Addressing member services challenges



Staffing and communication challenges exist in member services departments across Public Media, and those challenges were compounded when COVID hit and forced staff to quickly transition to a work-from-home environment. When several of our Public Media partners expressed frustration with transitioning, we knew we had the right solution – leveraging ACD’s very-experienced agents to act as the frontline of member services.

“When COVID hit last year…we were very short staffed and not everyone was equipped to work from home. Just a couple of us were handling everything…so that’s when we contacted ACD for Member Services Support, and that had a huge impact on us.”

Lori Street, Ozarks Public Television

ACD was built on a remote-work foundation since its inception over eighteen years ago.  Today, we handle almost ten million minutes per year in phone calls for Public Media. With that much volume, we are very experienced in the nuances of inquiries from supporters, listeners, and viewers. Whether we are making updates to account information and payment methods used by current monthly donors, answering program questions or assisting with Passport technical issues, our agents are equipped to handle almost any call.

It is our experience that a tiered member services approach gives Stations the best value and service. The first tier of agents answer calls and chats, answer FAQs, and take donations. If those agents are unable to handle the inquiry, they then transfer the call to ACD’s higher-level Connect team. In addition to having more training, these agents log directly into the Station’s database (NGOC, Allegiance, Raiser’s Edge, and ROI) and act as a full extension of the membership department. During regular business hours, they will consult with the Station’s membership department directly to answer the most complex of inquiries. ACD currently uses this full-service tiered approach for six stations, including Georgia Public Broadcasting, Rocky Mountain PBS, Cascade Public Media, Ozarks Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting and WETA.

“When we started working with the [Connect] team, I started breathing easier because I thought, ‘We have a full-service solution here that we can rely on, we know who these people are, and we can reach out to them at any time.’ And it’s a two-way street because we are in Teams with them at all times.”

Twyla Olson, Friends of South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Unlike traditional member services departments, ACD agents are available 24/7/365 to respond to any inquiry right away. When a member wants to talk, we are ready and waiting for their call. We also have a large pool of member services certified agents that provide business continuity.

When it comes to enhancing the member services experience, ACD can add an omni-channel presence by integrating email response, web chat, social media messaging, and texting. Members want to communicate through channels other than calls and emails.

“When we ask for something new or more ACD doesn’t go ’oh god, we’re going to have to figure that out,’ they just make it happen. That is not the case with most vendors.”

Ashley Pruett, Georgia Public Broadcasting

With ACD’s member services support, you will: 1) rest easy knowing members receive immediate attention, 2) spend less time worrying about staff management, 3) experience service continuity, even during the worst of circumstances, and, most importantly, 4) be able to focus on raising money instead of answering calls and emails.