Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Honesty is the best policy

The other day I texted £3 in response to an SMS ad for an animal welfare charity that I know relatively little about but a cause very close to my heart. It was easy, straight forward and I knew I would get called within a matter of days if not hours. And I did.

It was a perfectly fine call - a little obviously scripted for my liking - but then I asked a question about the charity that stumped the telephone fundraiser - and I found that interesting.

I have to caveat this by saying that It wasn't intentional - but when I texted in response to the ad I did so as someone who genuinely could be in the market to support them, therefore, the answer to my question was a 'deal breaker' as far as whether I would become a regular giver or not.   Not to mention that I have briefed and listened to tens if not hundreds of telemarketing campaigns in my career and I have rarely heard a caller slightly lost for a thread.  

In all fairness to Mathew (as I will refer to him here) - he did a good job. His response was honest - he said that he recalled something on this issue in his training and that he put me on hold to get some more information.  His supervisor was searching on the website as I waited.  Eventually he came back with a response - which for me raised even more questions.

At that point, I thought Mathew would close the call and cut his losses (in a nice way of course), but rather impressively he said that he was going to go away and find out even more about it and call me back... and you know what he did!  Yep - the following morning I received a call and though the news wasn't good from my perspective or his - he wanted to be honest and share the reality with me.

As I said upfront the response to the question was a deal breaker for me - and he knew that.  But he still took the time to call back to tell me the 'truth'.  So though he knew that the organisation was not going to get my £10 a month that day - I have to say both Mathew and the organisation definitely earned my respect.

And the lessons are:  1. Relationships are about going above and beyond the standard even when you know the result won't go your way. 2. Always prepare for the unexpected particularly in pre-empting what supporters and potential supporters may ask questions about.  Your Supporter care team is crucial to this as are your agencies as they are an extension of your organisation. How they behave and respond reflects on you. 3. Be honest with the response.  All information can be dressed up to look a certain way or to look better - but if you have a strong rationale for doing something then the honest facts can well be enough. Even if the answer doesn't please everyone. 4. Well done to all the Mathew's out there - you are a credit to your profession.

Thanks as ever for stopping by

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