My article, Self Service, Customer Service, and Community Service was featured in the May, 2015 issue of Quorum Magazine, the magazine of the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, which focused on Customer Service. (You have to be a WMCCAI member to log in and download the issue.)
When I was asked to write this article about customer service, with respect to board expectations of management and owners expectations of the board, I immediately realized that disconnects in expectations with regard to customer service lie at the root of many of the problems in the community association world. Who exactly is the customer, and who is supposed to be serving that customer? What expectations do these customers have?
I shared some true stories to illustrate the disconnects, and presented the relationships as they ideally should operate.
Achieving excellence in the Community Service model requires partnering. Ultimately, the vote of ONE person on a board may tip a critical board decision affecting all owners for years! The management companies operate within the terms of their contracts and their commitment to a perceived level of service. I challenge boards and management companies to provide a greater level of excellence, to:
- Improve the condition and value of the property over the longer term
- Raise the quality of live at the property, through education, communication, and better customer service
- Improve the financial soundness of the association for the long haul.
This requires breaking out of the box of business as usual, to include consideration of partnering and commitment of the board and management to shared goals, improved training, and improved communication across diverse groups. One of the reasons why our community has been successful is that its board cares. Let's discuss how to expect and achieve more!
My prior articles in Quorum include:
- June, 2014, A Wonderful State of Being, reviewing the 2013 Community Association of the Year winners
- July, 2011, Hard Work Rewarded, when we were recognized as 2010 Community Association of the Year winner
In addition, I was introduced in the January 2015 issue as a new member of the WMCCAI Board of Directors.
I recently received the following great news. I had submitted the application last fall, but never expected to win. There are a lot of medium-sized condo associations in the Washington, DC Metro Area. Our board has accomplished a great deal in these past few years! (Some day, we will have to write a book about it! Never a dull moment! In any case, come to the CAI conference and hear what we have to say about it.)
"Congratulations—Talltree South Condominium Association is Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute's 2010 Medium Association of the Year!
The awards will be presented and the real pomp and circumstance will take place at our Conference & Expo on Saturday, March 12, 2011. At the Conference & Expo we will not only present your award but a representative of your community will have the opportunity to speak about Talltree South Condominium Association's successes during an educational seminar titled, "Proven Best Practices for Community Associations: Hear it from the Winners!"
These are just a few of the benefits of this award! Jennifer Jones, communications manager, will be in touch with further details in the near future.
On behalf of Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute I'd like to congratulate you and thank you for your commitment to providing better living through community associations!
Sarah A. Patterson, Executive Director
Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute
7600 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100 West
Falls Church, VA 22043
My article was just published in the July 2011 issue of Quorum Magazine, of the Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (WMCCAI), under the title Hard Work -- Rewarded.
This article detailed the accomplishments that landed us the "Most Improved" condo association through application of CAI guidelines. I don't think I can repeat it here but I will provide a link if I can find it online.
The cycles are amazing - history has already repeated itself more than once. So much is at stake, dependent upon a mix of volunteer efforts, overworked managers,misguided agendas, ignorance and apathy. People buy condos so that they don't have to mow the lawn, but if they don't pay attention, the condominium concept puts their investment and home at risk. How well does it work? Stay tuned. I've submitted another article and have a history of Talltree South in progress.