The student dues season has opened here at the AVMA, and students can once again go online to pay their annual dues for SAVMA and their local chapters. This is a really exciting time — not just because we’re able to start “meeting” our new veterinary student members and welcoming back returning ones, but because we’ve overhauled the dues-payment process to make it easier and better.
Improvements in the process
This is only the second year that students have been able to pay their dues online. And in that year we’ve accomplished a lot. Here are some of the improvements in the new system:
- We found a way to eliminate the $1.75 transaction fee that we previously had to pass along to every student who paid online.
- For returning students, the renewal process should be quicker and easier because we’re able to pre-populate much of their information as soon as they log in.
- First-year students will get quicker access to member benefits, such as website access and newsletters – waiting only a few days to have their information processed, rather than a few weeks.
- Payment receipts include more information, including the student’s member ID, as well as a cleaner, clearer presentation.
- Quicker processing means we’re able to provide more up-to-date membership lists to officers of the local chapters.
We believe and hope that all of those factors will make this year’s renewal season easier and more pleasant for everyone involved.
Previewing the new website platform
But there’s another reason why I’m particularly excited about this improvement to our website: We built it on the platform that will be the base for our new website. That shouldn’t be obvious to someone who comes to the site, since we haven’t done a visual redesign. But on the back end, this essentially represents a piece of our new website.
What does that mean? Well, first and foremost, it’s tangible evidence (well, as tangible as anything virtual can be!) that we’re making progress on our much larger website redevelopment project. Also, it means that we won’t need to rebuild this process when we launch the new website. These pages are essentially part of the new site already; we’ll just put a new coat of paint on them to make them match our new website’s design, and they’ll be ready to go.
What do you think?
Finally, because this is the first section we’ve been able to launch on our new platform, it gives us a first opportunity to gather feedback on the new system. We can use that feedback to inform the rest of the work that we’re doing on the website, both for students and for everyone else.
So, students, here’s your call to action: We’d love to hear your feedback after you pay your membership dues online this year. Did it work well for you? Are there improvements that you would suggest? Please let us know through the comments section.