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Amazon continues to set the standard

I’ve owned a Kindle 3 since last October and have really enjoyed it. I don’t read it every day, but probably read it once a week. The other day I picked it up to read one of my books and noticed two small hairline cracks on the plastic bezel emanating from the bottom corners of the screen. I knew I hadn’t dropped it or smashed it (it sits in a cabinet when not in use) so was curious how I’d gotten these cracks. A quick Google search found that this is not an uncommon occurrence for the Kindle 3 and that Amazon would replace them for free.

So I contacted Amazon via my account. They called me back immediately (you can’t really call them) and I explained the issue. The rep asked me one question (“Did you drop it?”) and then told what would happen next: they would email me a free return shipping label and immediately ship (next day) a new Kindle to replace my “broken” one. The entire exchange took less than five minutes and I had my new Kindle the next day. You can’t ask for better service than that.

When discussing customer service with my clients, I always point out that Amazon sets the standard for what your members and customers expect. Fair or not, all of your customers are consumers, and the vast majority of them have interacted with companies like Amazon (or Zappos or other online stores). And because they’ve interacted with Amazon, they EXPECT all of their interactions to be just as effortless, seamless and pleasurable. Unfair, but reality.

My latest experience with Amazon simply reemphasizes how Amazon continues to set the standard for customer service. How close can your association come to replicating this level of service? Your members expect it.

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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