Off the Bench and Hitting the Mark

March 27, 2013

By Chad Tessmer - Director of Marketing and Communications

As consumers, we’re asked for an awful lot of information.  It seems you can’t make a purchase at the grocery store without providing your zip code, completing a seven question survey, and offering a short book report on The Collected Works of Franz Kafka.  Every company you honor with your business now asks you to rate your experience, share your feedback, and visit a website to describe the service you received.

So, honestly - when we invite you to participate in the annual JCCA Member Benchmarking Survey every September, we do so knowing that you’re asked for a lot.  And we wouldn’t ask if we didn’t intend to put your feedback into action, to learn more about how we serve our members, and to meet the needs of our community.

Over 775 JCC members took the time to complete this recent survey – and to each of you we offer our sincerest thanks.  Joined with the nearly 165 JCC employees who participated in a separate staff-specific survey, we can celebrate a number of fantastic discoveries:

      • Our JCC enjoys the highest annual retention of members compared to all JCCs of similar size.  (Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!)
      • Our members participate, on average, in more JCC programs than members at any other similar-size JCC – and, in doing so, realize a tremendous amount of value from their membership.
      • Over 64% of survey respondents indicated they developed a new friendship as a result of their participation at the JCC.

We enjoy these results because each JCC member is invested in who we are and what we seek to do.  Our members help create an environment that is warm, attractive, and speaks to families and participants.  In short, you are demonstrating the very definition of “community center.”

Of course, we also learned more about areas for improvement, including:

      • Communication – We always seek efficient ways to communicate changes in hours, updates on building access, news on important programing, and deeper understanding our goals and mission.  While our new website serves as an improved portal for these types of communications, we hear – loud and clear - that we can afford to say more, with more consistency, and through a variety of different channels.  
      • Scheduling of Classes – We’ll continue to look at how our programming, including group exercise and aquatics classes, can be coordinated to ensure that the most amount of interested members are able to enjoy those benefits of membership.
      • New programs and offerings – It’s clear that our members want to join us in the development, introduction, and long-term efforts when we introduce new programs, enhance existing services, or change current offerings.  Not only do our members want to know more about what’s coming – they want to know more about how the changes will improve their JCC experience.  To that end, we’re making a concentrated effort in expanding our volunteer committee activity, and encourage all JCC members to join us in those efforts.

Every year, because of your survey responses, we learn more about how to serve our members and we get better at implementing your recommendations.  While some of these improvements may occur behind the scenes, we hope you see the positive outcomes of your participation in the annual benchmarking survey, and look to you to keep sharing how we’re doing.

Until the next survey (but, hopefully, sooner!)

This article was reprinted from the 2013 Spring Centerline.  Click here to read more.