I recently conducted a membership survey on behalf of an association that also happened to be a new client. When it came time to send off the final report I was reminded of the fact that the most important aspect of the survey process still hadn’t occurred.
I am referring to the follow-up phase of the project. This is where you thank your members for participating in the survey. But more importantly you tell your members the top two or three findings of the research, how you are going to respond to these findings and when.
This “thanks, what and when” process closes the loop. It rewards your respondents and lets them know that they’ve been heard. This also encourages them to participate in future research initiatives. Finally, it insures that you are committed to following through on what you’ve uncovered.
Certainly it’s important to ask all the right questions but don’t forget to the most important ingredient of the survey process.