“Is this Dennis Fischman?” she said. “I’m calling to help enroll you in some courses for your GED. Let’s start by…”
“Whoa, hold on there,” I said. “I have a Ph.D., and I got my high school diploma in the 1970’s. You are calling the wrong person.”
That’s right. Not only did the telemarketing company completely mistake their audience. They didn’t train their callers well enough to keep them from hanging up.
I would shake my head and leave it at that…except I’m worried that too many nonprofit organizations are doing the same thing.
How good is your database? Have you taken the time to get to know your donor as a person, or is she just an address on a list and a check in the mail?
How well have you trained your staff and volunteers? Do they realize that every time they speak to the public, they are putting your nonprofit agency’s reputation on the line? When they get flustered, will the donor hear, “I’m sorry, let me fix that for you”?
Or will your (former) donor hear, “Click”?