Wed, April 23 2008

8 ways to calm an angry constituent

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Read more by this author

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Someone is angry at you.  Somewhere, out there, a donor is miffed at their volume of direct mail.  Or a co-worker feels slighted.  Or a volunteer feels unappreciated.  Or your significant other is simmering.

What do you do when someone is upset with you?  Deal with it! 

1. Create ways to listen: The key to good donor relations, stellar customer service and strong human relations is to set up a dynamic where people can easily complain or raise concern BEFORE they are raving mad.  Be sure you have a phone number (answered by a nice person) displayed on all your outreach, email contacts and blogs and other outreach that enable conversation. 

2. Listen: If someone is venting, let them vent.  Let them rant and rave until they stop for air.

3. Acknowledge: Say exactly what they said back to them - it’s called reflective listening.  “It sounds like you’re really frustrated with us because of x, y and z.”  This makes a person feel heard.

4. Thank: Thank them for telling you how they feel.  Even crappy feedback is feedback.  “We want to know when our donors are not happy with us, and I’m so glad you told me about this.  Thank you.”

5. Say sorry: Now comes the hard part.  Say you’re sorry.  Not “I’m sorry if this was bad/if you feel that way.”  Say “I’m sorry this was a bad experience. We never want anyone to feel that way about us, and so we’re sincerely sorry.”

6. Act: Say and do something to fix the problem the person is angry about.  If you can’t do what they want, do the best you can.  Do something.

7. Follow up to show you acted: Get back to them a day later and say again that you’re sorry and how you addressed the problem. 

8. Follow up again to make sure things are okay now: Check back in a week or two later.  You might just win someone back (or over).

  • Comments   

Wed, April 23 2008

How to message on the environment

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Read more by this author

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

In honor of Earth Day, here is exceptionally good messaging.  Thanks to Mark Rovner for sending this to me.

What’s refreshingly good about this spot?

1. It makes me believe I can make a difference.  Because EDF has made a difference before.
2. It makes me feel good.  It’s a thank you, not an appeal, which is a refreshing Earth Day message.
3. It makes me want to support EDF because it’s about hope, optimism and action.

What can you learn from it?

1. Make people believe they can change something THROUGH YOU.  Show what you can and have done.
2. Make people feel appreciated.  Thank them for changing something.  Thank them for even thinking about changing something.
3. Make people feel inspired.  Show them there is hope.

And here’s what NOT to do.  Today, in Network for Good’s Nonprofit 911 call, Kirt Manecke shared this horror story.  He supported an organization, and in the mail he received:

1. A letter FIVE WEEKS LATER.
2. The letter didn’t even have his name or donation amount on it.
3. The letter was a photocopy of a photocopy.  It was even crooked on the page.

That doesn’t make a donor feel that they are making a difference.  It doesn’t make a donor feel appreciated.  And it sure isn’t inspirational.

  • Comments   

Tue, April 15 2008

It pays to be personal

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Read more by this author

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Inside Influence Report, one of my favorite newsletters from the great gang at ASU, reminds us once again why it pays to be personal. 

Here’s the story, from Noah Goldstein:

I have a friend who is a medical doctor. Nicest guy in the world. Will do, and has done, anything for anybody. So I was totally perplexed — and as a social psychologist, very interested — when I learned he was having difficulty finding someone to cover his shift on the weekend of my wedding. I asked him if he had ever volunteered to take his colleagues’ shifts, and he replied that indeed he had. Considering all he had done in the past to help them, and all that we know about the power of the norm of reciprocation, it was puzzling that he could not get a single person to volunteer to help him out during his time of need. By the time he had answered my next question, however, the solution to the mystery was clear.

When I inquired how he went about asking for help, he said that he had sent out an e-mail. And it wasn’t just any of type of e-mail — it was a mass e-mail, in which all of the recipients could see all the other recipients.

The problem with this strategy is that it creates what is called diffusion of responsibility. By sending out the mass e-mail in a way that made visible the large number of coworkers being asked, no one single individual felt personally responsible for helping. Instead, each recipient likely assumed that someone else on that list would agree to help. In a classic demonstration of diffusion of responsibility, social psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latané staged a situation in which a student seemed to be having an epileptic seizure during a study. When a single bystander was present, that person helped approximately 85% of the time. But when five bystanders were present — all of whom were located in separate rooms, so no one could be certain if the victim was receiving help — only 31% of the bystanders helped.

Fortunately for this friend, Noah Goldstein knew what to do.  He told the doctor to send personal emails asking individual people specifically.  It worked.  The doctor attended the wedding.

The more your “asks” appear to be made from you, personally and directly, to an individual,  the more likely people will support you.  So segment your audience.  Show you know them.  Speak to them like individuals.  Try some one-on-one contact with your biggest supporters.  Mass, impersonal, Dear Friend emails just won’t do the same job.  Just ask the doctor.

  • Comments   

Tue, April 15 2008

Strut, don’t simper, when you ask

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Read more by this author

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

My favorite pink paper, the Financial Times, had an editorial this weekend by v3’s Robert Egger.  Check it out if you missed it.

The gist (and I quote):

In you were savvy enough to have invested $1,000 in Microsoft when it went public in 1986, the value of your stock today would be close to $½m.

But what if you had invested the same amount in a high-performing non-profit group; one that could show measurable, financial impact in your community? All you would have been eligible for is a one-off tax deduction.

Think boldly for a moment. Imagine if there was a way to measure and then reward strategic investments in non-profits in the form of an annual and potentially growing tax deduction based on the same rate of return principle as the dividend. Imagine how that would revolutionise the productivity of non-profits, as well as create an incentive for individuals to seek out and support some of the most dynamic social and economic stimulators in their communities.

More importantly, since Americans donated $295bn to non-profits in 2006, while businesses spent $1.2bn on cause-related marketing to trumpet their philanthropy, a shift like this might also lead to coverage of the sector with the same level of critical analysis that is afforded traditional businesses.

Imagine how this might challenge the entire notion of “charity” in the US and usher in a bold new era of social and economic innovation.

What I like about this kind of idea is it fundamentally shifts the way we think about ourselves.  Are we charities seeking handouts or are we the best damn investment anyone could make in their community?  Try to put on this kind of mental strut (work it!) next time you compose an “ask” of any kind.  Your results are worth bragging about, and they are worth a reward for your

donors

investors.

Don’t beg.  Strut your ROI till the policymakers listen.

  • Comments   

Fri, April 11 2008

People are lazy and in a hurry (Seth is right)

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Read more by this author

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

On my way to my daughter’s school, every morning, I pass a house that has a creche in its front yard.  It’s been there since early December.  Baby Jesus has been lingering there for the entire winter and Spring, and at this rate he may be slumbering into the summer. 

He is covered with pollen these days.

Every morning, my daughter takes note of his long, post-seasonal stay in the manger.

“It’s STILL there!” she notes.

Then she asks why.

You could attribute all kinds of interesting reasons for this never-ending nativity scene.  Maybe it’s a family that practices a particular kind of christianity.  Maybe they like the way the creche looks amid the Spring flowers and overgrown grass.  Maybe they have the Christmas spirit all year long.

Or maybe they are just lazy.  Maybe they still have their tree up inside too, because they haven’t summoned the energy to pack it up either. 

My fave marketer, Seth Godin, says you can be sure of two things about all people: they are lazy, and they are in a hurry.

We marketers like to spend a lot of time analyzing why people do some things or don’t do some things.  We think of religion, attitudes, mindsets.  But we should also be thinking of lazy.  And in a hurry. 

Maybe we’re just making it too darn hard for people to take action.

Maybe if taking action was really easy, more people would do it.

Never underestimate the importance of ease and convenience. 

Try vastly simplifying your call to action and the level of effort it requires.  See what happens.  You might get Christmas in April.

  • Comments   
Page 262 of 321 pages ‹ First  < 260 261 262 263 264 >  Last ›