Membership Pro Tip: An Update to Better Meet Member Needs

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The Urgent Care Association knew it was time for a reset to better meet member needs because of a tidal shift in its industry due to the pandemic. With a small staff, planning and a realistic timeline are key ingredients for a successful overhaul.

Many associations were significantly affected by the pandemic, especially ones in the healthcare field, like the Urgent Care Association. A wave of people coming into urgent care centers to get tested for the coronavirus led to many unforeseen challenges, like a markedly increased workload that put a strain on staffing, and more. With a growing industry to represent, UCA recognized it needed to make some updates to better meet member needs.

“We are doing a reassessment of everything that we do and everything we offer to our members to make sure that we’re meeting their new needs,” says Cindy Simpson, CAE, administrative assistant at UCA. “As their needs have changed, especially over the past year and a half, we realized that we need to change so we can continue to remain relevant.”

How Does It Work?

UCA looped in its board and members for a series of discussions to identify and realign programming to make sure it can continue to attract and retain members. The group started with a series of internal exercises to look at everything they were offering members and grading them in terms of relevance.

“It’s not enough to just say it is still important,” Simpson says. “You have to know why it’s important, and you have to back that up with data, revenue, and more.”

The next step is an internal gap analysis, keeping in mind UCA only has a staff of 13. “We can’t do everything all at once,” Simpson says. The analysis will help prioritize which new programs to create, whether to revise the dues structure, and more. However, none of this will happen overnight. “This is not a six-month project. It’s not a six-week project,” she says. “This is a two-year project we’re taking on.”

Why Is It Effective?

The goal is to continue to increase UCA’s membership to correspond with the growth in the industry. The process will also help UCA position itself to sell more of its programs and services and attract more people to the organization. It will also emphasize to members—and prospective members—why they need to belong to UCA.

What Is the Benefit?

For the association, they’ll be able to assess what areas need attention and where to add the necessary staff to accomplish those objectives. In turn, UCA will then be able to develop programs and services that match member needs and provide them with resources that are more tailored to a shifting healthcare landscape.

It’s not a fast process, especially with a small staff. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, you have to plan,” Simpson says. “You have to give yourself the luxury of time to make this happen.”

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