If you’re a regular reader of the MC talks blog you hear us talk about feedback all the time. It’s so important to keep a healthy association running and thriving!
The way we see it, there are a few ways to get feedback from your members:
1) Face to face conversations
Obviously this is preferable, as you get the benefit of all the lovely communication that comes non-verbally as well. Plus the dialog in person is different and more likely to delve into unexpected areas that you may not have thought of.
2) Direct, not in person
E-mail, phone calls, or any other way you can have a conversation with another person without actually seeing them. This is good for convenience. You still get the feedback from a single person, but don’t have to find time in your schedule for yet another meeting
This is your surveys, the comments in your AMS, and what gets handed to you from other people. Valuable, to be sure, and more easily acquired. People are used to filling out surveys.
But the real trick to collecting feedback isn’t just finding out what people like and don’t like about your association, leaders, and events. The real trick is actually acting on it!
When the candid is not confidential, call it out by name. “Bob suggested that meetings would be nicer with coffee service, so we set up a coffee machine in the back for those who care to have a cup!”
If it’s a small change that’ll make a big difference, do it immediately.
Sometimes the changes are embarrassingly obvious or you might feel foolish for not thinking of it in the first place. If that’s the case, praise the member who suggested the idea and see if they’ll be interested in a leadership role! You may be the head of your association but you’re human and as hard as you try, you can’t handle everything at once!
And definitely ask for more feedback, and encourage members to contact you if they have any questions or concerns. There may be things you or your members are willing to discuss one-on-one but not necessarily in a public forum like a meeting or in the community of your AMS.
Be sure to highlight the way your association is growing and changing, even if you don’t bring up specific things that you’ve changed or implemented.
Members appreciate when their feedback is heard and acted upon, and their small changes could make a big difference for engagement and member retention!
Want more tips on member retention?