Responding Quickly to Dissatisfaction Creates Happier Communities

Things aren’t always perfect in soccer. A player thinks the referee missed a call. A parent isn’t happy about their child’s playing time. A coach feels their team should have been placed higher in a league division. A volunteer is burned out from too many tasks. It’s easy for a negative experience to spread from the player, parent, coach, or volunteer to other members of your Club or Association if dissatisfaction is not addressed quickly, even if their experience isn’t typical of your organization.

Roger Dooley posted on his Neuromarketing blog about an interesting study that showed how dissatisfaction can be contagious. When only one person complained loudly about the temperature of soup in the study, 26% of the guests complained similarly by the end of the meal. All it took for 1 in 4 people to become dissatisfied was to hear one person complain.

No matter how advanced our programs are, or how smoothly we run our organizations, dissatisfaction is bound to come up at least once in a while. When it does, it’s important to address immediately. As Dooley points out in his post, the best thing to do when someone is dissatisfied is to fix the problem as early as you can. It might be as simple as giving the coach a chance to explain their reasoning behind why they think they should have been placed in a higher division, or having a clear, published policy within the Club or Association for how a parent can speak with a coaching director or board member about their child’s experience at tryouts. The important thing is to give your members and fellow volunteers the opportunity to share their concerns and to directly address problems when something goes wrong. And never underestimate the power of an apology.

Have you had success in quickly addressing dissatisfaction in your Club or Association? Let us know in the comments.

About Hillary Beehler

I'm the Organization and Member Services Director for Washington Youth Soccer, the US Youth Soccer charter association for the State of Washington. WA Youth Soccer serves over 125,000 registered players across all levels of play, from Under 5 to Under 19.
This entry was posted in Board Resources, Parents, Players, Policy, Volunteer. Bookmark the permalink.

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