An Executive Director's point of view
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.
August 30, 2013: Hiding from users
Why are they hiding?
July 16, 2013: Lazy, inconsiderate customer service
But the telephone customer assistance line merely directed users back to the web page - which did not provide the information in the first place.
It was not possible to speak with a person to resolve a problem.
Many businesses - and quite a few associations - design customer "assistance" to help themselves, not to help their customers or members.
Don't implement customer "assistance" procedures to save you money or time. Customers' and members' money and time are far more important.
Put their needs first!
July 10, 2013: Sorry, you missed the deadline
If registration for a popular program closes on a particular date, announce that date in enough time for members to sign up.
If you establish a "limited time offer" for membership, educational sessions, or products, publicize it early, so members and customers won't miss it.
Give people as much time as possible to take advantage of these offers.
If you don't want to offer discounts, then don't. But offering them too late for people to use them is worse than not offering them at all.
June 24, 2013: Cutting costs, not going green
That's not true.
It's doing it to cut costs by spending less on printing and postage.
The company could save even more money if all its customers opted to pay online, so nothing would have to be printed and mailed, but it doesn't want to force them to do that.
So it bills mail-in customers less frequently.
It's about cutting costs, not going green.