From the CEO
One of the goals of our new strategic plan is to “maximize organizational effectiveness.” One objective to help us accomplish that goal has to do with better serving our members to increase the value of an APA membership. Although we are just at the beginning of shaping our activities to achieve the goals in the strategic plan, we already had a head start on the aforementioned objective. Within the APA Central Office, we have a strong emphasis on “customer service,” which for us means providing the best service we can to our members, the public and to fellow staff members.
A few years ago, the American Society of Association Executives published “7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do that Others Don’t” (2006). The book summarized research on factors that distinguished associations or nonprofits that were considered “exceptional” or “remarkable” (as operationally defined) versus those that were not viewed as such. Interestingly, the top characteristic (out of seven) that distinguished “remarkable” from less remarkable associations was that the former more often had what was called a customer service culture. According to the study’s authors, remarkable associations “demonstrate their commitment to members in everything they do, from answering the phone, to responding to e-mail, to developing quality products and services.”
Within the APA Central Office, excellence in job performance and customer service are the bases of a 10-point management philosophy that outlines the values that guide our daily work. In addition, we have two staff groups charged with monitoring APA’s customer service and making recommendations for improvements. The CARE group — Customers are Really Essential — works to infuse the service culture throughout the Central Office. A second group — the Customer Service Celebration Week Planning Committee — plans APA’s weeklong recognition of outstanding customer service by our staff members.
We believe that customer service is a part of every employee’s job. However we have two staff units whose focus is entirely on helping our members and other customers:
The APA Service Center, (800) 374-2721. APA staff in this area assist with membership questions, journal subscriptions, book orders and dues payments. They are also the go-to people when you have a question or problems on APA’s Web site concerning passwords or registration. The Service Center staff can also direct your questions about APA programs and activities to appropriate staff in our program and directorate offices. Service Center staff take your calls or respond to your e-mail from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
APA Electronic Publishing Systems Support, e-mail: customer service or technical help, (800) 374-2722 or (202) 336-5650. For PsycINFO / Institutional support, call (800) 256-9216.
This customer support team is available during and after business hours to assist members and customers with access, navigation, information and technical help for APA Electronic Products, including the five APA PsycNET® databases, APA Style products and the e-commerce system on APA’s Web site.
We also have a self-help area for members on APA’s Web site: the MyAPA feature. There, you can update your address and other directory information, check your subscriptions to APA journals and electronic products, and access your continuing-education purchases.
In conclusion, we value your membership in APA, and all of us in the Central Office want to provide you with second-to-none service to meet your needs. I know we are not always perfect — as yet — but that is a goal we strive for.