At a session at TAUG (TMA Resources Annual Users Group meeting), Ron Moen asked a great question: "How many of you 'mystery shop' your own association?"
What a GREAT question. I'd be willing to bet the answer is somewhere around 1% of all associations actually do.
I typically do this as a side-effect of the work I do with my clients. Often I'm testing their new systems, and so I'm experiencing the online aspect of what a customer sees. But how many times have you actually had someone call your association and try to order something? There are firms you can pay to do this, or you could just have your Aunt Sally do it on your behalf. Either way, it's worth a try. I'd love to hear some stories of associations doing this.