Member feedback is an essential piece of any membership organization’s ongoing strategy. It helps identify what programs, benefits and strategies work and which need improvement, and helps to enhance and upgrade the member experience. In this week’s Association Debrief, we focus on member research, surveys and interviews to help you learn how to get the member feedback you need.
All organizations need information from and about their members. This information can be about why they join, what member benefits are most valuable, why they stay in the organization – the list goes on. This article takes a look at whether qualitative or quantitative information about your members is the most valuable, and comes up with the surprising result that the answer is both. It discusses how both data and in-person interviews have their place in member research, and uses the example of the Construction Financial Management Association to illustrate how using the two in tandem reveals the most important insights.
Membership isn’t just a sale – it’s an experience. Positive or negative, the member experience is something you need to understand in order to make improvements or maintain good performance. This article discusses how associations can quantify and learn about the individual member experience so they can identify what next steps they need to take. It reviews the options that associations have for learning about the member experience, including doing nothing, flying by the seat of their pants, surveying members, and holding member interviews. It highlights member interviews as the best way to learn what you members think about your association, and suggests ways that associations can leverage interviews for the greatest success.
Surveys can be some of the best options for getting feedback from your members, but actually taking surveys can be a huge drag. This article suggests ways that you can create surveys that people will actually take without complaint. Some of the suggestions include making the survey as short as possible, avoiding yes or no questions, randomizing answer options, keeping your question text neutral, using matrix questions judiciously, and making sure that your question text and answer options allow for every type of survey respondent.
What’s one thing that all membership organizations need? If you said member feedback, you’d be right. This article presents the results of a Wild Apricot Small Membership Advisory Committee discussion on the benefits of member feedback, as well as some of the techniques that committee members use to get feedback from their members. Some of the techniques mentioned include online surveys, in-person discussions or interviews and physical, printed surveys.
Do member surveys really give association leadership the information they need? According to this article, the answer is complicated. The article investigates how association executives perform research and make decisions, and points out that surveys and feedback that focus on member reactions aren’t very useful for long-term strategic decision-making. The article is based on a white paper entitled “Decision-Focused Research for Association Executives,” which points out that for surveys to return the information executives need, they need to first define exactly what questions they need answered.