Collecting feedback from your members is vital to your community rec center’s success. Otherwise, you may be blind to areas needing improvement, or which areas of the facility your members are raving fans of.
Here, Gregg Hiland, the senior vice president of operations and COO of the
YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, shares the benefits his association has experienced by collecting member feedback through a partnership with OPEN-LINE.
How were you introduced to OPEN-LINE and why did you decide to partner with them over similar companies?
GH: Our YMCA had been using the traditional member survey instruments, but we believed we were missing important information based upon the frequency of our surveys. We researched several methods for collecting more immediate feedback, but it became clear to us that OPEN-LINE was the most efficient and effective tool for us. We had been using OPEN-LINE in select program areas on a much smaller scale, but we had not utilized it throughout our organization to collect feedback on a person’s membership experience. Our experience with collecting immediate program data was incredibly positive, so we decided to launch OPEN-LINE on a system-wide basis.
Why is it important to collect/measure member feedback?
GH: We believe that it is the “small things” that impact a person’s decision on staying and supporting an organization, or leaving for a different organization. If we can respond quickly to the small things that occur, then there is a better chance they won’t become large issues. Alternatively, if we can uncover something that is working well, we can implement that action throughout our association in a quicker, more efficient way. Responding quickly has a direct correlation on retention.
What are the main benefits of OPEN-LINE to your YMCAs?
GH: OPEN-LINE meets our goals for collecting immediate member feedback. By asking targeted questions, we get feedback quickly, which allows us to course-correct on membership and program decisions much sooner than before. We’ve found our members and participants will certainly tell us what they think, even it if is unrelated to the question that might be asked. We believe all information is valuable information, so our staff are eager to see the comments and connect with the member. OPEN-LINE reinforces the importance of timely follow up, with reminders to the staff team about “open” responses. Those reminders allow me to coach the team on expectations around member service.
From the user’s perspective, the system couldn’t be easier or more user friendly. While we believed in the system, ultimately our members needed to use it, and they have embraced it. We continue to experience a much higher rate of responses than we ever did with traditional membership or program surveys.
How would you describe OPEN-LINE’s customer service and support?
GH: The team at OPEN-LINE has always been responsive and helpful. We have, on occasion, asked for help with schedule changes, distribution list updates and response metrics, and the team has always provided positive support.
Why else should other community rec professionals consider working with OPEN-LINE?
GH: If you care about immediate feedback from your members and participants, then you need to use OPEN-LINE. A survey tool only works if the end user takes the time to complete it. Our members have shown us, through their response to OPEN-LINE, that they appreciate us asking for their input, and maybe more importantly, they appreciate the fact we actually follow up. Meaningful responses to concerns or ideas seems so simple, but the reality is most organizations don’t respond quickly. This will help differentiate your organization from others in your community.