Lunchtime Links: Stop Member Complaints Before They Go Viral

Why everyone at your organization plays a role in customer service. Plus: a replacement for the old company extranet?

Why everyone at your organization plays a role in customer service. Plus: a replacement for the old company extranet?

Thanks to the rise of social media, disgruntled members and customers have a louder megaphone to voice their displeasure with your products and services. Working to quash complaints before they go viral, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

Response time: You hope all your members are happy and satisfied, but that isn’t always the case. Writing for The Wall Street Journal, startup mentor Ryan Holmes discusses the importance of responding to client complaints—and how to keep them from going viral. In a world where more than half of all consumers now turn to social media to air grievances with products or services, Holmes says it’s more important than ever for organizations to monitor social networks—and to respond to and contain complaints. “[I]t’s essential that all employees become the eyes and ears of an organization on social media,” he writes. And although “this doesn’t mean every employee has to be glued to Facebook and Twitter streams all day,” it does mean that your employees should look out for negative comments and alert the proper team members when they see or hear something that signals trouble. It’s all part of a larger trend toward what Holmes calls “decentralized customer service.” (ht @causeaholic)

Test run: With all the whiz-bang technology solutions on the market today, it’s easy to get caught up in the promise of innovation and convenience, especially when it comes to managing your email campaigns. “But not every new tactic works,” writes Lawrence Grodeska, nonprofit coordinator for, in a recent post on the The Nonprofit Technology Network. That’s why “it’s critical that nonprofits have short feedback loops to figure out what’s working and where to allocate resources.” He offers three types of testing that nonprofits can use to gauge the effectiveness and reliability of everything from distribution and open rates to online forms to audience segmentation. “Testing removes your biases and guesswork to deliver a set of results which will improve online engagement and convert your audience from leads to dedicated action takers,” writes Grodeska, adding, “Numbers don’t lie!”

Goodbye extranet? Does your association maintain an extranet—a secure place online that external vendors, contractors, and others can access to upload and share documents and other tools with employees in your organization? Known for their utility, these tools are not often the most intuitive or functional pieces of technology. Writing for tech blog CMS Wire, Rich Wood details Microsoft’s Yammer, an increasingly popular social network for companies and other organizations that is redefining the look and feel of the traditional extranet. Apart from allowing external vendors to share documents and resources with internal employees, he says, Yammer creates an interactive and social environment that is “intuitive and easy to adopt.” Best of all: It’s mobile friendly.

Has your organization tried Yammer or another extranet option? Tell us about it in the comments.


Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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