Under the guidance of a new Fund Director, the National IAM Benefit Trust Fund (IAMBTF) discovered that it had not surveyed participating employers to assess their satisfaction for many years. New offerings were also up for consideration, but the voice of the customer was missing from the discussions hindering decision-making. Fund management also wanted to create a large-scale educational program for union business representatives, but they didn’t know what kind of education was needed or the preferred training delivery methods for the audience.
Fund management wanted to open lines of communication with two audiences: participating employers and union business representatives. They needed clear, statistically relevant data on which (if any) of the potential program offerings targeted to each group were worth pursuing. Management also sought open-ended feedback from each group as to how the Fund could serve them better. From a positioning perspective, the Fund also wanted to demonstrate to both critically important audiences that Fund leadership was listening to them and open to change.
This project required a tight schedule of just six weeks to create two survey instruments, procure accurate lists, and issue the surveys (and reminders) in time to generate initial data for a Board of Trustees meeting. As IAMBTF had not conducted a survey in recent memory, we also had to ensure that all stakeholders understood the limits of respondents’ attention spans and how that affects survey length and complexity.
The survey invites and instruments performed well, with response rates of 30% and 36% and completion rates of 93% and 98%. Fund management received clear direction about which programs were worth taking to the next stage of development and which should be abandoned. Most importantly, the open-ended questions yielded dozens of candid responses–many thanking the Fund for reaching out.