Volunteer and Customer Surveys – Why Do We Do Them?
Each year, we hold an annual volunteer survey, and a separate customer survey. We always welcome feedback – whether suggestions, complaints or compliments – and try our best to respond constructively to these. We already have a very active customer focus group – the Heritage Hub User Group – and they hold meetings once a quarter, to discuss these very issues. And we’re thinking of setting up a similar focus group specifically for young people, so we can consider and learn about their needs.
So why do we hold volunteer and customer surveys? Well, we see it as part of our responsibility, to gather feedback. It’s part of what we say we will do. And it reflects our commitment to learning from you, meeting the needs of our Heritage Hub community and, most importantly, as a means of gauging how well we are doing!
This need for feedback came to the fore during the 2020-2021 pandemic. We started working in a very different way, using online platforms to deliver outreach, for example. Lots of us got involved in film-making, or giving talks online, and we invited feedback on these films. This feedback is so valuable, because it helps us to improve what we do. It also, we hope, offers you some investment in what we do – you are, after all, part of the Heritage Hub, you are all stakeholders in helping us promote heritage, and offer the best possible service we can.
In today’s world it is not good enough to provide a service, any service in any sector, and be complacent. We have to know that people are happy with what we do and how we do it. If people are unhappy, they can quickly influence others through, for example, social media. We’d far rather put things right before the issue snowballs.
But above all, we want to interact with our customers and volunteers, it is what keeps us relevant. And customers can tell us all sorts of things – about access, the ease of use of our online catalogue, the customer service experience, the quality of what we do, the friendliness of the welcome they receive at the Heritage Hub – which we might otherwise be unaware of. Volunteers, too, can tell us very useful information about exactly what it is they get from volunteering. Such information (always anonymous) can help us with very practical things like funding bids. It can inform policies, or make us reconsider the way in which we deliver our service.
So, if we ask you to complete a volunteer or customer survey, please do participate. You will be helping us in more ways than you can imagine!
Sally Middleton – Community Heritage Development Manager firstname.lastname@example.org