Chamber Survey Results Report Positive Perceptions and Room for Improvement
For more than 120 years, the Garland Chamber of Commerce has been helping local businesses find success and sustainability in the community we call home. As you can imagine, as time has passed, the needs of Garland’s business owners have evolved. As a part of our vision to be role models for performance excellence, we place a high priority on remaining relevant to the businesses we serve. This not only means updating and adding new resources, but also surveying our membership to make sure we’re exceeding expectations and providing businesses with tangible benefits that positively affect their bottom line.
Earlier this year, you may have received an invitation to participate in our membership satisfaction survey. The research was executed by a third party to avoid all potential bias, and about 20 percent of our member businesses chose to lend a few minutes of their time to offer some honest feedback about their Chamber experience. Here’s a glimpse at what we learned:
The two primary reasons respondents gave for joining the Garland Chamber were “Networking” and “Business Development,” but there was a significant gap in respondent satisfaction with programs offered by the Chamber.
- Though 84 percent of respondents joined for networking opportunities, only 27 percent reported being “Very Satisfied” with their networking experiences.
- Though 65 percent of respondents joined for business development, only 22 percent reported being “Very Satisfied” with their business development experiences.
Our research only measures "top box" responses, which means we're measuring satisfied participants as those that rated their experience a 5 out of 5. We may have a lot of "Satisfied" participants, but when the goal is to exceed expectations, we're looking for "Very Satisfied" participants. With the satisfaction gaps observed by our researchers, we have some room for improvement.
We heard from some members who perceived issues with existing programs, as well as barriers to participation.
- Younger interviewees find formal networking programs to be uncomfortable or awkward
- Chamber luncheons are seen as being of uneven quality
- Times of events are inconvenient for sole proprietors and retail businesses
Respondents believe the Chamber’s greatest asset is its staff. Our purpose, motivation and reputation for being the “connecting source” also received high marks.
|Statement||Mean Score (out of 5)|
|The Garland Chamber’s staff is professional and qualified for their positions||4.41|
|The Garland Chamber’s staff is approachable and helpful||4.40|
|The Garland Chamber is relevant and committed to its mission||4.23|
|The Garland Chamber is motivated to help its member businesses||4.18|
|The Garland Chamber is a connecting source||4.12|
Now That We Know, What Comes Next?
Accountability is a big deal in our organization. When programs aren’t performing well or delivering the value our members expect, we believe we have a responsibility to respond with meaningful solutions.
Because of your feedback, you’ll soon see some changes and modifications in Chamber programming. Many of our survey’s comments included suggestions about the timing of our events not suiting the schedules of people who can’t leave their business during the day. We get it. You’re busy; and we think that’s a good thing! To better serve you when time is a barrier, we’re compiling a suite of resources that will be accessible to you any time of day or night through our Member Information Center. All you’ll need to do is log in and visit the Resources tab. Soon you’ll be able to access exclusive content no matter where you are.
We believe consistency is critical to success, so when we heard you weren’t so sure about our Monthly Chamber Luncheons, we knew we needed to find out why and repair the issues you see. Starting at the June Luncheon, we inserted a simple questionnaire into the Luncheon program. Now, attendees can share their immediate thoughts on things like food quality, topic relevance, and overall value of the event. We want you to leave every event you attend feeling like it was well worth your time, so as you attend luncheons in the coming months, please share all the feedback you’ve got!
For all you seasoned and aspiring networkers, we heard you too! Direct Connect is a vastly useful format, but we know it can be intimidating for first-timers and the fast pace can be unsettling for people more accustomed to free-form events. To help our newest networkers, we’re in the process of building interactive networking workshops. Our staff and other networking pros will teach you how to put together an effective elevator speech and what types of questions to ask a new connection; so next the time you arrive at an event, you feel prepared and comfortable with what to say. Still just not into the speed networking thing? We’ve added an informal “Meet & Greet” prior to our monthly luncheons that may better suit your style. Arrive just a little early (at 11:15 a.m.) to network with the month's sponsor and other luncheon guests before you hit the buffet line.
We learned a lot from our survey respondents and our staff is working hard to develop even more solutions to exceed your expectations on every interaction you have with our organization. So stay tuned! As we continue to roll out new and modified resources, we’ll let you know how you can take advantage of all we have to offer. Thank you for your feedback, and for your continued connection to the Garland Chamber of Commerce!
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