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 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.

More articles by Tom Strutz