An Executive Director's point of view
January 21, 2014: Customer service fail
January 08, 2014: Weather
1. What was routine where you worked in the past, may not be routine where you are working now. Adopt a policy that works for your current location.
2. You may not feel inconvenienced by a bit of snow or cold, but government agencies may not be prepared for it. So, roads, buses, and trains may not be ready for commuters.
3. No, everybody cannot work from home. If schools are closed, employees with school-age children will be parenting, not working - even if they really want to work.
4. Not everybody has computer access at home. Or, they have to share it with other family members (adults included).
5. If weather problems affect power, computer access will be affected, too.
6. Adverse weather may not be experienced in every part of a large metropolitan area. Storms may deluge one area while others enjoy sunshine and clear weather.
So, be flexible. Be lenient. Recognize that most associations do not deliver essential services. Being closed or slowed down for a day or two usually won't matter.
December 19, 2013: What's a guest?
Now, I've been to that museum, and I didn't think I was treated like a "guest." I paid an admission fee - a high admission fee - for myself and for each family member, plus extra for a special exhibit, plus more for parking, and also for overpriced lunch fare.
It would have been appropriate to call me a "customer" or a "visitor," but not a "guest."
Don't use oh-so-precious language to make association members and customers feel like they are something special. Treating them like guests (even if you charge them a lot of money) is good. But calling them guests is just going too far.
December 12, 2013: Dishonest data
They aren't gauging your support for the company, though. They are attempting to evaluate the performance of the customer service employee.
You may be extremely unhappy with the company, but you think the employee did a good job. So, you provide the company with data that enables it to tout its highly rated service to customers while ignoring its product deficiencies.
Don't follow that dishonest path in your association.
If you ask for customer or member feedback - and you should - use it to evaluate the association, not the employee. Find out what members and customers think of the association, not the employee, and use that feedback to improve your programs and operations.
Collect data honestly.
December 02, 2013: Where's the money?
November 27, 2013: Venues for customer service
November 20, 2013: Don't hide the price
And don't force them to establish accounts, complete forms, then navigate to a page where you finally tell them the price.
Be honest. State the price up front!
September 24, 2013: Email response time
September 18, 2013: Machines vs. people
They had no problem leaving messages with answering services (people, not machines), though. They wanted to speak to a real person.
Today, people often have the same feeling when forced to run through the automated loops of company customer service.
They'll leave messages with machines, if they have to. But they often really want to talk to a real person.
So, have a real person, not a machine, answer your association's phone.
September 11, 2013: Don't make me guess
This year, however, the folded portion did not break open and the backing could not be removed. There was no obvious place on the sticker to peel off the backing - not on the corners nor anywhere else on the sticker.
Well, from an inquiry made to local officials, it was learned that any of the corners could have been bent backward to allow users to then peel off the backing. But that instruction was not given.
When providing products or processes of any kind to association members, always include instructions. Don't force people to figure out on their own how the darn things should work.