If you’re a fan of the television show “Friends,” you know that Joey Tribbiani’s signature pickup line was “How you doin?” Although association leaders are not looking for a pickup line with a 47.6% success rate, they should follow Joey’s lead and check in with members periodically to see what they think of the association.
Membership surveys can provide excellent information to identify members’ perception of association value, most important services, and opportunities for improvement. The data can be used to drive decisions related to everything from deletion of underused, undervalued programs to dues structure, to revamping events or training programs. According to one organization, the member survey can also be used to increase member loyalty by:
- Allowing members to feel that they have control over what the association offers them and how it can best impact their careers.
- Giving members a reliable and confidential method for communicating their interests to the association.
- Provides the association with direction as to where its resources can be most effectively utilized.
- Facilitating the opportunity to understand and meet the needs of different member segments.
- Demonstrating to members that their feedback is valued and will be acted upon.
A few tips to creating the best surveys are:
- Know your goals. What do you want to learn, what is the most important question, and how will you use the information?
- Keep the survey short. Respect your members’ time and ask two or three questions.
- Be clear, in what you’re asking and why. Remind members why you’re reaching out and why it is important to the association and to them.
- Commit to take direct action. When feedback is given, reach out to them if their contact information is provided. Thank them for their input and incorporate the feedback.
- Circle back to share what you’ve learned. Share findings with members as well as updates on how the feedback was used. Will non-gluten options be offered at conference dinners or will the website be updated to make it easier to pay online? Let them know if suggestions are not able to be implemented immediately but will be kept for future plans.
For more tips, see this article.