Running a member survey is one of the most effective ways of getting the assessments and answers your organisation needs. Getting to know your members and furthering your understanding on what they value and need from their membership is an essential part of maintaining and growing any organisation.
Surveying is important for organisations today because it is the “most reliable” source for feedback from your members. So, the goal is simple: ask the questions and hope for some helpful answers in return. But the solution to achieving this goal isn’t as simple as running a basic survey. Organisations commonly make the mistake of releasing under-developed surveys to their members. More often than not, these surveys go ignored by members or are answered inaccurately.
Today, membership and data professionals have more power to collect data than ever before, but for real success a true strategy must be followed.
By following these tips for effectively running a member survey, your organisation can produce a survey that is engaging and truly beneficial for getting the answers you need.
- Provide an explanation
Explaining to your members why you are conducting a survey makes them understand the purpose behind it, as well as the purpose in them participating and getting involved and active in the campaign. Members want to feel like you care about them and their needs. By taking the time to explain the purpose behind the survey, you are establishing that you care about their opinions and don’t just want to waste their time. Otherwise, they will see the survey as just something tedious tossed their way.
- Ask the right questions
There should be a purpose behind every question you ask. Having direct, effective questions will make the member survey process much easier for members. This ultimately encourages them to complete the entire survey, engage in follow up actions as well as surveys in the future. You should clearly explain how you want the question answered and offer a variety of answers. You should follow these practices in your survey as well. The point of what you’re asking your members should be clear. With a clear question, you should expect more accurate and helpful answers in return.
- Make surveys interactive
Having a light, visual interactive survey is the best way to engage members. Interactive surveying has a 30% greater success rate than traditional surveying. Using interactive styles of surveying makes people overall more interested in the survey. The more interest they have in the survey, the more likely they are to complete it accurately and in a timely fashion. There are numerous survey web-based platforms for collecting and sharing information, developed a great example of interactive surveying. Their surveying technology allows you to personalize each question, as well as make questions interactive and visually appealing. This provides the surveyor with a much more engaging experience. And the more you capture your audience’s attention, the more likely they are to complete a survey.
- Using survey timing to your advantage
The timing of when you push your survey out to members is another important aspect to consider. The trick to good survey timing is remembering who you are surveying. Be aware of your members working schedules. Whilst most professionals follow a 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday schedule this is not the case for many workers who shift work and weekend work means that weekends factored in when running your survey. Another aspect to consider is the time of day the survey is pushed so that it reaches the maximum amount of people at a convenient time for them.
- Have varying channels of surveys
Having mixed-mode channels for running your survey is very important today. Typically, surveys are pushed through e-mail, sms or over the phone. Society is more digital than ever today, which provides potential for your survey to reach a much larger audience by using digital channels. These channels should include websites, social media, and mobile. And, if you are trying to reach your younger members with your survey, this means that a mobile survey is one of the best ways to reach a large audience.
- Analyze and act on survey results
Analyzing your member survey results is an extremely important step of the surveying process that should not be neglected. By analyzing your results, you can better understand who you are surveying. This allows you to see things your members truly value and want through their membership in the organisation. With this knowledge, you are going to be much more successful in tending to their needs. Not only this, but by thoroughly analyzing your results you can get a good idea on what channels of surveying worked best. By having this data, you will understand what to do differently and therefore be better equipped to have more success on your next member survey as well as member engagement.
By following these tips for effectively running a survey, your organisation could see improvements in both the overall surveying experience as well as the outcome of the survey.
These surveying tips make the goal of better understanding your members more attainable. And, by better knowing what your members value and need from your organisation after your survey, you are going to ultimately be able to better engage them.