A few months ago, I had a harrowing experience at a Las Vegas hotel. Maybe “harrowing” is an overstatement, but the fact is that time on the road is inversely proportionate to patience for poor customer service, and I’ve spent plenty of time on the road this year. When I got home from my trip, I needed to spread the word about my experience – I just needed to vent.
So the following week, I wrote a short, succinct review on tripadvisor.com. You can find it here.
I listed out twelve reasons why I was unhappy with my experience, and I gave the hotel the poorest possible rating. Among my complaints? Waiting 2 ½ hours past check-in to be able to check into my room and finding no shampoo or conditioner when I arrived. Mind you, this was a five-star hotel. When I had finished my post, I felt decidedly better and I forgot the whole episode.
Until a few weeks ago.
In my inbox a few weeks ago was a note from TripAdvisor.com with the subject line, “Your review update from TripAdvisor.” Curious, I opened the email. This is what I saw:
Wow! My review has been read by 4,503 TripAdvisor visitors – from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and a mix of other countries – and I’ve received 11 “helpful” votes since my posting in April. Knowing that I’ve been able to help others (including international travelers) avoid the frustration of a bad hotel experience makes me feel like I’ve made a difference. I’ve shared my review with complete strangers, and people find it helpful…even trustworthy.
There’s no shortage of opportunities to provide peer reviews on the Internet these days, just as there’s no shortage of opportunities to volunteer my time and energy. ASAE’s Decision to Volunteer study revealed that volunteer turnover is high as members are bombarded with opportunities to get involved. In this competitive climate, associations are finding it harder than ever to steer members towards that magical formula of engagement = loyalty. But as associations look to grow both the number of members who actively participate and the depth at which they participate, it helps to keep in mind the end result of all of that participation: The personal benefit of participating. For me, that personal benefit was having a chance to voice my opinion, of helping others make more informed decisions, and of just seeing some pretty fascinating data about how I had made a difference.
What do your members want in return for their time and participation?
Contact Shelley to discuss what you think members want in return for volunteering.