How good is your “customer” service?

Marketing isn’t just about publicity, it helps you to design and run successful services and projects by putting your users or if you like, “customers” at the centre.   To some extent, your funders are also customers. So is your organisation an ace in customer service, could you be better or are you facing a potential customer crisis? 

Take our light-hearted quiz to find out…

1. How well do you know your project users?

a)    The receptionist knows all our regulars by name and our project volunteers always ring if someone they were expecting at a session doesn’t turn up.
b)    We did a survey a few years ago asking people what they wanted but the low response rate put us off doing it again.
c)    We have so many people accessing the project, we’re too busy to take their names and contact details.

2. What’s your relationship like with your key funders?

a)    We send them regular positive feedback on projects and always say immediately if we need to make any changes or if we’re facing problems.
b)    Monitoring reports are sometimes a few weeks late, we just get so busy!
c)    Key staff left and we had to ring the funder to get a copy of our bid.

3. Is it easy for users to give you feedback?

a)    Our complaints and compliments policy was written with our users and is promoted to staff, volunteers, stakeholders, funders and users.
b)    We have some feedback forms but they need updating and I’m not sure what we do with the feedback we get…
c)    People tell us we’re doing a great job – isn’t that enough?

4. How do you deal with criticism of the project?

a)    All formal and informal complaints are responded to within 14 days, we make changes where needed and give feedback on action taken.
b)    On the whole we’re good at dealing with criticism but sometimes it’s just easier to ignore the few people who seem impossible to please.
c)    If its not really serious, it’s not worth the trouble – some of the complaints we get are so trivial.

5. Do people donate money or time (i.e. volunteer) to your project?

a)    At project meetings, we set ourselves targets for volunteer help and funding based on what we really need.  We encourage offers of help that fit with our plan and always say thank you – we had a celebration event for volunteers and donors last year.
b)    We need all the help we can get, so we never say no! Sometimes volunteers don’t come back after the first day though and I couldn’t tell you how many donations we get.
c)    Not really – more advertising – that’s what we need!

How did you score?

Mainly a)’s – well done, you’re doing well – keep up the good work!
Mainly b)’s – there’s room for improvement – try and prioritise customer care more, you’ll find it pays off with offers of help, more users and a better relationship with your funders.
Mainly c)’s – customer care is a problem waiting to happen - set aside some time and start with some small changes and perhaps training for frontline staff/ volunteers.


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