Membership Surveys in the Post-Covid World
The Coronavirus period has proven the worth of membership surveys as an effective means of communicating with members. The value has been twofold in providing good direction for boards and managements while also keeping members connected and involved in their clubs when there are limited other ways to do this.
At the onset of the Coronavirus period we at McMahon had about 20 clubs either beginning or continuing surveys on a wide variety of issues from asking about forthcoming facility projects, strategic membership issues, dining challenges, strategic planning initiatives and general membership satisfaction/experience surveys.
The major advantages of keeping members involved and thus still connected to the club were enhanced by not requiring any face-to-face member contact as focus groups were done online, facility presentations were done online, questionnaires were completed online and survey results were distributed to members online and at informational presentations.
Even now as the Coronavirus hopefully is receding, we are doing follow-up surveys to plan for reopening, while understanding that we have to be ready for any Coronavirus re-occurrence. Life must go on and club boards and managers must stay connected to members by finding new ways to effectively communicate with them.
Clubs by their very nature are different from commercial establishments, as club members are both customers and, more importantly, are owners. They own their clubs just like they own their homes, so it is important for boards and managers to stay connected to their owners and keep them engaged so that they continue to stay owners.
About Tom Strutz
Hailing from the Los Angeles area, Tom left sunny Southern California at the ripe old age of 17 to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. After graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering, he spent 11 years on active duty in the Army and then another 11 years in the Army Reserves, eventually retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Along the way, Tom earned a Master’s Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Florida International University in Miami. During his 22-years in the Army, he had a chance to see the world, with assignments in South Korea, Germany, the Pentagon, Virginia, Indiana, Florida, Alabama, Maryland and Washington state.
Tom has been with the McMahon Group since 1990, serving as head of the survey and market research division. During that time, he has worked with over 1,500 private clubs on a wide variety of survey and research projects, achieving the rank of “Survey Guru” at McMahon.
Over the years, Tom has been a jack of many sports – golf, tennis, racquetball, squash, water skiing, snow skiing, running – but a master of none. His current pastime passions are gardening, cycling and nature photography – often combining the latter two on rides at a lake near his home in suburban St. Louis.
Tom and his wife Marlene have two children in their 20’s. Katy is an artist working at an animation studio in Portland, Oregon, and Marcus is studying Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.