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Make Sure There’s a Real Person Behind Every Communication!

By: Elaine Fogel

 

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How many times have you received an e-mail or letter from a company or organization without an individual’s name at the bottom? You know… all that’s there is the organization’s name or a person’s title without a name.

Well, boo to them! Do they think that we’ll feel endeared to them if they don’t identify a real person behind the communication?
I recently renewed my membership in a professional association.  I realized that it was my tenth anniversary as a member and wondered why the association hadn’t recognized the milestone. What a great way to steward member relationships and show appreciation. I’ve done work with associations before, so why not share a good idea that’s common practice in other groups?
When I went onto the organization’s Web site, I could NOT locate a staff contact list so I could pass my suggestion to the VP of membership. Instead, the only contact email was “info@.”
Here was the response I received:
“Thank you for your email. We truly appreciate your taking the time to provide feedback and suggestions. I have referred your inquiry/suggestion to the appropriate staff for follow-up and consideration.
In the meantime, if you require additional assistance, please feel free to contact us again. Your support of XYZ is greatly appreciated.
Kind regards,
XYZ Association”
 
No signature. No person at the other end. And this, from a membership organization!! Come on.
And, what’s worse is that I am unsure that anyone else will follow up with me because I do not have a referral contact name! Talk about feeling dismissed.
What are organizations afraid of? That we’ll learn their staff contacts and harangue them? That our communication to them will kill their productivity? That’s a very internal mindset, don’t you think?
My Advice:
Make sure that there’s a real person behind every communication you send. When customers, donors, members, etc. need someone to contact, they want the convenience of hitting the “reply” button, or calling on the telephone and asking for a specific individual. Don’t send them on a wild goose chase or to your designated gatekeeper because it’s convenient for you internally!
Otherwise, your organization appears stand offish and distant. And, is that the brand experience you want to impart? I didn’t think so.
This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel
Published: July 8, 2013
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