From The Blog
New Database Streamlines Service Options
For the last several years, the Kiawah Island Community Association Board of Directors has prioritized investment in technology to elevate the association’s service capabilities. After a two-year process, KICA is now in the final stages of implementing Salesforce, a robust technology platform that will integrate formerly siloed technologies, streamline internal processes and provide an online service portal for members.
A new member portal will launch in early September on the association’s website. The portal will enable members to view and pay statements and assessments online, view their household account data, update their contact information, report issues or submit inquiries to KICA, and engage with other community members. It will provide the ease of self-service, and the visual confirmation of all household information and activity.
A secure and robust database is the foundation of the association, and was the impetus for the decision to implement Salesforce. Behind the scenes, Salesforce is the replacement for an array of technologies that were antiquated or inefficient, and it automates some formerly manual processes. KICA’s critically important database of property records and contact information for members, their households and commercial businesses are being transferred into Salesforce.
Yet, Salesforce isn’t just a database; it’s a scalable platform that connects all of KICA’s most important technology tools. Similar to a smartphone, it performs essential functions (storing your contact list and allowing you to make calls and send emails), but the functionality can be expanded by adding apps. Salesforce houses KICA’s database, but the association has also chosen to add or integrate other technologies.
KICA’s work order system will now be executed in Salesforce and will integrate with property records. For example, if a member requests a mailbox repair, it will be noted on the property record, and members can view the status of the request in the member portal. Email marketing communication tools will be replaced with Salesforce tools that will connect seamlessly with the contact database. The Sandcastle’s check-in and point of sale system will be replaced with Salesforce tools that will integrate with member account information.
The launch of Salesforce marks the achievement of some significant association technology goals: a singular view of all members and data; a scalable platform that ties together KICA’s service tools; self-service capabilities for members; an increase in productivity and automation; and a decrease input redundancy.
While this is a giant step forward for the member experience and employee service capabilities, this is the first of several planned integration phases, and not all member or employee service tools will be transitioned for the September launch. The gate access management system and the Sandcastle pool reservation system will be maintained as separate portals. KICA has a second implementation scheduled for 2021 and will continue to transition more capabilities into the Salesforce platform over time.
MEMBER ACCOUNT FEATURES
You’ll receive your member login information in an email this month. When you log in to your account, you’ll see icons for each of the four section of the member portal: My Account, Billing & Payment, Community and Contact. Let’s take a look at what you can do in each of these sections.
On the My Account page, you will be able to view and edit the primary contact information for your household. This is the contact email, phone and mailing address for your membership correspondences, like annual voting, billing statements and emergency notifications.
You will be able to view and edit contact information for all members of your household, as well as submit information allowing your guests and lineal family to visit the Sandcastle. You will be able to view your Kiawah Island property information, like your property type, which determines your allocation of KICA votes. Finally, if you have a home away from Kiawah, you can view and add other residences and select your preferred mailing address.
BILLING & PAYMENT
In the “Billing & Payment” section of the site, you will be able to view your account balance, recent charges on your account, and make payments. Currently, making a payment is a multi-step manual process that lacks insight into the details of your account balance and recent transactions. You must reference your emailed statement total (sent monthly if you have recent association charges), or your assessment total (sent annually), then navigate to kica.us/pay. There you must manually input the total amount of your payment, along with your credit card or bank account information. The record of statements and charges only exists for members to view in email.
With the launch of online member accounts, these actions will be consolidated into a comprehensive “Pay” page, which will show your account balance, transaction details, recent payments, and the ability to pay your charges or assessment within the portal. You will be able to securely save your preferred payment method for quick and easy association payments. Going forward, a monthly email notification will prompt you to log in to view your balance and make a payment.
If you requested the association to mail your statements, rather than email, your preference will still be honored. You will also be able to edit your billing preferences within your member account, if your billing email address or mailing address changes.
In the “Community” tab of the portal, members will be able to join community groups and engage with other group members. The groups will function similarly to a Facebook page, with group information and a feed of community member conversation, photos and updates. Members will be able to search all community groups and easily navigate to the groups they’ve chosen to participate in.
In the “Contact” tab of the portal, members will be able to contact a member of staff, report an issue, make and inquiry and more. For example, if you have an issue with your mailbox, simply navigate to the Contact tab and complete the form. You can add an attachment if you have an image or document.
When you enter a request into the contact form, it automatically creates a “case” in Salesforce. This case alerts staff members that an action needs to be taken. Simply log in to your account whenever you like to see updates on the status of your request. In the ‘Inquiry History’ tab in this section, you’ll be able to see a history of your requests and reports made with the form, as well as the resolution. This also makes it easier for staff to locate member information in order to help them with a request or inquiry.
Be on the lookout for your login information in the coming weeks. We’ll be sure to include a reminder in the KICA’s weekly email newsletter so you can see this exciting new service for yourself.