It’s ‘fundraising time’ in most Down syndrome associations. Of course, it’s also ‘budget time’ and ‘awareness time’ and ‘planning for the new year time’. So, with all of that going on, why am I writing about customer service? Because it is ALWAYS ‘Customer Service Time’. And over the past year, I’ve been worried that some DSAs might not even be aware that precious communications and needs requests are not being addressed.
Let me elaborate: DSAIA receives a call from a leader asking for contact information for a fellow DS support group. The conversation goes like this:
Caller: “Hey, do you have another contact number or email for [Insert DSA name here]?
DSAIA: “You mean, you think you have incorrect information from our directory?”
Caller: “No, I’m going right off their website. I can’t get anyone to return my call or email and I have a family who's moving to that area. I wanted to get them introduced but now I’m starting to worry about the services they’ll get if I can’t even get someone to call me back.”
DSAIA: “That is something to worry about, for sure. Let me see if I have any personal contact info for any of their leadership.”
Yeah, I know. It is troubling. Now, this is not the only instance but just one that I’m recalling in enough detail to paraphrase the conversation. Which leads me back to a breakout session that Joe Meares and I presented quite a few times at the annual leadership conference and at NDSC’s LEAD pre-con. It was called Customer Service. For many, we just associate that term with for-profit businesses but you have to put it in the context that Joe and I did: it’s being responsive to your constituents (customers) and making sure that you are easily-accessible (phone/email/etc.) and that their needs are being met (resources at the ready, information available, access to programs).
In response to this issue that keeps popping up within the community, I’ve decided to revisit that topic in an upcoming podcast. I hope you’ll join me as I discuss “customer service” in respect to operating as a Down syndrome association. And if you want to test your DSA's customer service, take this Customer Care Questionnaire and let us know how your organization measures up!
Search STACKS for our customer services resources, including our archived presentation from NDSC.