If your association hasn’t hopped on the survey bandwagon yet, you might be missing out.
As we all know, an association is nothing without a strong group of members. But in order to get that strong membership, you need to take care of your members. They want to be ensured that they can trust your association to keep them happy.
A membership satisfaction survey is the connection to your members’ needs that your association needs to establish.
According to Folio Magazine, surveying is important for associations today because it is the “most reliable” source for feedback from your members.
Membership surveys are beneficial in many different ways. They can increase member engagement, retention, and overall satisfaction with your association.
Maybe your association already sends a member survey. Are you getting the results you’d hoped for? The problem could lie within the survey itself. You might not be asking your members the right questions.
Your members have all the answers you need when it comes to membership satisfaction. However, without asking the right questions those answers can get lost in translation.
Whether you’re an association looking to send its first survey or one looking to revamp their current survey, these membership satisfaction questions will get right to the root of your members’ opinions.
1. How long have you been a member?
While this seems like common knowledge, understanding your audience is vital to any survey planning process. Would you give the same satisfaction survey to a new member that you would give to a long-term one?
Your association has members of all different membership levels and lengths. This means that some members have been around longer to see certain changes in your association. It also means that some members might have more feedback than others.
This question gives your association the advantage of organizing its feedback from the very start of the survey.
For example, if you’re looking for feedback from new members only, you can set aside any surveys from long-term members. This way, your desired feedback is both accurate and conveniently located.
This is also an important question to ask if your association runs surveys anonymously.
Without recognizing names or faces, there’s no way to know which survey comes from a new or current member. Asking for a recipient’s membership length removes all the guessing.
2. How did you hear about us?
This question is both a good survey question and an effective marketing analysis in disguise.
Asking members where they first found your association will let you know what marketing channels are working best for you. It also lets you know where you need to target your marketing in the future.
Did your members find you through another member? Did they read your website’s content? Maybe it was one of your social media pages. You won’t know until you ask for answers.
While it’s important to focus on the channels that work, it’s equally as important to study the channels that aren’t working. What can you do to close any gaps?
If members aren’t seeing you on social media, it might be beneficial to remind them about your platforms in a monthly newsletter. On the other hand, if your members aren’t talking about your association to others, you might want to focus on sparking some word-of-mouth marketing.
Get this feedback from members to properly plan out your next marketing move.
3. How often do you attend our events?
If your association’s events aren’t getting as much attention as you’d like, now is the time to figure out why.
Giving members the option to open up about event feedback helps your association figure out how successful its events are. You want every member to take full advantage of every benefit you provide.
Provide an option for members who don’t attend events at all. Create an option such as ‘I don’t attend events’. Below, leave space for members to explain why. It could be travel restrictions, time limitations, or anything else.
Once you figure out how your current events perform, you can focus on creating better events in the future.
4. What types of events would you like to see from us?
Maybe the reason your event attendance is low is because your members are looking for different types of events. Find that information out directly from them in your survey.
Your conferences, seminars, and annual meetings are an important part of any member’s time with your association. You want to make sure that value is conveyed in ways they will find interesting and useful.
This question can create a productive discussion with your events team about new event ideas. Incorporate your members’ answers into your next event idea brainstorm.
5. What benefits do you find most valuable?
Your benefits are the main attraction to any potential member. If your current members don’t find them valuable, it could hurt both your member recruitment and retention rates.
Do your members enjoy your association’s webinars? Or, did your members join your association for its career enhancing benefits? If you know what attracts members the most, you can highlight those benefits when recruiting new members.
Again, this may vary based on membership level and length. It can also vary based on your member’s demographic.
For instance, a younger member might benefit more from professional advances than a member well into their career. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to know at any stage of membership.
Find out directly from members which benefits are working best for them.
6. What benefits do find least valuable?
Just like the most valuable benefits, your association should take into consideration what members value the least.
If your benefits just aren’t cutting it for members, you should want to know that in order to fix them. It will tell you where your member’s heads are at with your association and what it has to offer.
Let’s say your members do not find your speaking events valuable. It might be a good idea to evaluate who you invite to guest speak. Or, maybe your members aren’t enjoying your content offers. You’ll know to rethink your content strategy in the future.
You want to know where your benefits are shining for members and where they need a little bit of help.
7. How do you prefer to hear from our organization?
Do you know what forms of communication work best for your members? If not, it’s important to have this question on your membership survey.
You don’t want your association to overwhelm your members when reaching out to them. Give them the option of choosing a platform to connect with them on.
Some common communication channels are: Email, phone call, social media, newsletters, and many more.
You can also give members the option to write in an answer. This way, you can see what members are thinking when they want to hear from your association.
What should you do once you have this feedback? Choose a few of the most popular answers and incorporate them into your association’s communication strategy. If members see you reaching out on their preferred platform, they’ll know their feedback is being taken into consideration.
8. How likely are you to renew your membership?
This question should come towards the end of the membership as it gets right to the point: Is your member satisfied with your association? Or are they struggling to say yes to renewal?
Asking this question helps predict what will happen when renewal time comes around. If you can catch a member who is unsatisfied in their membership early enough, you might be able to change their mind by the time they decide on renewing.
While this is a simple yes or no question, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you want to get the most feedback in this question as you can in order to determine your association’s next move.
Leave room below for members to explain why they would or would not renew with your association in the future. Allow members to express their opinions, concerns, or complaints. It will show members you care about what they have to say.
Try incorporating some of these questions into your association’s next membership survey in order to get to the bottom of your membership’s satisfaction rating.Posted January 25, 2018, modified July 24, 2020