By: Kristin Clements-Effner, MSW Training Coordinator/Cofounder
One of my obsessions is Food Network. I can’t seem to get enough (either can my kids who prefer Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals to Dora the Explorer any day). There is a new program called Restaurant Stakeout that has an expert restaurant owner spy on the staff to see how they represent the company and take care of the customers. All in an effort to better the customer service and help the owner become a more successful business person. As I watched the other night something struck me, what if there was a show titled “Nonprofit Stakeout”.
Let me explain. Nonprofits are in the business of helping the community and meeting the needs of their given clients and supporters. One of the foundations of the nonprofit is built on the role community members can play in helping us achieve our mission through volunteering their time, giving of the financial resources, working as employees, etc. Much like the restaurant business, nonprofits are in the business of engaging community members and there is alot of competition.
So if someone was to stakeout your nonprofit, do staff members provide good customer service? Do they treat volunteers in a way that keep them coming back? Do they know the “menu” of initiatives going on within the organization to be a good ambassador? How do they interact with your donors? These are important questions to make sure your engagement experience is top notch and to ensure your supporters don’t go somewhere else to get better service.
Most staff aren’t in charge of volunteers, donors, or other supporters and are focused on providing direct service to clients (who are supporters too). However, they interact with these individuals on a daily basis and might not know what good customer service looks like. To make sure you pass the grade, train all of your staff how to be great ambassadors and provide customer service that keeps them coming back.
To learn how you can provide this training within your organization, contact Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org