by Hannah Eanes, CMP, Director of Member Relations, Professional Club Marketing Association
A primary asset to your membership retention programming is the data gathered through an exit survey. The opportunity to connect with a member during their transition away from the club is ideal for capturing perspectives and trends that might not otherwise be achievable.
In most cases leaving the club is an emotional experience for members, hopefully more often under optimistic than stressful circumstances. Regardless, recognizing these members with an invitation to share their sentiments can both offer welcomed reflection or help mend a difficult situation.
In reviewing sample exit surveys, some take the approach of administering a final satisfaction survey. While this may be very helpful, hopefully there is also a regular system in place for gathering this type of feedback on service, programs and amenities, usage, etc. prior to a member's departure.
When considering how you might best position your exit survey to truly serve your membership retention efforts, you might consider structuring your questions in a way that uncovers new information. Of course you will want to confirm why the member is leaving and if there is anything you can do to prevent that from happening. By identifying trends in this area you can adjust programs/amenities and develop new options/policies for consistent or like-minded answers. Additionally, this information can help you position the club in a way that would avoid these circumstances in the future.
Aside from questions on satisfaction, more unique and curious questions stood out from the rest. Here are some examples that might get your creative juices flowing and inspire some adjustments to what you are currently presenting:
What are you going to miss most about the club?
By asking members what they are going to miss most, you give yourself the chance to truly understand what they loved about the club. This highlights ideas for what to market to potential new members and what you should consider offering more of to your existing membership base.
What private clubs are you maintaining membership with over ours?
This question paints a clear picture of your competition and offers direction in looking into amenities and programs that are successfully engaging members. It helps you uncover what your member is prioritizing. Is it a matter of convenience, price, culture, etc.?
What is your best advice for club leaders upon departure?
This is an interesting question because it’s open to the member’s interpretation. It gives them a place to share feedback on anything you missed with your other questions or offer up a great idea.