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Customer Service is catching up!

Customer Service is catching up!

Amid some big challenges, we're working hard to take care of our customers' needs.

In any normal time, our Customer Service team at Harmony Hall might handle 300-350 service tickets per week — a little higher seasonally around conventions, or holiday shopping, or particularly heavy renewal dates.

The first quarter of 2021 has been unlike any in recent memory. We are currently averaging 450 tickets per week, which is 31% higher than normal — with a smaller Customer Service staff than in 2020.

Several factors coincided— some from tech hurdles, some from special efforts to assist members during the pandemic, which require special handling :

  • The upgrade to our Member Center platform powered by Salesforce created new needs around reporting, and new and unfamiliar interfaces for customers and chapter leaders.
  • We’ve had strong response to our Project Connect offers to reinstate members with waived fees to keep connected to the Society — but it requires special processing.
  • The Cleveland 2021 convention rebooking generated many questions and requests for processing.
  • A new tech platform for Virtual Midwinter generated peak request volume for this year.

Our response to this confluence of many streams:

  • We hosted weekly zoom calls in January for volunteer leaders to get live support on the upgraded Member Center.
  • We have enlisted the entire Harmony Hall staff to process these requests. All 31 members of the staff —everyone, regardless of job title—have handled some portion of the tickets in queue, whether by answering questions, making phone calls, or doing data entry.
  • We have closed 7,003 tickets since January 1, about 22% higher than usual.
  • This month, we have cut our backlog in half, and , and our average completion time is now within three days— not back to our normal service level, but we’re in range.

Trust us, we would love to have this all cleared ASAP. A minute spent by a member trying to sort out a record-keeping issue is a minute not spent solving questions of how and when to get together again. A staff minute sent fixing previous problems comes at the expense of not extending further capabilities to make barbershop easier for everyone. And of course, a day of dues not processed on time is an impediment to normal business cash flow.

We totally get it. We’re working hard to fix it. We appreciate the many courteous calls and emails asking for assistance. (In fact, despite a rocky start to the year, 92% of those who chose to rate our service rated it “great.”) We acknowledge and respectfully ask your forbearance when you are frustrated.

Tips to faster service

  • Email is faster than phone calls. We can sort and assign tickets faster when they come via email.
  • One message is faster than two. Resist the temptation to send a second email/voicemail. This helps reduce the time needed to sort messages. and increases the amount of time we can be helping you.
  • Clear subject lines help. “Member #876746 - please renew” is easier to handle than “help.”