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Behind the Voice of the Member

By MATTHEW NANES posted 07-23-2019 11:30 AM


Hey VMUG! My name is Shanna Cleveland and I’m your new Market Research Senior Coordinator specializing in customer insights and analytics. Previously I worked for Nielsen where I designed, implemented, and analyzed consumer research for several Fortune 500 companies. After years of working in the industry, I can attest to the value of building and listening to the collective voice of a communityMy goal is to help revolutionize community engagement by asking fun and relevant questions that can positively impact VMUG. 


As you all know, there are several invaluable benefits of being part of a community of peers and mentorsThe power of the individual is amplified when it’s combined with a collective group – knowledge is shared, connections are made, diversity of opinion is nurtured, and there’s an exchange of resources and support that can’t be beat! 

This seems great, but sometimes problems arise if feedback isn’t collected carefully: The voice of the community can become fragmented, and valuable opinions can get lost in the clutter of the masses. To reconnect with the voice of the memberyou need a strategy with a healthy mix of purposeful and fun feedback, member engagement, and transparency of results. 

So, what does this look like for VMUG? How can we amplify our collective voice? 

  • Purposeful & Fun Feedback: Most communities make an honest attempt to connect with their members through requesting feedback via surveys. They follow the ‘more data is better’ motto and end up sending a barrage of long, tedious surveys without clearly defined goals and outcomes. While VMUG understands the importance of your feedback, we also don’t want to bore you and take up large amounts of your time for an unexplained reasonYou can expect VMUG engagements to be fun (give us a thumbs up!), quick (less than 5-minute ‘pulse checks’), and purposeful (you’ll know why this is important stuff).
  • Member Engagement: At VMUG, we’re improving the stale survey model by taking it a few steps furtherOur strategy will not only allow you to share your thoughts, but for certain engagements, you will also be able to view the responses and reactions of fellow members. Engaging with peers will enhance the feedback experience, letting members gain an inside view of the community. We may also reach out with custom questions based on your previous responses.
  • Transparency of Results: In most cases, participants don’t have the opportunity to view survey resultsbut our strategy ensures that the information is processed, analyzed, and presented back to the relevant parties. Leaders need access to the insights that will help them make high-level improvements and optimize the experience of their local groups. Leaders armed with genuine feedback are more prepared to implement tangible upgrades that will positively impact the community. Members can benefit from a different set of information. By learning about the strengths, weaknesses, objectives, and pain points of their peers, they’ll have a better understanding of how they can utilize one another and contribute to VMUG. 

Purposeful and engaging exchange of informationas well as the appropriate dissemination of results, can help the community gain strength and flexibility as it evolves to take on the challenges of the future. You have an opportunity to come together as a community and share your opinions in a supportive environment, all while learning and engaging with one another. 

We can’t wait to hear from you!