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Survey says: Members pleased with chamber

survey graphicThe results of the 2013 Howell Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Survey show that overall respondents are pleased with the organization. A whopping 96.5 percent of those completing the survey would refer the chamber to another business.

“We appreciate the time members spent completing the survey,” said Pat Convery, president of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce. “We carefully reviewed open-ended questions and the comments made. They were overwhelmingly positive, but the few that were negative, such as not being mobile friendly, have spurred us into action.”

So, why do business people choose to join the Howell chamber?

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they joined the chamber to help support the community (74.1 percent) and to take advantage of networking/business contacts (72.9 percent). They also highly valued the business exposure gained through membership (66.9 percent), and because they like the chamber’s advocacy for business (59.6 percent).

Over three-quarters of those completing the survey said they agreed or strongly agreed that the chamber’s mission is to be a catalyst for a vital business environment and an exceptional community.

Once they become members, respondents said they like how they are treated. Contact with the chamber came in a variety of ways: Over half (55.2 percent) contacted the chamber regarding event registration; half connected for event/program information; and over a quarter (27.3 percent) got in touch regarding referrals. Of those completing the survey, over 93 percent said that when they made contact with the chamber they received excellent, very good or good treatment from staff, while just 1.7 percent said their treatment was fair. Not a single respondent reported poor treatment.

Chamber members said the three biggest issues facing them in 2014 are marketing and communications (20.3 percent), competition (16.4 percent) and managing business growth (12.4 percent). These results give the chamber opportunities around which to build future programming.

Chamber programs remain a popular way for members to get involved.

Over half (55.3 percent) of respondents participated in all chamber mixers. Two of the chamber’s newer programs proved hits last year, with 40.8 percent of respondents attending one of the chamber’s two brand-new referral groups, and nearly a quarter (22.3 percent) participating in the Young Professionals group.

Though broken out as parts of another question regarding all chamber offerings, over half (53 percent) of those completing the survey said they attended a Good Morning Livingston program in 2013, a chamber open house (52.3 percent), and the LegUP! entrepreneurial group (19.2 percent).

While the chamber’s Membership Value Card discount program was used by a quarter (25.2 percent) of respondents, no one said they participated in or benefited from the chamber’s health care or business insurance programs.

While the chamber’s digital efforts are well-received, the results show some opportunities.

Well over three-quarters of survey respondents (80.2 percent) visited, the chamber’s website.

ChamberAdvantage, the chamber’s Wednesday e-newsletter, was received by 79.9 percent of respondents, while 20.1 percent said the chamber’s weekly e-newsletter didn’t arrive every Wednesday morning. Of those not receiving ChamberAdvantage, all but one provided an email address so their listing could be verified and/or updated.

The chamber looks to continue increasing its number of Facebook and Twitter followers in the coming year.

Of those completing the survey, 61.4 percent don’t follow the chamber on any social media. Of those who do follow the chamber on social media, a quarter (24.7 percent) follow the chamber on Facebook alone, and 13.9 percent of them follow the chamber on both Facebook and Twitter. None of the respondents followed the chamber only on Twitter.

Respondents who included their name and contact information were entered into a drawing to win a $50 Visa gift card. The winner was Amanda Whitesell of the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus.

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