I’m getting bombarded by requests for my opinion, experience, feedback, input, ideas – to what end? Why should I invest time – often my most scarce resource – and sometimes intellectual horsepower to help you? How am I better off by giving you this input, which by the way, I’ve done in the past with a) little to no appreciation, b) black hole of who knows where any of it goes, and c) little to no impact on my experience the next time!

Instead, why don’t you try listening louder to what I do on- and off-line, because my actions speak considerably louder than what I tell you that I want. By the way, I also know what I want but seldom what I need! The difference is your consultative approach, which stale surveys are horrendously incompetent in facilitating.

Instead, why don’t you try calling me, building and nurturing a candid relationship where I can share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let me tell you about how I don’t think your staff “gets” that they’re in the experience business and every time you disappoint me, you’re diluting any resemblance of a relationship between us. If you really care, make me a priority on your calendar and invest the bandwidth to really discover how my last several experiences have been with your organization.

Instead, why don’t you build a community of like-minded peers to share best practices and recommend areas for improvements. Get the community together, on- or off-line to create concrete plans, identify available and needed resources, how they plan to close the gap, and a timeline to become part of the solution and not just the problem. A community that gathers for two fundamental reasons: content & the community itself, which stale surveys are horrendously incompetent in creating.

IMPACT – Immerse, Member, Participate, Accredit, Community, Transform. You have to educate the market, engage them with relevant context, and empower them to share their experiences. When you transform their condition, outcome, their desired end results, that’s when they’ll come around full circle and educate the market for you!

I don’t need a cute logo or a marketing campaign so you can feel better about yourself. What I really need is for you to understand that members are customers and customers always have a choice – to invest in you, work for you, buy your products and services, volunteer for your cause, or promote your values; otherwise, they’ll turn you off and invest that precious time, effort and resources in others who actually do listen and act on the insights they capture. Which stale surveys can’t!

You want a litmus test? What was the response rate of the last survey you did, what unique insights did you capture, and how are the survey participants better off because of the specific actions you took to address their concerns or recommendations for a new level of commitment, quality, or service?


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