How do you feel about answering a ringing phone or opening an email, having no idea what is waiting for you? That phone call could be from a prospective member looking for information, an existing member in need of tech support to access information, an irate consumer looking to vent, or any number of other scenarios. An email could be from an industry professional looking for technical information, a consumer trying to find one of your association members, or even a message from someone seeking another association with a similar acronym.
You have to be prepared for anything when you answer that call or open that email. That is the epitome of a Membership Coordinator’s work day. To survive, and provide great customer service, it is essential to stay flexible and agile, while projecting patience and engagement.
Below are a few key tips to be an effective, efficient Membership Coordinator:
- Listen to the caller/sender – Sometimes they just need someone to listen in order to provide them with a great resource to meet their needs or even just to be heard. You may be called upon to walk a member through a process step-by-step.
- Ask questions – This not only lets them know you are listening, but working to find the correct answer to their question. Sometimes you need to ask questions to clarify what information is needed. Be sure to act promptly, but accurately, to address their questions. If you can’t address the question with your knowledge base, it is important to locate the appropriate avenue for them to proceed next in a timely manner.
- Take responsibility – If you or the association may be at fault, or the person just needs someone to empathize with them – apologize. You can show empathy without necessarily blaming anyone or any department with a simple “I’m sorry about that” or “I’m sorry you had that experience.”
- Great customer service – Some calls and emails may take considerable time to address, but the person on the receiving end is often grateful that you are truly assisting them. In turn, you are providing them with great customer service.
- It’s OK to step away – After a particularly challenging call or email that you have to navigate, it’s alright to step away for a few minutes to clear your head. This will allow you to provide the same great customer service to the next person.
Do you have what it takes to survive a day in the life of a Membership Coordinator?