The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: How to Deal with Customers!
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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

How to Deal with Customers!

As a fundraiser, I have to deal with a lot of people. I deal with co-workers, the public, our donors and our volunteers. It is hard sometimes but I have learned that in order to be successful, you have to always be nice, polite and listen to people. Because I have to deal with so many people at any given time I have learned a few tricks when dealing with constituents.

The most important thing to remember is the customer is always right. I know that sounds trivial but it is something you have to learn in any business. In the fundraising business, our customers are our donors. Here are some tips that have helped me.

Always be Friendly and Polite on the phone:
I always answer the phone in my best professional voice. Sometimes, it's hard but even if I have to fake it. I do it. Also, never leave people on hold.

Always Remember their Name:
I make sure to learn the name of anyone who I come into contact with. I try to remember their names and the names of their spouses and children. One way I do this is with fundraising software. But if you aren't in the fundraising business, there are other types of software, like UserIQ, that will help you keep track of your customers. I always go to our database when talking or meeting with someone because we store the important information there.

Drop Everything:
When donors, volunteers or vendors come into my office, I drop everything to greet them. If I am on the phone, I excuse myself or let them know I will be right with them. I stop working and take a few minutes to catch up with them and be sociable.

Always Listen:
I once had a donor yell at me for 20 minutes because she received a thank you letter that was incorrect. It wasn't my fault and it was a small mistake but she was mad. I let her vent. I apologized and told her that I would look into it. I looked in our database and found the mistake. I explained to her what happened and she was fine. In the end, she apologized to me. All she needed was someone to hear her.

Be Yourself:
Being nice, being friendly and appreciating customers is something that should be second nature. Be sincere with your customer base. Be yourself and treat them like you want to be treated. This goes a long way.

In closing, customer service is hard. But you can master it. It takes time and practice. But once you learn, it is easy and it can work for any business you are in. If you own a business, getting help from professionals is something to look into. You can find products that can teach you and your employees how to make sure your customers are satisfied!


  1. These are all great tips. My fiance' is a small business owner and we use these on a daily basis.

  2. I think you would rock because of his post. I wish more customer service people were like you.

  3. Thanks for sharing your wonderful tips! I used to work in customer service and it can be difficult at times.

  4. For me it is kindness and patience that go far in dealing with people.

  5. I don't have to deal with customers right now, but I do know what it is like to have a concern. I try to be polite and patient and genuine issues. It is frustrating if you get customer service that is poor, as it only make the problem worse. You sound ideal! Wow!