Believe it or not, all of your members want to offer input about your facility and programs. They just don’t know it yet. It’s up to you to create both the atmosphere and the individual rapport to make that happen. Here are a few ways to make sure your surveys yield a wealth of valuable, actionable information that benefit both you and your members.
- Listen… Whether a new member, program participant or a member on his/her way out, make sure all of your staff take time to listen to any concerns, suggestions and praise. Those who use the facility have opinions about it. Guaranteed! If you take the time to listen and engage them in conversation, they will continue to share openly. A suggestion box at the front desk can be helpful as well but only if it includes the human touch.
- Learn… Once all that feedback starts coming in, schedule a time for staff to be able to share it with one another. You can include a member feedback time to an existing meeting or use note cards or email but make sure at some point you get all this feedback in one place for discussion. You may see commonalities that will give you great ideas for surveys or even on-the-spot implementations.
- Line it up… All the member interaction, suggestion box feedback and staff meetings will give you some general direction. Use surveys to hit the bulls-eye! Surveys are a good way to drill down a lot of information to gain a consensus from your membership. Consensus equals increased insight into potential actionable items that will make a difference to your members.
- Let go… Most of us take a look at the world around us and make unilateral decisions on what and how things should be done. Resist that urge. Members have to KNOW that their Y/JCC cares about what they want. You must ASK and never stop ASKING members how they feel and what they want from their memberships. Establishing that level of ownership among members will positively affect the quality of your survey feedback.
- Laugh… Make it all fun! Create a fun, friendly, open environment where members are surrounded by smiling, happy, helpful staff at all times. When survey results are ready and a plan is identified, tell your members at the front desk, via flyers and/or email, “Thanks for participating in our recent survey on ______________. You talked. We listened. We will be ______________________. We get some of our best ideas from our members. Keep them coming!”