How a Member Survey and Feedback can Benefit your Club
If you’re running a golf club, yacht club, tennis club or any sort of sporting or social club, a member survey and feedback is important. At the end of the day, you’re there to serve your members and provide the best possible experience. Without members, you wouldn’t even be in business, so it’s easy to see why their thoughts matter. However, many clubs struggle to find the right way to tap into what their members really want. That’s where a member survey becomes crucial.
If you have active and engaged staff who are always talking to members, that’s a great start. It makes your guests and members feel valued when they have a way to air their concerns. But this often falls down in two areas. First is the follow-up. If they raise issues that aren’t addressed, they’ll be put off-side very quickly. Second is anonymity. Members are more likely to give honest feedback if they know their survey responses will be anonymous.
Another other problem with only getting member feedback on an ad-hoc basis is the squeaky wheels are the only one with a voice. You may address the issues of a minority, while the majority don’t even share those concerns. That’s where surveys can be a huge benefit to your club. Here’s why it makes sense to use surveys in your club.
What’s working, and what are you doing well?
Firstly, we should make it clear that surveys aren’t just about addressing problems. Surveys are about fostering a culture of continuous growth an improvement. Part of that is recognising what you do really well so you can maintain those high standards.
By asking members what they really love, you’ll be able to see trends showing what you do best. It might be pricing, value for money, services or facilities. People may love the friendly staff, or simply value the communication you maintain with them. Whatever people love most about your club is worth celebrating because it then becomes a point of pride.
Understanding what your members love is also valuable for marketing, because these are also the things that are most likely to encourage new members to join.
What do your members want?
Similarly, member surveys represent a chance for you to find out what isn’t working so well in your sporting club whether it be a golf club, yacht club, bowling club, tennis club or any other type of club. Conducting a member survey doesn’t need to have any negativity attached if you approach it as an opportunity for growth. For example, if 80% of your members wish there was more car parking available, you can look into options. If they think certain facilities need updating, then it’s a no-brainer to fix those things where budgets allow. Are members constantly struggling to make bookings at convenient times? You can look into ways to restructure the bookings process.
Member surveys are also a chance to find out what members want in the future. Because addressing their concerns now is one thing, but you also want to keep them excited about the future. For example, if your tennis club members say they’d love to see more facilities to get their children involved, this can form part of your long-term goal. It might not be a simple fix to build a couple of extra courts for the kids, but it can form part of your future planning and you can communicate this to members. Similarly with a golf club survey, you can establish future requirements relating to the golf course layout, greens, golf practice facilities, after golf social activities and so forth.
Giving your members a voice via a survey boosts engagement
One of the keys to the success of any club is having happy and engaged members. In fairness, your members pay their annual fees and as such form a huge part of the club financially. They deserve to have an opportunity to voice their feedback and views, and many become disgruntled if they feel this isn’t happening.
Member surveys give you the chance to allow every voice to be heard, from the life members to those who have just joined.
When people feel they can air their concerns and offer ideas, it makes them feel much more part of the club. It also fosters a culture where members are keen to offer ideas, many of which could actually improve your club for the better. Engaged members are happy members, and that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Would your members invite their friends to join?
In business, one of the more popular surveys is called the Net Promoter Score® (NPS®). In short, this measures how likely your members are to recommend the club to their family and friends. Essentially, it’s a loyalty questionnaire, and for clubs it’s a very valuable one.
Loyal members are likely to stay for many years, and also recommend the club to their friends. This is how the community of a club grows, especially in smaller cities and towns. Using an NPS® survey is great for determining how loyal your members are. If you find that your results aren’t good, it’s a trigger to do some more in-depth member surveys to find out why your members wouldn’t promote the club to friends.
Planning for the future
When conducting member surveys, it’s crucial that you take action as a result. People are more than happy to contribute their ideas and thoughts in a survey if they see progress as a result. However, if you send out surveys year after year with the same concerns being raised, members start to view the process as pointless.
Once you’ve analysed the results of a survey, it’s important to plan some actions. If you’re struggling to identify trends or key areas of concern, a survey coaching service can be invaluable. With correctly analysed survey results, you can pick out the key areas to address, and also the parts about your club that people love. Turn these results into measurable and actionable tasks, and commit to working on them over the next 12 months.
Make member surveys a regular process for accurate comparisons
Finally, doing one survey is a great idea, but without continued effort your improvement can’t really be measured. That’s why you should make surveys a regular thing in your golf club, yacht club, tennis club or bowling club. You don’t need to do them every month, because this really doesn’t give you time to address any concerns uncovered in the results. But twice a year, or even annually is perfect. It allows you considerable time to address people’s concerns thoroughly.
Many of those concerns will need funds allocated from the next budget, so it’s not realistic to expect you can make instant improvements. But if you follow a regular pattern of surveys, you can track your progress from year to year. If you’re results keep improving, then the only way is up!
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