You don’t have to be in business to understand why good customer service is incredibly important. Chances are that you’ve experienced some form of good customer service already today… the barista getting your latte just right, the transit driver wishing you a great day, or perhaps the dry-cleaner that offered a discount for your loyal patronage. All of these great experiences are what is going to inspire you to return to that particular business.
The same is true for Not-For-Profit organizations as well.
When considering great customer service, not-for-profits are not often the first to come to mind. After all, people are making a donation and not necessarily expecting a particular service in return, or they are in need of your services and not in a position to “shop around.” But the reality is, that like any business, your not-for-profit organization has goals. Likely these are financial, and community support related goals that would be met and maintained with excellent customer service.
Here are some tips that will help you provide excellent customer service to both donors and clients for your not-for-profit organization:
Have empathy – clients may come to your organization in a time of need, or perhaps a donor is inquiring about the work you do because they have a personal story that relates. Always listen, be patient, and be understanding and empathetic. If a client or a donor has experienced poor customer service from your organization in the past, listen to their concerns and work to find a reasonable way to correct the issue.
Be reachable – ensure that your donors and clients are always to reach you should they have questions and suggestions. Monitor email, social media accounts and phone lines at all times. Missing a call could mean missing a donation (or a lifetime of donations.)
Ask for feedback – How can your organization make the donation process easier? Where did your donor/client first hear about your organization? How can services be improved to better meet the needs of those who rely on your services? All of these are important questions to ask if you want to grow your not-for-profit, just as they would be for a for profit business. Don’t make assumptions, ask for opinions from others.
Also, remember, that you don’t have to have all of the answers, however your team should be able to bring a positive experience to your supporter and clients with every interaction. And, if you need support, we’d love to hear from you.