FanWhile reading responses from a recently conducted survey, I noticed several respondent comments along the lines of: “What does it matter what I say – you don’t care what the fans think!”  Having worked closely with the team that conducted the study, I knew nothing could be further from the truth – in fact, the client’s primary goal in doing the project was to collect feedback from fans that would ultimately play a role in key decisions made by the organization.  However, the experience reminded me of a very important tip:

Let your fans know how their responses and feedback have been processed and utilized by your organization.

This tip is important for two reasons:

  1. Good customer service/public relations. Sports fans devote countless hours and tons of money supporting their favorite teams.  As we see and hear far too often, those fans often feel like they are taken for granted.  Fans complain that their teams do not recognize their commitments, or listen to their suggestions.  However, by showing them how their feedback/comments actually do affect a team’s business decisions, that team can essentially bring fans behind the scenes and tangibly demonstrate how valuable they are to the organization.
  2. Improved response rates. Fans want to know that their responses were heard and listened to, as opposed to being put aside unused.  They are more likely to fill out the next survey that comes along if they know the feedback they’ve provided in the past was used by the team.

Organizations should not feel required to share the results of every single research initiative they conduct.  However, when customer research inspires changes that will be noticeable to your fans, let them know.  Include this information in a press release announcing the change, post it on your website, and, even better, mention it in the next survey invitation you send out to see an immediate boost in response rates.