Accuracy Matters

By | Customer Experience, Industry | No Comments

Have you ever gone shopping, bought something fabulous just to get home and find the security tag is still on the clothes? What if it was a store hours away or bought while on a trip where you can’t make a quick run to get it removed? If you’re like me, you’ve had this happen and when you got home to put it on you found yourself frustrated. Although we realize people make mistakes, what are we doing as companies to put our best foot forward in providing an excellent customer experience?

The fact of the matter is, our accuracy in our interactions with customers plays a vital role in ensuring that our customers have a wonderful customer experience.

I recently had an experience like the scenario I mentioned, luckily when I went to exit the store the alarm sounded. The customer service representative removed my tag, but also took a note of the name of the sales person I had worked with. The company was keeping track of how many were left on in error to try to help reduce the number of times the issue happened. What I realized is that this store is taking action. They must have a plan to focus on getting things right the first time, on being accurate.

Some common ways I’ve seen that businesses help to promote accuracy are:

  • Reward staff when they do something right. Set the tone for other staff members.
  • Keep track of mistakes and offer suggestions on common issues to help increase accuracy.
  • Training- training is key, give your staff the tools to do the best they can.
  • Poll your customer- survey your customer to see how they felt about their experience. Include comment fields- these often provide the most helpful insight. Use the data to help develop action plans.

The thing about accuracy is that when our accuracy in our customer service decreases, so does the quality of experience that our customer receives. In today’s society it’s evident that accuracy plays a vital role in the overall customer satisfaction and retention. Accuracy is important, without it customers lose faith in our ability to perform.

In day to day business, how are you ensuring your accuracy? How you making sure that your company is performing at its best to ensure your customer’s satisfaction?

Social Media: Be Social, Not Stagnant

By | Engagement, Industry, Online, Programs | No Comments

I’ve been watching nonprofit activity on social media for a while now, and have observed something worth noting.

Many are suffering from a case of mistaken identity. They are using social media to promote the organization via social media. An organization is not social. Its people are. That’s where the mistaken identity comes in.

Those organizations who have a strong following are highlighting members, the people who make them strong. They are posting personalities, their passion, their contributions, their rewards. That strong following results in great word-of-mouth marketing, brand perception, loyalty, and search engine optimization.

Think about it: social media is about being social. Being social is not new. It happens in our homes, our streets, our stores—and now, online. Social media means the person-to-person connection is happening through new media, like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

This just in: Your community will engage with people over programs. Giving your members and volunteers a green light (or incentive) to engage in social media on your behalf is a strategy worth exploring. It’s much easier to “like” a person you can identify with than a faceless organization.

You serve a community of vibrant personalities, many of whom are committed to you and your cause. They have friends. Encourage them to move from “wallflower” to posting on your Facebook wall. Hold photo and video contests that you have the right to publish. Comment on their achievements.

I’m working with Membership and Marketing guru, Lori Swann, and YMCA Membership Director, Greg Lee, on a session at the upcoming NAYDO conference called “Make Your Members/Volunteers Rock Stars: Using Social Media to Deliver the Mission.”

Looking forward to great continued conversation on how to give our customers a social media identity that can’t be mistaken: a strategy that centers on individual impact over program promotion.

April Benetollo is senior vice president of market strategy for Daxko.

Deliver Your Mission Online

By | Customer Experience, Industry, Mission Delivery, Online | No Comments

Virtual Facilities are nothing new; in fact, they have been used for years by groups of people in different locations wishing to collaborate on ideas and projects. Typically these are secure online collaborative workspaces designed to enhance the exchange of information among a project team working from different locations. The term Collaboratory was coined as far back as 1989 by William Wulf while he worked for the US National Science Foundation. Wulf’s vision was a “center without walls”; a place in which the nation’s researchers could interact with colleagues, share data, and access information in digital libraries all from geographically dispersed locations.

Since then, rapid advances in computing and communications technologies, such as the internet, social media and mobile (Smart Phone) technology have made near real-time delivery of information quite common. Average people have become adept at sharing such things as music, photographs, schedules, ideas, opinions and messages all in real time over the internet; to many, this has become their preferred medium of communication with third parties. Recognizing this, many progressive organizations have recently deployed Live Chat technology on their websites, allowing the public to interact directly with sales or customer service staff without having to pick up the phone or visit a facility.

This is just one example of ways that a member-based non-profit organization like the YMCA could extend their brand and their mission beyond the physical boundaries of their bricks and mortar facility. Imagine being able to communicate with a virtual Health Coach where you could get exercise and nutritional advice right from the comfort of your own computer. Some people prefer to exercise outdoors, perhaps jogging or cycling; imagine if these weekend warriors had online tools where they could plan their workouts, set goals and objectives and track their progress—all while being held accountable to their fitness program by their personal trainer who resides inside their iPad. Other compelling virtual solutions include an online Health Assessment, Symptom Checker, Health Calculators, Recipes, Online Learning and Positive Coaching Courses. There is certainly no better way to reach out to today’s youth than through this medium. The opportunities are endless but the journey might seem more daunting than the destination.

In a recent survey I asked several of our YMCA customers if they viewed their websites as a critical tool for mission delivery and the answer was a unanimous “Yes!” The next question I asked them was whether they thought their members found their websites to be a useful source of information and the answer was a resounding “No!”—curious disconnect. It seems that although many progressive member-based nonprofit organizations understand the importance of this medium, few have the time or resources to invest in delivering the online tools that drive member engagement and positively impact the community.

The good news is that most of this technology already exists and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Live Chat again is a good example—there are literally hundreds of different options to choose from—and most of them are easy to deploy and work rather well. Online health and wellness tools are common too, as are learning solutions. The challenge is identifying the best-of-breed providers and integrating their solutions into a useful online offering. For this, finding the right development partner who is focused on mission delivery solutions could be the best answer. While not entirely painless, the dream of a complete and interactive “center without walls” for a member-based nonprofit is not that far off.

James Smith is innovative strategist for Daxko.