On Saturday afternoon I was trying to book my train for a quick trip to Toronto. I’m going to see David Gray in concert and I’m super excited, I mean REALLY excited!
I digress….as I tried and tried to book the ticket, I learned that my credit card had been compromised. A new card was sent to me and I began my journey to notify all the merchants and organizations where I have set up recurring charges. Of those, I have monthly donations with four charities.
One by one, I called and managed to get things sorted out quickly. However, the responses I received from the charities I have been supporting for years were anything but heartwarming, except for one.
Let me explain.
Let’s start with the good:
- All four charities were friendly and appreciated that I called instead of waiting for the payment to be refused (honestly, I couldn’t handle the embarrassment!)
- All the calls took less than 3 minutes to complete
- The process was easy and painless
The not so good:
- Two charities treated me like I was a stranger making a transactional request, not like a valued monthly donor
- One charity’s receptionist didn’t even know who was in charge of handling my call
- One charity took a message and said if there was a problem the person in charge would call me
- Only one charity thanked me for my monthly donation
The amazing! Only one charity, the Canadian Red Cross, stood out from the bunch:
- The telephone system allowed donors to chose between making a donation (press 1), monthly donors (press 2), etc.
- After I explained why I was calling, the agent thanked me for my monthly gift and immediately gave me a concrete example of what my monthly donation realizes
- I provided my new credit card number and asked why I have never been asked to upgrade my gift since I became a monthly donor in 2016. She explained that they sometimes do upgrade calls but they try to limit it so as to not bother donors too often.
- I appreciated her candid and honest response.
Do you know what happened?
I doubled my monthly donation and explained that I wanted to do that because her impeccable donor-loving service impressed me. Her response was amazing! She was taken by surprise and without skipping a beat, she immediately shared with me the impact my gift will have on vulnerable families.
What can we learn from this experiences?
- Treat what appears like mundane and administrative calls from donors as an opportunity to show gratitude and impact
- Always make sure your receptionist knows who is in charge of credit cards/finance questions from donors
- Have an easy to use telephone system
- A call from a donor is an opportunity to thank the donor, they are doing YOU a favour by notifying you of a credit card change, don’t treat it as yet another thing to do
So what am I expecting from the Red Cross now? Maybe a legacy ask!