1 Support online transactions. Only a handful of customers may want these now (less than 10 percent of AARP’s members sign up or renew their memberships online), but by investing today, you’ll be prepared as demand grows.
2Don’t abandon traditional channels. IT can help make the mail and telephone operations that existing customers prefer more efficient. AARP has deployed an interactive voice response system that allows members to perform simple transactions over the telephone.
3 Be flexible. Store customer data separately from the applications that use it, so it’s easy to update information and add new functionality. Connect suppliers to your internal applications with reusable Web services or a portal. Use software that is based on industry standards so that you can change vendors or add new technologies as your needs warrant.
4 Have a robust privacy and security policy, and follow it. A satisfied customer is one who trusts you.
5 Stick with what works. AARP runs its customer database on a mainframe, as it has for years, because the technology is reliable and will support increasing numbers of transactions as membership grows.