Membership associations exist to serve their members. Ensuring members are satisfied and engaged should be a key priority for every association. To deliver on this, members must be able to express their support of the actions of the association. Membership satisfaction and feedback surveys help associations realize members’ wants and needs. Renewal and event attendance rates are also a key indicator of member satisfaction. It’s important to take all these factors into account when determining the level of satisfaction of association members.

Renewal Rates

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many members have fallen on hard times. Therefore, associations must demonstrate value to their membership base to get them back on board. For example, if renewal rates are increasing, the association is doing something right and the members are finding value. To read more about membership renewal season, read my colleague’s article.

Membership management programs allow staff to see which members have an active membership and when their membership will expire. However, these numbers and lists alone do not answer many questions regarding member satisfaction. What they don’t answer is “what could we be doing to retain more of these members?” or ’what are we doing that they love and making them stay?”

Event Participation Rates

Participation rates for individual events and other programs show whether members are engaging with the association’s offerings. If member satisfaction is also surveyed with each offering, this data can provide valuable insight into member engagement. Understand the value members find in these programs—and how this impacts overall member satisfaction and engagement.

Having an option for members to give feedback about association events helps to figure out how successful they were. Make sure the events are open to all members and ask a question about why they choose to attend or if they were or are unable to attend—why (e.g., time limitations, travel restrictions, cost). This information make events more successful in the future.

What Is a Membership Satisfaction Survey?

A membership satisfaction survey is a check-in tool to determine the value that members perceive. It’s a chance to address issues and encourage long-term membership and annual renewals. Read more about surveys is my colleague’s article.

Members can be asked to provide feedback, answer questions, and share their thoughts. Above all, the questions should focus on the member’s experience with the association and give them the opportunity to offer feedback.

Some of the subjects your membership satisfaction survey could include are:

  • Benefits of membership
  • General satisfaction
  • Education events, frequency, and duration
  • Ideas for improvement
  • What are members’ renewal intentions?
  • How likely are they to recommend your association to other members?

Member Feedback

Even though there are risks in asking members thought-provoking questions, the association should still ask to ensure the members are getting value from what the association provides. By understanding what members want, and satisfying those wants and needs, members are more likely to renew their membership, recommend the association to other industry individuals, participate in the events offered by the association, and serve as an association volunteer.

Member surveys are beneficial in various ways. In Summary, they can increase member engagement, help retain current membership database, and give the association an overall idea of how they are being perceived. The questions about member satisfaction are what the association needs to ask members directly to continue in the right direction.