Historically, before the internet, person to person contact was essential when it came to conducting business. School fundraising companies relied heavily on local sales reps as the primary way to sell their brochures and product lines. Another common way to reach fundraiser groups were trade shows where sales reps had the opportunity to interact with potential customers in a more relaxed setting. As a result, many school sponsors grew used to reps coming in and do things like perform kickoffs as well as providing follow-up service.
However, with advanced technology, many companies now feel that they can still provide personalized consulting and exceptional service without the need for in person reps. Schools can now find great fundraising programs on the internet that can be completely customized to meet their needs without having to meet with a sales rep at all. After all, what matters most to a fundraising sponsor is being able to:
Often times, local sales reps are limited by a poorly run company. Fundraising companies receive bad marks from schools because they don’t have good systems in place to address anticipated problems or issues and unfortunately their sales reps are at their mercy as well.
What makes matters even worse is when schools have to deal with local reps that don’t end up providing good service. The reason may be because these reps:
Let’s face it; a responsive and knowledgeable customer account manager with a well run company can solve issues just as fast over the phone or by email as any local rep can. If there is an issue, local sales reps still need to contact their respective companies to attempt to get answers before getting back to the school with a solution.
Regardless of the company or the rep, most of the work takes place after the fundraising kickoff when the school is left handling things like:
The bottom line is, if you have a question or problem, how quickly is it going to get fixed? Before any issue ever arises, we provide every school-wide customer with a personalized School Fundraising Guidebook with quick and easy access to step by step information as they need it. This way, our customers already have answers to questions before they even need to call us. Excellent customer service should be automatic regardless of whether the customer has a local rep or is working with a customer account manager over the phone. We have found that providing customers with access to excellent resources as well as working closely with them throughout their fundraiser to help ensure success is what really matters in the end.