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Getting It Right: A Member Survey That Worked

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Survey fatigue is a risk for any association that wants to understand its audience, but this is the story of an organization that did all the right things when it needed information and advice from its members.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) reached out to its members to find out whether it should invest the time, money, and effort to develop a national conference. CALA engaged Greenfield Services to conduct the research. Here’s what made this survey the most successful we’ve ever worked on:

The Announcement: In its quarterly newsletter, CALA announced the survey and let members know they’d be hearing from the third-party organization that was conducting the research.

Professional Tools:  CALA had us develop the survey questions and distribute an invitation to participate.

The Platform: An online format made the survey easier for participants to complete, and for the research team to analyse.

The Follow-Up: Members who missed the survey, or missed some questions, received a series of follow-up calls encouraging them to participate.

The Report: A detailed report gave the CALA management team and Board of Directors the strategic intelligence they needed to make a decision.

The CALA survey achieved a blockbuster response rate of more than 50% . Members wanted to share their input because CALA did all the right things to position the research: they made it clear that they had a bold, new idea that might benefit their members, but they needed those members’ advice before they could proceed. The survey did reveal a solid base of support for a new event, and CALA is now planning its first national conference for 2014.

This case study will give you details and data on the process we undertook for CALA and the mix of online and telephone services that made the survey such a smashing success.