I received a call from an Australian university last week. The caller said she and her teammates were contacting alumni of university X to update their contact details. I told her I was not a member of the alumni community of university X. This response puzzled her. After a major pause, she said “you aren’t?”. When I responded that indeed I had not attended their university. She said, with a quick recovery, “oh, well do you still live at…”.
You know I applaud calls like this one from occurring in the first place. I have written about the need to confirm, edit, and enhance (CEE) a record. Kudos to this university for taking the time to contact donors (including non alumni!) to confirm their details and to update them when they are incorrect. Data cleansing calls are always welcome. Perhaps my record was coded as “alumni”. Perhaps not. Yet, an opening script, which is inclusive of alumni and non- alumni, donors and non donors, would have saved this particular caller that moment of embarrassment.