Member Needs Analysis

Perhaps one of the most important elements of a diagnostic process is in determining your existing member's wants and needs. We do this through interviews, focus groups and member surveys. Each can provide valuable insights into the ways in which the Club must adapt itself to remain relevant to its diversified member needs.

One of the more valuable tools in our diagnostic process is the ability to cross reference information to truly drill right into member and market need. We do this by combining market analysis, demographically driven survey results and polling new members over the past 5-7 years.

Clubs should be surveying their members in some shape or fashion at least every three years.

  • Member Surveys

      The vocal minority does not always represent the opinions of your membership as a whole. The only way to get a true picture of member needs and satisfaction is by asking.

      Member surveys are a powerful tool in determining your member’s perceptions, needs, attitudes and interests. They can be used as report cards to determine how well you are satisfying needs, to ascertain support for issues such as renovations or membership initiatives and they can be used on a scheduled periodic basis to benchmark your progress in satisfying the needs of the membership.

      CMC offers an online survey that can be emailed to your members or linked directly to your Club’s website. For members not wishing to complete the survey online, it is a simple function of printing the survey and either inputting the results in-house or shipping the written surveys to us for inputting. For purposes of illustrating the kinds of questions that are typically asked in member surveys, we have provided a sample set of questions for your review. Click on Sample Survey. Please take note that the first several questions that are asked deal with specific demographics of the members including type of membership, age, distance from the club, family make-up, etc. As the results of the survey are tabulated we will review both a composite response (total member respondents) as well as responses based upon the specific demographic characteristics. In this way we can determine how specific age groups, or other demographic characteristics altered the response to the same questions. This information is invaluable as the culture of today’s private club is ever changing.


      The objectives of the member survey are as follows:
      1. To establish a demographic profile of member/respondents.
      2. Examine the importance to members of different Club areas and activities.
      3. Examine member satisfaction with the Club areas, services, operations, and
      4. facilities.
      5. Explore the styles of dining that are important to members.
      6. Determine member agreement with different Club issues.
      7. Explore the preferences of members for select capital projects.
      8. Determine the preferences of members for financing capital projects.
      9. Investigate how membership classification, length of membership, gender, Club
      10. distance from residence, frequently used areas, number of children, age, and
      11. monthly spending affect how respondents answered the questions.
      12. Offer a line of communication between the members and the Club’s Board and management.
      Our staff will work with you to develop the question sets or you can choose from a variety of stock questions. Generally speaking, the survey, once you have authorized Club Mark to proceed, can be in your member’s hands in 2-4 weeks depending upon the amount of time to gain approval on the questions. Once released to the members, we recommend three weeks until the survey process closes. Obviously, this can vary depending upon the individual requirements of the Club. Once the survey is closed we will have the collated results back to you within a week to ten days, along with an Executive Summary.


      CMC will provide the Club with a full set of collated results and an Executive Summary pointing to the high and low points of member’s responses. As an option a CMC principal will deliver the Executive Summary onsite to a panel of decision makers utilizing PowerPoint to illustrate the key elements of the survey. A sample member survey can be provided upon request.

  • Focus Groups
    • Whether getting ready to do a renovation, an assessment or a membership initiative, it is always worthwhile to understand how your members are feeling about specific issues. CMC has found this vehicle to be nearly as valuable as the member survey, but infinitely less expensive.

      CMC will provide you with the process to select focus group participants, set up the appropriate questions based upon your specific situation and then facilitate the meetings with select groups of members. CMC will meet with a maximum of three groups per day. At the end of the process, the facilitator will prepare a written summary of each group's response as well as an overview of the facilitator's perceptions.

      The focus group program is designed to determine member’s impressions, understanding and attitude concerning the offerings of the club, its services and its facilities. Facilitation of the focus group session is best handled by an objective outsider to ensure that the discussions are more open and free flowing. The importance of the focus group, similar to a member survey, is that it allows the decision makers to quantify, in a more narrow sense, the feelings of the members on issues that may effect strategic planning, operations, event offerings, renovations and even, membership replenishment. Conversely, understanding the members views may also provide insights as to how best educate them relative to any elements of planning that may need their approval or consensus, such as a membership program.

      These guidelines are meant to provide criteria for the selection of participants in the Club’s focus group sessions being facilitated by Club Mark Corporation’s staff.?Selection of participants should follow these guidelines.

      • Equal participation based upon gender & age of participants
      • Diverse interests and usages of the Club (Golfers, social)
      • Both positive and negative views of operations, facilities, etc.
      • Tenure of membership (New members and those with 5 or more years of tenure)
      • Make-up of family (Younger w/families and older empty nesters)
      • Cultural differentiation (By race, sexual preference, etc.)
      You should have no more than eight to ten participants at each session. Sessions are generally scheduled for and should last for exactly one hour. (Anyone wishing to stay and talk is welcomed, but in deference to the member’s time we generally try to stay at no more than an hour) The CMC facilitator will ensure that the conversations move along with the agenda. Each participant will be provided with an agenda as well as a background sheet on the CMC staff person. This provides credibility to the process.

      CMC will work together with the Club to create acceptable questions for the focus group sessions. Criteria for selecting questions should be based upon trying to determine member’s perceptions about the Club and the services that it offers. Another aspect of the focus group sessions can be to ascertain the member’s level of willingness to support membership initiatives, renovations or other major decisions pending.

      The deliverable to the Club after the focus group sessions have been concluded is a written executive summary as well as the verbatim responses of each group. CMC personnel shall provide a Board presentation of the executive summary along with any other facets of study work to a group of decision makers of the Club’s choice.