Have you asked?

surveyIs this you?

You know what I’ve found to be common among my clients? They all want people to attend, watch or participate in the things they do.

Sounds normal, doesn’t it?

Well, it occurred to me while working with the local Chamber of Commerce that having that goal is not right. There’s something wrong with it and it took me a while to figure it out. You see, the Chamber is doing seminars and picnics and golf outings . . . . and they can’t figure out why the only people who come are the same core group.

And so they try better newsletters and e-mail marketing and “bring a buddy” campaigns. All to no avail.

But the one thing none of them do is surveys. In person, on the phone, at registration time, by e-mail, on the website, in the newsletter – it doesn’t matter.

I say do them all – yet most don’t do any.

So for the Chamber, Darren and I did our own. We asked people who were Chamber members why they were Chamber members, and we asked others why they weren’t. We got a bevy or responses but not one single person said “for the workshops”, or “for the golf outings”.

Not one.

A few said they just wanted the sticker in their window because it showed they support the community. Others became members to network. That’s it.

In their quest to pay their employees more, to provide good service and to make more money – the only reason they joined the Chamber was for the sticker. Should they be surprised that the person isn’t attending workshops?

So can you “better serve” the Members who just like the sticker – with workshops and teleseminars? You don’t. I think you miss the point entirely.

For the Chamber, we’re suggesting they take on a year of activities to give that sticker more meaning. Ribbon cuttings, sponsoring other people’s charity events, and constantly getting on the front page of the local paper.

That’s it.

When people think of our town – they should make sure “Chamber” comes to mind.

The reason people join. . . that’s the gold. Make that even more valuable. Make sure everyone knows that sticker stands for Supporting Your Local Community – and drop the rest.

I’m not sure what kinds of information you glean from your customers, but I’d suggest surveys. Even if that’s asking an extra question in every phone call – choosing a different question each month – and then going over the results.

Maybe from that you divide your entire database into two segments – people who care about your activities and people who don’t. At least then, you know who your target is with videos, workshops and e-mails. And for the rest, you know your time is best spent doing why they joined – and that’s it.

Surveys can change companies.  For more on common marketing mistakes click here.