In Zilch, Nancy Lublin discusses how not-for-profits “do more for customers” than for-profit companies. However, for-profit companies can, and should, do the same things not-for-profits do.
The leadership layer of most not-for-profits is extremely accessible. In many instances you can call a not-for-profit, ask to speak to the executive director and that person will answer the phone. If they’re not in, they’ll call or e-mail you back.
This is not a function of not-for-profit CEO’s being more outgoing or a function of too much time on their hands, but rather an understanding of the importance of accessibility. They know the value of speaking to the person in charge rather than the receptionist. Why wouldn’t the CEO of a for-profit company find the same value in having a dialogue with a customer.
The ROI is putting a face and a voice on an often faceless entity.
When executives become too important to talk to customers, the company loses the opportunity to give back something valuable to the customer, as well as the opportunity to gather insights from the customer.
People prefer to be on the inside, rather than on the outside looking in. Given today’s economy, if you have a chance to turn your customers into “insiders,” brand ambassadors, lifetime loyalists or raving fans, take it. The ROI will be enormous.
Are you too important to take a call from a customer?