Gratitude is nice but showing it isn’t a given

On Saturday afternoon I was trying to book my train for a quick trip to Toronto. I’m going

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!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!wink

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