Follow Through Counts

We had planned a car trip before we found out that my husband would be working inRome for 2 weeks at the end of June.  But it’s been so long since we’ve had a vacation that was not tethered by family or work, we decided to take the week we planned.  We PLANNED to drive up the coast, but rock and mudslides put paid to that idea.  So we drove up in the middle, fighting heat and boredom, until we headed west to the ocean.  Where it was still hot.  And in a moment of let’s do something different, we headed up to Lake Tahoe. Thanks to Hotel Tonight, we were able to get a room in a very upscale hotel at a price that made us sure the website was just hype.  It wasn’t—and we spent 3 glorious nights pretending we were richer than we are.

Seriously, the place was luxe.  We had a view of the lake from our terrace; the room was large and the bed really comfortable.  The staff was friendly and thoughtful.  All in all, I might have given it a 5 out of 5.  Except—follow through on things was less than stellar.

For example, the person who brought us up to our room noted there was only one bathrobe in the bathroom.  “I’ll get another sent up pronto,” he said.  Three days later, there was still one robe.

Then my husband really wanted to be able to make tea in the room.  Three staff members said, absolutely—coming right up.  We finally found an unattended housekeeping cart that had the tea pods, and so we swiped a few.

And then, when we got home, we noticed that there was a breakfast charge on the bill that wasn’t ours.  I called—and the nice young woman at the desk said, “Let me check with my boss.  I’m sure I can just delete that, but I’ll get right back to you.” That was 4 days ago.  I’ve called and emailed, but no one seems to have an answer.  And now I’m thinking 3, or maybe even 2.5 out of 5.

Follow through, doing what you say you are going to do, keeping your customers (and don’t think that donors aren’t customers) feeling that they matter and you care, is critical.  No matter how well you do everything else, dropping the ball when you say you will do something will sour everything.

We didn’t need the second bathrobe.  Heck, we didn’t even use the first.  But the fact that we were told it would be taken care of left us feeling as if we didn't matter very much, or the staff member just didn’t care.  And if he doesn’t care, should we? This is really important for nonprofits.  Fundraising suffers big time when balls are dropped.  Funders, especially, can get understandably testy if you don’t submit that report they requested (or the one YOU suggested!), and prospects will decide to give their money elsewhere if they are not well taken care of.

Taking pride in following through, Janet Levine works with nonprofits to move them from mired to inspired--raising more money and having more committed staff and boards.  Follow through by contacting Janet and arranging for your free, 30-minute consultation.