I am utterly spoiled by twitter, and discouraged by any organization that doesn’t use it for customer service. For example, I am feeling happier about recruiting Kabissa volunteers via VolunteerMatch.org (a US-based nonprofit) than I am about OnlineVolunteering.org (a UN organization run out of Bonn) even though the latter is a closer “culture fit” for Kabissa and provides a stream of great applicants from all over Africa and the world. One reason is that VolunteerMatch.org has a twitter account (@volunteermatch) and is responsive to quick support questions via twitter.
OnlineVolunteering.org doesn’t use twitter at all and accepts support inquiries by email only. I just received the first batch of responses yesterday evening, over a week after I sent in a series of support questions and long after I had figured out things for myself (incorrectly it turns out). The response I received from them was thoughtful and thorough, and I know the customer service person who wrote it must have spent half an hour or more on figuring out the issues I was having and writing up a response to all of my questions all at the same time.
Nice effort, but come on, folks – join the twitter revolution! Avoid the backlog in your own email inbox, keep your volunteers and organizational partners happier, and keep the volunteer cycle flowing smoothly. (Add an issue tracker as well and a public roadmap, then you’ll be golden.)