Members Survey


Effective member surveys need to have clear objectives in what they are trying to achieve and become part of a process and communications plan in order to be successful. It is also important to share your learnings about your members and customers not only with staff but with the members themselves. There is nothing worse than conducting a survey, encouraging people to respond, and then not letting them know the outcome or any action you may be planning as a result. The feedback does not have to be detailed but a brief summary will be of interest and will also prompt them to respond in your next survey.

There can be several types of survey which are either event driven or are frequency driven.

1. Frequency driven e.g. annual member survey
Frequency driven surveys tend to be general surveys which as an example find out how members regard their membership experience. We refer to them as 'frequency driven' surveys as they should be just that - frequent. A general member survey should be conducted annually and it should be featured in the communications plan.

2. Event driven surveys
These are surveys which address a specific issue or are in response to an 'event'. The following 2 surveys need to become part of your internal process:

Exit surveys: Conducted when a member leaves
Welcome surveys: Conducted when a new member is 3 months old

There are also ad hoc surveys which you can conduct in response to specific issues:
Fact finding: When there is a specific need to find out why social events are not attending etc.

"Quick tip"
Incentives! You may think that as members, they will be glad of the chance to have their say and rush to do so. Not so. We all need an incentive - just think of what has persuaded you to respond to a survey in the past. A prize draw for all those who reply with, for example, six months saving on their membership fees is an eye catching offer and should encourage a greater response.

How to communicate member surveys

1. Postal Surveys
Postal surveys reach all segments of your membership, however they are costly due to postage. You can consider including in other communications but beware... never send an annual member survey with your subscription renewal communication! It is not the best time to ask for feedback on a member's satisfaction when faced with a bill for the following year.

2. Email Surveys
Email surveys are ideal for member segments with a high internet usage - of course, you will now know this information. They are very easy to reply to and you should expect a much higher response than postal surveys.

3. Telephone Surveys
Telephone surveys are very effective for targeted groups where you require very specific feedback, such as exit surveys.

They are also an effective means of getting feedback from members who have little interaction with the club other than playing the course.

4. Online Polls
Online polls are great to fact find and their response is a very quick 'yes' or 'no'. They are a good way of identifying if there is a problem which then allows you to focus more attention on it. Online polls should be part of your website and sit in a member-only section.

Conducting Successful Member Surveys

1. Do them regularly and make sure they are part of your communications plan.
2. Always provide feedback (good and bad) and any plans you are going to implement to members and staff.
3. Incentivise (not always the member!)
4. Carefully store the information on your members in a database. Then keep it up-to-date.
5. Segment your member database into distinct groups such as age, frequency of visits, time they play, use of the bar or restaurant so that you have a clear profile of your key customer segments and you can communicate to them more effectively in your communications plan.

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