Pet Peeve – Contact Us? – We’re not really interested in you.

Posted on April 11, 2008. Filed under: Customer Service, Fundraising, Non-profits |

On Seth Godin’s blog ( the other day (April 9th) he had a post about poor telephone service by organizations — that incoming call is from a prospect who’s interested enough in your organization to call you — unlike spending time and dollars to find qualified leads, yet many organizations treat this as an irritant — not as the opportunity to make a good first impression and to begin to create a ongoing relationship.

A pet peeve of mine are the organizations (both businesses and non-profits) that loudly proclaim that communication is one of their key values, they want to be responsive to their customers, clients and potential donors but then they make it impossible for you to contact them directly.

I’m talking about small organizations that proudly list their key staff, their mission statement, their dedication to service and then the only e-mail address provided is “” I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like sending in a detailed question, suggestion or invitation just to “info@.” I’m not talking about gigantic organizations like AARP or GE, I don’t expect to get their CEO’s direct e-mail address, but come on, for a 10-20 person organization, make it easy to contact the right person. Some times my issues would properly go to the CEO, and sometimes it’s the Director of Training, but don’t make it impossible to reach your key staff.

It’s fine for them to put the contact information as JaneDoe AT name DOT com to foil the bots, but don’t make it impossible for potential donors, customers, volunteers or partners to reach you.

Tip: Have someone you know, but doesn’t know your organization or sector well, look at your website and ask them if they were trying to contact your key staff, could they easily find it on the website?

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