Calling with Purpose

Calling with Purpose

Calling with Purpose

We’re currently working with a client on transitioning their email and file management system from the systems they’re using to Google for Business. As part of that transition, I verified with Google that they own the nonprofit’s website and account. This verification process triggered a phone call from their previous website and email provider who was worried about the potential of lost business.

One thing was clear as I listened to my colleague at the nonprofit attempt to talk to the customer service representative – the person calling had no idea why they were calling. We couldn’t decide if they didn’t want to say, “We know you’re setting up an email account elsewhere” or were just generally confused. I’ve made and received thousands of customer service calls in my career. This was one of worst I’ve ever been a part of.

It’s a reminder that when you call someone professionally – you must call with purpose. The number of supporters that prefer a phone call to an email is steadily decreasing. If you’re going to call someone and absorb their immediate time and attention, you must have a plan. What are you hoping to achieve? What are you going to ask them? This purpose can be a simple CRM touch and just say hello and see how the individual doing – but there needs to be a plan. Many times, I’ll write out what I want to say and the questions I want to ask. The majority of the time, I don’t even look at it – but it helps get me in the mindset for a productive call.

During yesterday’s conversation, my colleague asked the customer service representative to send an email that explained what they were offering and what any potential issues were. The individual on the phone refused and said, “This is only a conversation I can have over the phone.” While I imagine this may be a company policy, it reflects a short-sided view of what customer service is. Don’t make the same mistake in your communication!

These are a few items from the week that we thought were interesting!

  1. Shana Masterson reflects on her recent vote for Sawyer Fredericks to win The Voice and the impact that crowdsourcing can have on your fundraising ideas and plans.
  2. Seth Godin shares thoughts on story-telling and fundraising in this video interview with Amy Eisenstein.
  3. Ruth McCambridge of NPQ discusses on how to motivate folks during board issues or when a Director leaves.
  4. Your interesting longer piece for the week is Panthea Lee’s thoughtful post on Fast Company about the challenges, worries, and fears with tackling an enormous project in Libya.

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