Thursday, 26 May 2011

Member Surveys as a Retention Tool

A great way to engage more with your existing members and keep them coming back for more is to run regular member surveys.
Many clubs see surveys as a chore – the standard SERVQUAL questionnaires are printed out and 100 members are badgered to answer the questions.  However, if you make a member survey easy, quick, and interesting, it will reap retention rewards.

There are three basic steps to a successful survey.  Firstly, do the survey (you’ll find tips and tools below).  Secondly, publish the results to all members.  This shows your members what they think as a group, and where their opinions fit in the club.  Thirdly, act on the results.  Your members will see that you have taken note of what they think, and you will get more responses next time around.

When it comes to the questions, first think what you want to find out, and define the questions accordingly.  To make results analysis easy, define the answers as well, either yes/no (/don’t know), or a sliding scale of poor to excellent, or 1 to 5.  Comments or free format fields can add valuable feedback or elaboration on the answers.  We recommend asking no more than three questions.  Explain at the start why you value the member’s opinion, and that the three questions will take only one minute, and you will get many more responses.

Clubs with the Technogym Wellness System have a fantastic survey tool which can offer questionnaires to members as they check into the gym.  Member segmentation, opt-out and results graphs are all key features.  Survey Monkey is the leading online survey tool that you can embed into your newsletters, websites or social media sites.  And if you want to keep it really simple, Facebook now has ‘Questions’, or you could just ask your followers on Twitter.

Get your staff involved by having them complete the survey before it goes live.  This ensures all questions and answers are clear, and enables staff to talk to members about the survey and encourage more responses.  Ensure staff are aware of the outcome once the survey closes.  Displaying results as graphs or pictures is much easier to understand, and many tools do this automatically if the survey is built right.

Remember keep it simple and regular.  Do the survey, publish results, and act on them.  Make changes based on what your members want, not what you think they want.

This is an extract from Workout Magazine June 2011

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