ADA New Year’s Resolution: Create Phenomenal Member Experiences

Author: Stephanie Czuhajewski, ADA Executive Director

During his recent keynote presentation at the ADA 2011 Annual Convention, thought leader Mike Staver, emphasized that no matter what our profession, we are in the business of selling customer experiences. From Harley Davidson to Apple to Nordstrom to Disney, wildly successful organizations understand that it isn’t enough to deliver great products and services (those are minimum requirements). According to Staver, these companies transcend mere customer satisfaction by creating a customer experience that is so fantastic that their customers actually go out and evangelize on their behalf.

Staver also reiterated that we cannot provide exceptional experiences unless we are willing to step outside of our comfort zone to fail, learn, grow and succeed. He noted that when a baby learns to walk he/she falls down many times in the process. The child does not view short-term failure as an insurmountable obstacle to success, but rather as one step in the expected process of achievement.

Staver’s message was directed at audiologists, but his points resonated with ADA leaders and staff as well. There are many great on-paper reasons to belong to ADA—the benefits, services, and educational and networking opportunities are specifically designed to serve autonomous practitioners. But we recognize that unless your membership experience with ADA is also unique and exceptional, the value is lost. ADA’s New Year’s Resolution is to create member experiences that are so phenomenal that we never have to do another member recruitment campaign.

What kind of experience is ADA delivering to you? The first step in creating exceptional experiences is to get feedback on the current environment. To that end, ADA recently held a focus group session, bringing together representatives from ADA’s membership, industry partners, and other key constituencies for the purpose of listening--listening to their current perceptions of ADA and gaining a better understanding of the characteristics that encompass exceptional experiences for ADA members.

As an outcome from the focus group discussion and ADA’s strategic plan directives, ADA will conduct a comprehensive member experience assessment in January. We are seeking the true picture of ADA as you see it, as well as your ideas for how ADA can better deliver exceptional experiences for members. Your participation and input in this electronic member survey will be used to create ADA member experiences that are truly extraordinary.

As we head into 2012, ADA is going to take some risks in an effort to elevate your member experience. We will be revamping committees, introducing new products and services, reshaping advocacy initiatives and creating new opportunities for member engagement. We may stumble and even fall down in the process, but we will be undeterred from achieving ADA’s mission as you have defined it. We remain committed to delivering the information, tools and resources that you need to achieve your goals for your practice and for the profession of audiology, and to delivering an exceptional member experience for you always.

Please contact me at sczuhajewski@audiologist.org or at 866-493-5544 to share your thoughts and ideas.