Don't you know who I am?!?

I recently received an online survey from a free newsletter that I subscribe to. The very first question asked me how long I’d been a subscriber. What? You’re asking me how long I’ve been a subscriber? Don’t you have that data?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my clients ask similar questions on their surveys. Questions like “How many previous annual meetings have you attended?” or “How long have you been a member?”

In the case of the newsletter above, at least it’s a free newsletter. But if I’ve been paying you to be a member of your organization for years, and you have to ask me how long I’ve been a member, there is something wrong with this relationship (and your data!).

So if you don’t know the answer, don’t ask the question. You’re better off not knowing than embarrassing yourself by telling them you don’t know.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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