Getting feedback from our grown-ups is hugely important to us, and we’re happy to share some feedback and insights we gained from our last survey.
Feedback is incredibly important to us, and we want to make sure that we listen to and involve our young people and their grown-ups as much as possible, both to ensure that we have a youth-shaped approach to our programme, and also to communicate, give support and make sure our systems work for the grown-ups.
Our latest Group survey went out earlier this year, which focused on our use of the Online Scout Manager system, how you pay for your young person’s Scouting and how we contact you, and we’re happy to share the results with you.
Online Scout Manager
Our first set of questions were centred around how you use the Online Scout Manager Parent Portal, and we were delighted with the results that we saw.
We’ve seen an increase of 25% of usage since we moved to the new Parent Portal, and we’re already looking into ways that we can make better use of the Parent Portal system.
Things you can do with Parent Portal
Another eye-opener for us was looking at ways in which you use the Parent Portal to interact with us. We’ll be sending out some emails and letters that will help you to better understand when you can use the online system instead of having to print out paper forms and fill them in by hand.
Every person who responded to the survey found that the event reminders played a useful part, and we’ll be looking at ways in which we can improve the content within them.
As mentioned in an earlier post, we’ll be launching our parent rota for the upcoming Spring/Summer term, and every person that responded to our survey said they would find the parent rota reminder emails useful too.
Paying for your young person’s Scouting
We’re always looking at ways in which we can make paying for Scouting easier for you as parents and responsible adults. Over the coming months, we’ll start to trial some new ways for you to pay.
We asked about how often you pay, as we’re looking at reducing the number of individual payments you as a grown-up need to pay throughout the course of the year.
Because we’re open for the majority of the year, we asked if you would be prepared to pay a fixed monthly or quarterly fee and, based on the results, we’re going to discuss how we can offer a fixed monthly payment option for grown-ups that would like to use it.
The majority of respondents were happy to explore a fixed payment method in the future, so we’ll look into how we can make that work across the group.
Not everyone carries cash with them, and we want to make sure everyone can pay in a way that suits them. Having had some verbal feedback from many grown-ups over the past few months surrounding the use of cashless payments, we wanted to know exactly how you’d like to pay in the future.
The front-runners from the survey were Card (including contactless), through our website and via Direct Debit. We’re already investigating having card payments through a card terminal which we’ll have at the registration desk, and we’ll be looking into ways in which we can make the payments through our website and the Parent Portal.
Making payments through the Parent Portal would use a Direct Debit based system, which is why we asked a specific follow-up question:
Making payments through the Parent Portal is the Group’s preferred option, as it reduces the amount of administrative work we need to do, and gives you greater control over when to make payments.
The system works in a similar fashion to the way PayPal works when connected to your Bank Account: payments would only be taken from your account when you authorised them to be made – we would have no way to take payments without your consent.
Rest assured that our existing members will always have the ability to pay using the methods they’ve always used, but we’ll be exploring various new options in the coming months and hope that you’ll try them out.
How we communicate with you
Finally, we asked a few questions surrounding how we communicate with you as grown-ups, asking whether you think we get in touch too often or not often enough, and talking about other ways in which we should communicate with you.
Firstly, we asked about how often we contact you:
In the past, we’ve found it difficult to strike the right balance, especially when we’re organising a large number of events in a relatively short amount of time. With many of our leaders being parents of youth members themselves, it’s easy for us to see – sometimes – when a lot of emails and letters go out in a few weeks.
We’re happy that the consensus seems to be that we’ve got it about right, but we’ll continue to look at the amount of times we contact you, and giving you plenty of notice with regards to events – especially when there are costs associated with them.
Other ways to keep up to date
Lastly, we wanted to ask about other ways in which you keep up to date with us. As well as letters and emails, many of you follow us on our social media channels:
We’ll make sure that we continue to post content on there when we’re at events, and we’ll also be starting to use our news and updates section within the new website, and post links on our social media channels.
Section WhatsApp Groups
Something we’ve seen other groups in other districts and counties make use of is WhatsApp groups for each individual section, and a large number of you said that this would be useful:
We’ll trial the use of these WhatsApp groups over the coming months, and will use them as an additional way of helping to keep you up to date with what’s going on in our weekly meetings, reminding you if you need to bring anything, and posting useful links and updates related to the section.
We’d like to give our thanks to those of you who took the time to take part in our survey – it’s really important for us to get feedback from you, and we want to make sure you know we’re listening.
We’ll be sending out another survey during the course of our Spring/Summer term, but if you have any questions or feedback you’d like to give to us outside of the regular surveys, you can always get in touch with us via the usual methods.
Thank you, as ever, for your continued support!