how many cases they have. The case system is more conducive to their tasks.”

In just a few months, Aptaria not only provided new capabilities for APA’s marketing team, but also established a successful system for service case tracking.

Conclusion: The Value of Aptaria as a Salesforce Partner

APA’s new Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud systems deliver a more holistic picture of members’ interactions with the organization.

Stevens is satisfied with the outcome as well as the process: “Aptaria did an excellent job in helping us get Service Cloud up and running,” she says.

Throughout the implementation process, we provided training that enabled the marketing and service departments to get the most out of their new systems.

As Vanderbilt explains, “Aptaria knows the practical side of sending emails on Marketing Cloud: building lists, getting metrics, all the aspects of how an organization manages campaigns. They were able to get us onboarded and help us understand how to operate within the system.”

Vanderbilt also praised the day-to-day experience of working with our team: “Aptaria was great to work with. It would be difficult to find a more flexible and committed implementation partner.”

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