Posted by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon
Obviously you know my answer to the question stated in the title. And yes, this post is the “mudgeon” side of me raising its head.
I have become accustomed to “abuse” from magazines that send renewal notices six months before your subscription expires, saying your subscription is about to expire. Don’t miss an issue, resubscribe now. And of course the burden is then on you to check your subscription and see if you really want to renew early. I have cancelled some subscriptions as a result. But, unless all subscribers of the world unite, while I feel better after unsubscribing, I am sure my protest does not impact the publishers’ practices.
More recently, this early renewal has leaked over to charitable giving. You give an annual donation and six months later the charity sends a note saying last year you donated x$, won’t you donate again this year and consider raising your donation to y$. Knowing that most of my more significant charitable giving is at the end of the calendar year, the June (or so) request is generally ignored if I am not interested in making an additional donation. When I do give a second donation the communications really proliferate. Then I wonder if my second donation went totally to new solicitations, rather than the intended cause.
But, here’s the straw that broke the camel’s back and made me decide that it was time for a blog rant. My wife and I are members of a few museums. This weekend I got a membership renewal notice from one of them. I checked and my membership runs through November. OK, so the early-up phenomenon has spread to them as well. But this one went one step further. It included a temporary membership card good through the end of July, implying my membership had already expired. That drove me over the edge and to Blogrige! Now the moral dilemma, do I tear up my card and not support a good cause or do I grin and bear it? Or do I just get it off my chest by way of this blog post?
What do the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence say about all this? Here are a few questions for these organizations to ponder:
- How do you listen to customers to obtain actionable information? I am not sure they try to listen.
- How do you determine customer satisfaction and engagement? Do they ever ask their donors?
- How do you market, build, and manage relationships with customers to retain customers, meet their requirements, and exceed their expectations? They certainly aren’t marketing to me in an acceptable manner or meeting my requirements, much less beating expectations.
Donors of the world unite! I am willing to listen.