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Whether it’s your fault or not…

23 August 2016, by , in Random Thoughts, 2 comments

Always start the conversation by asking “How can I help you with this?”

This can be for anything in life, but I run into this a lot with discussions between vendors and my clients. My client will raise an issue of concern, and the vendor will respond by saying “That’s not my fault” or “That’s because of something someone else did.”

While that answer may be technically correct, it’s not the answer my client is seeking. Because regardless of what the issue is, when someone is complaining, they’re really just seeking a solution to their problem. And very often, the vendor may have an easy solution. Spending time on who is to blame is not productive, nor is it terribly helpful.

One of my sisters used to manage a GAP clothing store. She told me she learned very early on in her career that when a customer was upset about something (e.g., returning an item that didn’t fit or had not held up in the wash), rather than trying to trying to guess what the solution should be, she would simply ask “How can I help you with this?” She tells me that often the customer would say “Oh, I don’t want you to do anything. I just wanted you to know about this.”

Problem solved!

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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
Wes Trochlil

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