A family member died from a blood disease, so I’m sensitive to the importance of blood donations. I had not given in far too long when I stopped into an American Red Cross trailer a few weeks ago and donated a pint plus platelets.
The techs warn you at the time there’s no guarantee your blood will be acceptable, but I got a follow-up call a couple weeks later for another donation. I happened to be in a public place and the connection seemed to be poor. I asked them to call me back. Later, I reflected on the fact my blood must have passed muster or they would not have called me. Why didn’t they just tell me the good news?
Tonight, another call. Again the connection was poor, which I’ll now say is due to some budget choices on the equipment used by the telephone staff. There’s a drive this Thursday at Saratoga Catholic, would I prefer 11, 12 or 1 pm?
Wait a minute, I said. I understood there was something special about my blood from the previous call and I’d like more detail before committing. The rep read through a script about how important blood donation is. But what about my blood, what’s special about that? Well, you’re A Positive which is 34% of people but only 3% give blood. Further you’re able to give to A Negative donors as well.
I had to stop her there because I’m not available on that date but asked her to call again. I really do want to give blood and intend to, but this process is self defeating. Let’s see how it could be made better
1. On the first follow-up call, congratulate the donor on the fact their blood was found acceptable and is helping save lives right now. Why in the world would they not do this?
2. On the second call, don’t lead with generic blood donor motivators. Tell me what my blood type is and why that’s important, rather than have me ask for it.
3. Finally, don’t twist my arm. Calling me out of the blue and trying to set up an appointment right way is way too intrusive. How about a softer direct mail sell? And how about a secondary ask of a donation, which might help pay for the program?