Customer service is at the cornerstone of “The Redstone Way”, and our previous blog posts have gone into detail about its importance and, best practices for associations. In order to provide good customer service, how can your association’s membership team best communicate with members on a day-to-day basis? Here are a few communication tips for incorporating good customer service into your daily correspondence with members, particularly by email or phone:
At the end of your correspondence, for phone inquiries in particular, make sure to repeat the highlights of the discussion as well as the essence of the member’s request. This ensures that everyone is on the same page.
Members who contact you not only want to be heard; they want to be understood. Take the time to verbally express your understanding of the member’s feelings or perspective on the issue at hand (e.g. “From what I understand, you are frustrated about…”“You seem to be very passionate about this, so I’d like to follow up by…”)
The member experience is all about relationships. Adding a warm salutation or inquiring further about a member’s interests or hobbies can go a long way. However, use caution when employing this technique; there needs to be trust developed between two parties before communication can move beyond a professional tone to a more personal tone. Additionally, it may not always be appropriate depending on the nature of the relationship.
Always get everything in writing. Send follow-up emails after your phone conversations that include a brief summary of the discussion as well as which actions should be taken by whom and when in order to keep everyone accountable. This is also helpful in case someone needs to pick up from where you left off.
Don’t forget to end every conversation in a warm tone by thanking the member for their interest, wishing them well, and asking if there are any outstanding questions before ending the call. It’s not always about how you start – it’s how you finish!
Using these tools as part of your day-to-day communications will greatly improve your members’ experiences and lead to greater retention. Why not take it a step further? Try using these techniques to enhance all of your professional and business relationships.
What strategies do you use to ensure your members’ experiences with your organization are meaningful and productive? Connect with us on Twitter: @redstoneagency.
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