Top 10 Reasons to Consider a Membership Survey

Survey for Member Feedback

Receiving timely feedback from members is an essential component of a successful club. Whether it’s been two or 20 years since your last survey, here are the top 10 reasons why it may be time to survey your members again:

  1. Determine Member Satisfaction: Get a report card, department by department, on all aspects of the club’s facilities and operations. Target areas of low satisfaction for improvement and identify areas of high satisfaction to provide well-deserved “pats on the back” for hard-working club staff.
  2. Open Lines of Communication: Give members the opportunity to participate in “their” club and let them know that the leadership and management truly want to know how they feel about their club experience.
  3. Attract New Members: Maximize member satisfaction – the most effective sales force is a highly satisfied existing membership. Highly satisfied members are much more likely to recommend membership in the club to their friends and associates.
  4. Determine Capital Improvement Priorities: If the club is considering potential facility improvements, the results of a well-constructed survey will clearly identify the membership’s priorities, allowing the club to tailor a program to address improvements members feel are most important.
  5. What Members Are Willing to Pay: Understanding member priorities for potential improvements is only half the battle. More importantly, are they willing to pay for improvements they feel are important?
  6. Determine Member Support for Revisions to Bylaws or Club Rules: Prior to changing club rules (dress code, use of cell phones, etc.), or bringing forth potentially controversial changes to the bylaws, these issues can be pre-tested in a survey.
  7. Update Club Demographic Data: With an average annual turnover rate of 5%, a club’s membership can change as much as 25% over a five-year span. A membership survey can help you to better understand who the members of the club are today: age, marital status, other club memberships in the area, etc.
  8. Increase Club Usage: What would cause members to dine more at the club or play more rounds of golf? The more members use the club, the higher their perceived value of membership, and the less likely they will be to leave the club.
  9. Major Issues Facing the Club: Would the membership support the hosting of a major golf tournament? Should the club consider selling unused club land or buying an adjacent lot if and when it becomes available?
  10. Develop a Foundation for Strategic Planning: A membership survey can test member opinions on strategic issues such as the club’s mission and purpose, the size of the membership, the exclusivity of the club (and the amount of non-member activity) or the club’s family orientation.

Should any of the above reasons apply to your club, please contact McMahon Group. We can tailor a membership survey program specifically to meet the needs of your club and your membership, and the unique issues you are facing in today’s challenging private club environment.

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About Bill McMahon

Bill is a private club planner providing strategic planning, member research analysis and facility planning services for private clubs across North America. Bill joined McMahon Group in 1999 and has worked with over 200 clubs helping to solve their strategic and facility needs.

Bill is Co-Editor of Club Trends, a quarterly report published with the National Club Association (NCA). He has written for many private club publications like The BoardRoom Magazine, Club Director and more, and has been a featured speaker at national conferences, local chapters and other associations serving the private club industry. He is also on the NCA’s Communications Committee.

Bill has been instrumental in developing and enhancing the McMahon Group online presence. He created and runs Clubtopia® ( – an online business directory of firms and companies serving the club industry.

Bill’s club memberships have included Bellerive Country Club (St. Louis), Glen Echo Country Club (St. Louis) and the Missouri Athletic Club (St. Louis). He has served on the Boards of Cinema St. Louis ( and the Tennessee Society of St. Louis (former President).


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