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Surveys are a simple and direct way of obtaining feedback from members and ensuring you’re meeting their needs. While there is a multitude of ways to survey, Kristina Brown, the director of member services at the Valley of the Sun JCC, finds “short and sweet” to be the most effective approach.

“We just recently did a survey because we found we were surveying and not really utilizing the information in the past,” said Brown. “But we have been wanting to really focus on programming and what our members want to see within the building.”

With a focus on programming, members were emailed a five-question survey through Survey Monkey as a way of saying “Thank you for being a member,” specifically asking what types of programming they would like to see, the best times and days for it, and how they like to be communicated with.

By not making the questions vague, Brown emphasized they were able to gain more effective feedback because members were more willing to take the time to answer short and quick questions in the format of multiple choice and fill in the blank.

Through her experience, Brown believes finding the priority of what you’re trying to ask and keeping it basic are key to attaining more feedback. “If you have maybe five priorities you’re trying to communicate or get feedback on, maybe split those into five different surveys, that way you can capture clear data with which a team can effectively put a plan in place to make that survey come alive,” she said.

Additionally, to reach members who are less likely to respond to electronic surveys and get daily feedback, the Valley of the Sun J has a “We want to know” board in their lobby. The board gives members the options to leave a positive comment for a staff member with star staff cards, ask a question, or provide suggestions and feedback.

“We really worked on getting our members to fill those out daily,” said Brown. “Then our membership team would put responses on the board so everyone can see the questions, see the comments, and have an open line of communication on a weekly basis.”

While getting the responses are half the battle, it’s what you do with the feedback that makes the difference for your members. “We like to survey to get valuable feedback specifically for what we’re working on, and that allows us to really know we’re going in the right direction to provide memorable service and experiences for our members,” said Brown.

Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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