Consumer polling has come a very long way since Henry Ford took a narrow view of the practice when he said, “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have told me ‘faster horses.’”
Chevrolet learned the value of listening to its customers when it made a calculated judgment to introduce a new vehicle to the Latin American market with the unfortunate name of “Nova”--which translates in Spanish as “it doesn’t go.”
Listening to the thoughts and ideas of customers (read members here at the YMCA) is vitally important to any organization. Especially one whose continued goal is to offer improved service and better value to all its members.
Cirque du Soleil, the internationally popular entertainment franchise, took great pains to enter the Chinese market with a new show precisely on August 8, 2008—the eighth day of the eighth month in the year 2008.
Because Cirque du Soleil knew from listening to the Asian market the importance that Chinese culture placed on the numeral 8.
So, as part of our continuing mission to provide greater member value, here at the West Cook YMCA annually we participate in the Seer Analytics random survey of our members.
We listen. We learn. And we respond to the thoughts and ideas of those whose opinions and ideas we value—our members.
What did our members who participated in the 2015 survey tell us?
An overwhelming number of those surveyed—94 percent—said that the Y staff is friendly and 89 percent of those surveyed believe that we have enough staff to serve them.
A similar number of survey respondents reported that they feel welcome at the WCY and also confirmed that the Y is helping them achieve their goals.
This is very encouraging feedback and will spur our staff to continue to do their very best as they serve our members in so many ways, week in and week out all year long.
But we also heard other important comments that most certainly got our attention.
The Seer Survey respondents told us very clearly that the West Cook YMCA needs to address such issues as cleanliness throughout our building, provide better maintenance of our exercise equipment and make adjustments to the timing and offerings of our many classes.
These insights are most valuable and have guided us to initiate a program of action which we’re implementing immediately.
First, during our annual Summer Recess scheduled from August 17 -30, we will close the building for all services and programs, except for the Resident section.
A combined team of staff, volunteers and outside professional contractors will undertake some 200 different projects in the interior and on the exterior of our Marion Street headquarters.
We’ve divided the tasks into some 11 key areas throughout the structure and will give virtually the entire building a thorough cleaning, preventive maintenance, make some structural improvements and install new flooring in some high traffic areas. Special attention will be paid to common areas throughout the Y building.
Second, to address members concerns about equipment maintenance, we are installing $250,000 worth of new state-of-the-art cardio exercise equipment. We plan to have the new equipment installed and ready for members when we reopen for the first Fall session on August 31.
We also replaced all of our new audio equipment to improve communication during group exercise classes. This will also result in better sound quality for the music played during the sessions.
And, our Health and Wellness staff will have new equipment to conduct the free health assessments we offer members.
Third, we have reviewed our entire program of classes and have redesigned the schedule to be more responsive to member interests.
We analyzed the times of the day and the days of the week when classes are scheduled and will now offer classes at times more convenient to a greater number of members while maximizing the use of the Y’s facilities and equipment.
We’ve also taken the initiative to increase the number of Complimentary group exercise classes from seven to twelve.
The newly added free classes are: Cycling, Interval Training, Kickboxing, Pilates and Zumba®. Formerly, these were Specialty classes that members paid for beyond their membership fee, but now are offered on a complimentary basis.
In addition, we’ve added some new Specialty classes, notably the popular high energy workout program, Insanity®.
Details on all these offerings are on pages 24-26 of our newly published interactive Fall 2015 brochure.
But as a mission focused not-for-profit organization West Cook YMCA is much more than bright walls, shiny surfaces and new machines, all of which other venues offer.
It’s important to realize that our constant mission is on improving and broadening our focus on healthy living for all by providing comprehensive health and wellness offerings for members of all ages built around prevention and education.
Such initiatives as the new Diabetes Prevention Program; community outreach of free screenings and nutrition classes in partnership Westlake Hospital; the new Workplace Wellness program that brings the Y team right into employment sites; our case management approach to the resident program and many other efforts all serve to underscore that the West Cook YMCA offers its members an inestimable value—advancing their healthy spirit, mind and body.
Thank You for placing your trust in us through your membership.
President & CEO