The Road Ahead
Much of my work involves conducting member surveys for associations. Often we’re looking for feedback on services and programs offered by the association. Surveys of this type have value. But there are two things they don’t do well. One, they don’t tell you much about the world from the perspective of your member and two, they don’t tell you what opportunities exist for the association in the future.
The typical member survey is essentially a report card. It gives you solid feedback on such things as your educational and communication offerings. But the questions tend to be association-centric not member-centric. They typically do little to enhance our understanding of our members’ challenges and problems. They don’t give us much information on how, we the association, can help members be more successful and get to where they want to go. In my opinion, they’re good at looking back on where we’ve been but less useful at helping us map a path for the future.
Member surveys have their place. But I think the future lies in doing a better job at getting to know our members. What motivates them? What are their challenges? What makes them tick? We need to be more member-centric.
This is the path I’m on and it’s an exciting one. I am highly motivated to provide associations with new and better ways of obtaining member insights. I’m convinced that this knowledge will help associations successfully navigate the road ahead.