BY SHERI JACOBS, CAE, AND SARA MILLER, CAE
During lean economic times, associations face the challenge of doing more
with less. It is not uncommon for a board to tell the staff, "Recruit more
members. Increase retention rates. Increase the value proposition. And, by
the way, your budget has been cut." This article, excerpted from Membership
Essentials, published by ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership,
takes the lessons from several groundbreaking studies on customer service
and links them to the nonprofit world.
In October 2004, Fast Company magazine featured its first-ever “Customers First
Awards.” I. Recognizing companies like Progressive, Mini USA and Trader Joe’s, the
magazine recorded five takeaways from the award finalists:
1. LEADERS MUST BE CHAMPIONS OF THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.
2. EMPLOYEE EMPATHY CREATES DISTINCTIVE SERVICE.
3. IN THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, TECHNOLOGY RULES.
4. DATA HELPS. BUT USING IT TO BENEFIT CUSTOMERS IS CRUCIAL.
5. CUTTING COSTS DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN CUTTING SERVICE.