Friday, May 16, 2008

The most dangerous question you can ask your members

What can the association do to help you with issue X?

It sounds harmless. It sounds like it would give you some good, solid ideas. It sounds like it might be the catalyst for the next great member benefit or service. And it may be. However, it may also be the catalyst for members getting frustrated with you. Why is that?

1) They may wonder why you are worried about issue X and not issue Y
2) Once they give you feedback, they may expect you to go do it. If you don't, you look bad.

So, how then do you figure out what you can do about issue X? Find out if issue X is a hot button. Ask other questions to help you formulate possible solutions. What are you currently doing about issue X? Then dig deeper with individual respondents.

I know in the past someone blogged about the way you ask survey questions. If you ask, do you want the association to do something, the answer will always be yes. Asking what you can do about something, totally open-ended, can be just as dangerous.

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