iSoftStone supports the Washington State China Relations Council (WSCRC) with a full website redesign
The Washington State China Relations Council (WSCRC) is a local focal point for “all things China” in the Pacific Northwest. Their mission is to promote stronger commercial, educational and cultural engagement between local businesses and the People’s Republic of China. WSCRC approached iSoftStone, a Gold Level Member the organization for help on creating a completely revamped website experience. The WSCRC website was outdated and did not offer the functionality expected of similar membership websites. In general, the website redesign needed to encourage more interaction with visitors. Additionally, it needed to clearly communicate what WSCRC has to offer while conveying why membership is beneficial. The main business objective was new member attraction and retention in addition to promotion of the WSCRC and their programs. Ultimately they needed their site to show their leadership and strength in both China and the United States.
Identifying the pain points and formulating a strategy
The WSCRC had several pain points that needed to be addressed with the website redesign. The biggest of these was overcoming the manual processes that were in place to perform simple tasks like adding and invoicing members, updating events and sharing news. Payment, membership, event registration, and several other crucial business functions were tedious processes that were subject to human error. Moreover, their previous site was visually unappealing in style and features, with functionality that was limited and out of date. It was difficult for new site visitors to learn about or sign up for memberships, while existing members were unable to log in to the site to receive crucial information and updates.
A large part of the WSCRC’s appeal is their events. Their events facilitate interactions with key dignitaries from both China and the United States. The previous website did not provide an easy way to highlight events or facilitate distribution of discount codes for members attending events. Likewise, there was no way to spotlight key members and thank WSCRC sponsors. For non-members the WSCRC was looking for a way to connect and share the latest trends and news monthly in hopes of eventually increasing non-member conversion rates.
Creating a website to match the mission
iSoftStone quickly got to work addressing the WSCRC’s pain points with the website redesign. Understanding WSCRC’s needs, iSoftStone designed and developed a simple WordPress site with plugins that would alleviate the tedious manual processes the content team had grown accustomed to. For handling their membership needs, iSoftStone recommended the “PaidMembershipPro” plugin. Using the “PaidMembershipPro” plugin, membership subscriptions and payments all occur directly on the WSCRC website. Additionally, for companies and organizations with a WSCRC membership, their employees now receive the same benefits as their organization and can have their own individual login. iSoftStone also installed “Event Manager” and “WP News Pro” plugins which allow WSCRC to easily post any events or news on their website to drive more audience engagement.
Achieving the desired perception while alleviating tedious processes
The new website features a sleek design that clearly communicates the WSCRC’s mission of connecting China and the United States. Now, the “become a member” button is front and center. Membership is the clear call to action on homepage, with membership benefits clearly defined. As you scroll the homepage, you now see “featured news” and “upcoming events” sections which are easily maintained by WSCRC on the back end. This allows for more a timely and relevant content strategy. WSCRC also has the ability to showcase past events and spotlight high level members. In addition to the membership call to action, they now have a newsletter sign up form for non-members and have their site connected to social media accounts to promote content sharing.
Thanks to iSoftStone, the WSCRC has achieved their desired perception of their new website. The new website is professional, sharp, useful, thoughtful, active, leading and engaging. It has eliminated the time consuming processes and has empowered the WSCRC team to own their site and their content. They love the flexibility a WordPress site has to offer, and the plugins make it easy for them to monitor membership, events, news and other content updates in real-time.