Elaine Fogel

referral sources

thanks-for-social-media-mentionsDoes your business or nonprofit organization monitor the Internet for social media mentions? Good and bad references affect its brand reputation, so knowing what people say - and replying - are very important.

Besides, if your goals are to increase leads and sales (or donations), build brand reputation, and improve search rankings, every response you make contributes.

Since, I’ve blogged on social media complaints (Are You Responding to Social Media Complaints? and How Do You Handle Social Media Complaints?), I’d like to focus on the lowest hanging fruit - positive comments and references, as these are the easiest to manage.

Why you should say thanks…  Continue reading

Serve-with-your-heartYesterday, I facilitated a half-day customer service training workshop for a local nonprofit organization. I find it refreshing when I receive inquiries from nonprofits, across the country, about this topic - not because they aren’t doing a good job at it, but, because they recognize that their level of customer service extends past the receptionist and front-line staff.

In fact, their adoption of a customer orientation can have a great bearing on their success. With that in mind, here are 3 tips on nonprofit customer service:

1. Your organization’s level of customer service ties into its brand. And, since its brand relies on absolutely everyone who works or volunteers for the organization, it helps when all employees and volunteers have a solid understanding of branding and their role in living the brand. Customer service is at the heart of a customer-centric brand. Serve with your heart.

2. In order to provide exceptional customer service to your nonprofit’s customers, you first need to identify who they are. Make a list of all its external customers - those who receive a product or service, participate in a program, and/or support your nonprofit. Then, identify its internal customers -  those with whom you work internally to do your job. And, lastly, list the organization’s referral sources - the individuals, agencies, or organizations responsible for referring customers to your nonprofit.

Why do this? It helps segment your audiences, which in turn, helps you craft appropriate customer service standards and protocols according to their needs. Doing this should also be part of any nonprofit marketing strategy. Messaging and positioning to one audience may not necessarily be identical to another.

3. Just like the for-profit sector, there are three kinds of customer service: lousy, satisfactory, and exceptional. People now expect awesome service in general, and your nonprofit is no exception. Their decision whether to support your organization, use its services, or become a brand ambassador depend on everyone providing exceptional service… ALWAYS.

What is YOUR nonprofit doing to up its customer service standards?

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