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January 19, 2007

ASAE bitchfest on Executive Management listserv

ASAE's customer service has been thoroughly lambasted on their Executive Management section listserv over the past two days. John Graham, their CEO, even jumped in with a reply. The most stinging critique is that the first measure in ASAE's new book, 7 Measures of Success, is to create a customer service culture. Ouch! More on this later, but the archives are very uncomfortable to read.

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6 comments:

Fred Simmons said...

Ban the dissenters!

-Fred C. Simmons IV

Anonymous said...

Amusingly enough I had been reading that thread, which reminded me to call and send in a payment. Upon doing so, and requesting the mailing address the 'customer service' agent told me it would be much easier for them if I paid online. I had to continue to prod to get the address, reminding her I was not in front of a computer, hence my telephone call. I was irritated enough to look up the staffing and found a title of 'first impression' specialist (definitely first impression, not sure about the specialist). When I relayed the story, her response, "So what's the problem?"....
Sad sad state of affairs up there. I know our allied societies and colleagues have been reading in horror. But not horror that this is happening at ASAE, because unfortunately none of this is 'new'. Our heads would be on the block if members of small staff associations that we manage/work for had the same approach that our 'leading' organization seems to utilize for our professional community of colleagues.

Ben Martin, CAE said...

Any of us could find ourselves in this situation. This is but one of the dangers of supporting communities of practice. So far, the response from ASAE doesn't seem to be adequate.

Chris Bailey said...

Wow. Sounds like lesson #1 from this real-world example is:
Fancy titles and cushy words don't mean anything if you can't back them up. Or then again, maybe the first impression that you're supposed to get is that ASAE really doesn't care? (Actually, I kind of got a chuckle from anonymous's first impression specialist's aim to get him/her to do what was best for ASAE rather than the actual member.)

Just goes to show that the line separating for-profits and non-profits is not as thick as it may appear. Lousy customer service can exist on both sides.

Looking forward to an update on the continuing saga Ben.

Cheers.

Jamie said...

What makes it uncomfortable to read? That's not a rhetorical question, by the way. I think it is interesting that you chose "uncomfortable" so I'm curious what you meant.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jamie that we need to think more about why it is uncomfortable to read the messages. In 7 Measures' progenitor Jim Collins implores us to face the "brutal facts". That's what I see in the messages ... eager members who want to contribute who can't find a way to be involved ... a failure to see issues from the member's perspective ... ploddying slow diagnosis and acceptance of a serious database issue ... customer service worth praise the exception rather than the rule. I wonder what ASAE sees in the messages?