So what happens next?

What is an easy-to-implement member or customer communication that might significantly enhance their experience and satisfaction?

It answers one important question: What happens next?

This type of communication—email, letter, or other form—is already used in some circumstances.  Common occurrences include after registering for a conference or placing an order online.

Many more opportunities to fill the information void exist.  Here are just a few noteworthy ones.

What happens  next when I …
  • Submit my application to volunteer?
  • Accept a volunteer responsibility?
  • Hire you to provide a service or product?
  • Provide feedback, particularly if critical?
  • Contribute an idea for consideration?
  • Register for an event as a first-time attendee?
  • Join your organization?
  • Sign up for your customer loyalty program?
Human beings are fickle. We often create negative narratives when we lack updates about what is happening:  Did they get my feedback? If so, why have I not heard back from them? Do they not care about my concerns? Did they not do anything with my feedback? Should I even bother to offer my opinions in the future?

Because the people managing any process know what happens next, it is easy to forget that those we serve do not necessarily possess this same understanding. Making this information explicit and communicating what happens next helps manage member or customer expectations. 

Doing so may increase their satisfaction with our efforts and their affinity for our organization while also reducing calls and online inquiries for information we probably should already have provided.

Now that is a win-win worth pursuing.

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