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Here's what to ask your members about COVID-19

May 3, 2024

I was supposed to speak at a conference in Australia next week and I found out an hour ago that it was cancelled. Total bummer, mainly for the association hosting the conference.

Just this week, I spoke with 4 clients of ours that told me they’re running around like crazy dealing with this COVID-19 thing.

My text with one Association CEO went like this:

Her: We’ve been churning out FAQ’s. What do you think about it all? What can we add?

Me: For me, I’m not worried about getting sick. I’m worried about not getting home.

Her: Australia is a very strong government and they have strong border controls so I’m not too concerned. Almost no COVID in Australia, so US gov't not likely to quarantine you, unless you’re stopping in Korea.

Me: nope

Here’s what’s really cool about that. She gave me the information I wanted based on my feedback to her that "I was worried about not getting home”. 

Of course, that was earlier in the week and now that conference is cancelled.

Are you just spitting out FAQs or do you know what your members are concerned about when it comes to COVID-19? Do you know how concerned they really are? Do you know what they’re looking for or are you just putting together loads of information and putting it in your FAQs?

Here are some ideas of what you might ask your members and how you can take action on a grand scale with automation:

  • How worried are you about attending the conference?
  • And what is your main concern?
  • Are you considering changing your travel plans in the next couple months?
  • What would drive you to cancel your travel plans?
  • What can we do to put you more at ease while attending the conference?
  • What resources can we provide to help you and/or your organization prepare for the impact of COVID-19?
  • How has COVID-19 affected your day to day job?
  • Has your company implemented any special policies related to COVID-19?
  • How do you foresee COVID-19 affecting our industry?

One client I spoke with was concerned about drawing more attention to the scare by asking these questions. While I understand the perspective, I tend to lean more towards transparency and open dialog. 

If you understand your member’s sentiment on this issue, you’ll be better equipped to help them through their real concerns. In fact, based on how they answer the questions you could respond with different information.

I told my friend in that text string above that my biggest concern was travel bans… I didn’t want to get stuck in Australia next week. So she didn’t bother telling me about how they have tests and doctors on site. Instead, she told me that there are not a lot of cases in Australia and the US would not be likely to put a ban on travel from Australia. She addressed my concern. 

You can do that better and at scale if you have auto responses set up based on how people answer each question.

Too often we resort to dumping way too much information on people when instead we can ask a couple questions and give them what they want.

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