“No, we can’t do that. But it’s a good idea. You should definitely offer that suggestion.”
“I can’t. I’ve run out of allowed suggestions.”
“Oh, well, they limit them to make it easier on them.”
This was a real conversation I had. And a perfect example of a bad customer service mindset. I’m not going to mention the name of the company, but let’s just say they work with nonprofits.
But as frustrating as this exchange was, it’s a great reminder – are the systems and rules you’ve put in place for your ease or for your donors’? How easy is it to call you, or write you, or make a donation?
If someone does try to reach you, will she reach a person or have to endure endless voicemail prompts?
If he’d rather email, will your donor be able to find the address of the person he wants easily?
Do your online forms make sense? Is your website logically organized? Can someone over 50 read your response forms, or is the type all squished to fit on a small scrap of paper?
Believe me, I understand life in the nonprofit world is imperfect. We make mistakes. And we find our hands tied by technology or staffing that’s less than ideal, because our budgets are less than ideal.
But what’s the mindset at your organization? Is it about making it easier for you or making it more compelling to donors?
Could your donor offer suggestions and be heard?
Or has she reached her limit?