Make Customer Service a Team Effort

How one association turned its entire staff into a customer service team.

If you want to make customer service a priority for your association, you've got to get everyone involved. The American Immigration Lawyers Association has done just that with its Customer Service Initiative (originally called the "Front Liners Team"), a team designed to improve customer service and educate all staff members.

"The concept was that we would invite everyone who we considered to be the front line of duty in dealing with customers," says LaJuan Campbell, member service associate at AILA. But the team later evolved to include everyone on staff.

At each team meeting, staff members share examples of good or bad customer service that they've experienced. "Someone gets a prize for who can be the funniest, or the worst, or the best," says Campbell. She says the sharing exercise demonstrates the "treat everyone the way you want to be treated" theory.

The goal is to take away something small from each session that the organization will implement and roll over into the culture, says Campbell. Eventually, the small changes will start to add up.

"Everyone shares the responsibility of great member service, period," Campbell says. For associations looking to start a similar customer service team, Campbell suggests not limiting the team to people on the "front line."

Campbell says the feedback she has received from staff has been positive. "They love it. I was pleasantly surprised, and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who feels like [customer service] is a priority in the organization."

Aria White is editorial assistant for Associations Now. Email: [email protected]