Thursday, July 7, 2011

BIG’s Blog: Donor Service – Customer Service - Expectations

Some time ago, I was flying to Texas. The flight had two legs. The first leg went into a hub and then the second leg took me to my ultimate destination.

I made it to the hub, but they cancelled my second leg. Worse, they couldn’t get me on a flight to my ultimate destination until late the following day as the next few flights were all overbooked. Since I would miss my window for my appointments, there was no point in going to my destination. They flew me back to Omaha.

But, the story doesn’t end there. They called me and apologized. They gave me a free ticket plus reimbursed me for my whole previous trip. By the way, it was Southwest Airlines.

What were my expectations when I learned of the cancelled flight? Hassles, hassles, and more hassles plus having to sleep in an airport. Why did I have those expectations? Because that is how I was treated by other airlines in similar situations.

Do I fly those other airlines that caused me the pain? Only as a last resort, will I fly Southwest again? Yes! Will I tell my friends and family about my experience with Southwest? Yes. Did I tell my friends and family about the horrible experiences on those other airlines? Yes, again.

There are many charitable organizations that I call where my call goes to voicemail in the middle of the day. How did they know I was a vendor and not their largest donor? They didn’t.

Forget your donor’s expectations or mine; what is your expectation when you call a company or a charitable organization with a question? Don’t you form your opinion of that organization by how they respond to your phone call?

If I am hitting on an issue that you think your organization might have, your problem is bigger than you think. Ten years ago, lousy customer service was unfortunately the norm. But, no longer. Today, with companies like Southwest Airlines and to name just two, the bar of expectations has been raised for every organization whether commercial or nonprofit.


Welcome to BIG’s Blog and yes, by all means forward our blog to your friends and co-workers.

No comments:

Post a Comment