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What is Satisfaction Data and How Can It Be Used for Deeper Member Engagement?

Brianne Wheeler
March 12, 2021

Satisfaction data offers insights into member perceptions of an organization. Associations often gather this information to get a broad, cumulative understanding of how members value and feel about educational offerings, member benefits, events and the organization as a whole.

Traditionally, associations have captured satisfaction data through surveys. The information gathered is aggregate in this case, providing broad, cumulative insights into satisfaction. Once it is captured, it might be reviewed in a meeting or published in a report. However, beyond these uses, often survey results aren’t put to use for real-time change and action.

Satisfaction data can be gathered not only for the association to get big picture views and make decisions from them. Using PropFuel, satisfaction can be captured by associations to hear the Voice of the Member – unique feedback from each individual – and then act on it. A survey is limited in these individual listening and action-based steps.

To contrast the difference in outcomes, let’s use first year members as an example. It’s important to keep these members engaged throughout their first twelve months, as they need to feel connected, valued and like they are receiving the benefits they need from their new association.

A typical new member engagement approach is to send out a survey at some point during the first year to understand how the member experience is going. Likely, the survey consists of a series of multiple choice questions. Sometimes, it includes an open text box at the end for “additional comments.” If a member writes something of value in that text box, it might be read by a staff person. That’s it. A dead end.

Now, think about how an in-person conversation goes between that same member and an association staff person about their level of satisfaction. That conversation likely involves a two-way sharing of information, with emotive responses and an exchange of knowledge and recommendations based on what the member says. With a better understanding of the member, the staff person is able to take action from that interaction.

This conversational approach to member satisfaction and needs is what we’re facilitating in PropFuel. In the first year member example, an association can:

  1. Start a conversation over email by asking a question like, “Based on your membership experience with our association so far, how likely are you to recommend the association to a colleague? “This question (Net Promoter Score, if you want to read more about it) is merely the start of a conversation.
  2. If a member clicks 9 on a scale of 1-10 in the email, now the association knows they are generally satisfied (a promoter)!
  3. Using PropFuel, the association can immediately drive action with this new information. The association can direct the member to a reviews site to leave a review about the association, provide the member with materials to share with colleagues about the association’s value, or even alert a staff person who can personally thank them for their membership and positive feedback.

In the latter approach, an association can capture the Voice of the Member and act on it in a way that a survey can’t do. Conversational engagement is the solution when an association wants to understand the satisfaction of individual members and serve each of them accordingly, just as we do in person.

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