Monday, 21 January 2013

Positive comments please..

I have just received the FRSB December e-newsletter reminding me that it is the time of the year for the 2012 annual complaints return.  I don't have any issue with this monitoring per se but the one thing it made me think was may be as an industry there should be a similar co-ordination of the positive feedback and comments that we as organisations receive from our supporters.  

In the same way that someone complaining can give a good indication of their commitment to you - particularly if they are an existing supporter, the same can be true of the nice comments. The congratulations for the lovely feedback or well done on doing something to raise x issue, or that is the best thing I have ever read - I am leaving you my house.  Okay - you get the idea.  But acknowledging that complaining takes effort, the same can be said of someone telling you that you are doing a good job - and I don't think that should be under estimated.

For me the obvious benefits of such an approach means:

  • Automatically much focus on what you are doing well.  Which can be as useful in revising tactics or in informing a strategy as the less positive comments.
  • Review of data capture. A possible revamp as to how such comments are recorded on your systems and databases.  From experience I know, unless you set it up, such positive comments may be not be selectable against individuals or even captured at all.  Where it seems that complaints always are.  This would change that.
  • Organisational understanding. The organisation focuses on the good as well as the negative and if as fundraisers you have departments or other teams highlighting the negatives - then as an antidote you have some positives to share.  A way to possibly change how fundraising is viewed within.
  • Opportunity to build relationships. In the same way that complaints should be seen as an opportunity - and indeed if handled well potentially a way to increase supporter loyalty.  The same can be said of positive comments. It is a perfect opportunity to build a dialogue with the person and share more or get them more involved.
So I think we should all focus on the positive as well as handling the complaints.  Even if this is out of the FRSB remit, it is useful to establish this yourselves with your supporter care teams. The process could completely change everyone's outlook.

Thanks as ever for stopping by.