This week is all about the customer experience. I’ve gathered a bunch of articles from the business world because they think and talk a lot more about customer experience (CX) than do we in the nonprofit world. This is a shame, because there’s a lot we can learn (think ‘donor service’ as you read through these articles). This is one “Click-it” you won’t want to miss! Plus, as always, some learning opportunity reminders for you (scroll to the bottom).
Click-It: Customer Experience and its Impact on Business. Lots of good insights in this post by Siv Rauv on the elcom blog. Research has found that a better customer experience correlates to loyalty. That loyalty can mean significant revenue. And not just for commercial businesses. So… how do you give your donor a good experience? It’s not one thing, but the sum of many. Suggested in this article are (1) communications through your audiences’ favored channels, understanding that not all audience segments are created equal; (2) training staff to respond promptly and appropriately, and (3) product knowledge so that consumers are not frustrated by their interactions with your organization’s representatives. Great donor service will set you apart from your competitors and drive supporter loyalty. It’s time to take this seriously.
Click-It: The Future of Customer Experience. This article summarizes a talk from the Customer Experience Professionals Insight Exchange in which the speaker outlined three attributes of customer experience:
- Success: the degree to which customers can accomplish their goals
- Effort: the difficulty or ease of accomplishing those goals
- Emotion: how the interaction makes customers feel
The problem today is that most organizations focus on success and not so much on the others. Do you do that with your supporters? Do you make it easy for them to donate? Do you report back to them on the impact of their gifts? Do you show them gratitude, repeatedly, so that the warm glow of their accomplishment stays with them? What struck me in this article was this quote: “Your customers are on a journey, so help them.” To learn how to do this for your donors, read my articles on this topic here, here and here.
Click-it: 10 Things Mom Can Teach Us About Customer Service. There are some simple take-aways in this article on the B2C blog: (1) It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it; (2) Make everyone feel important; (3) If you don’t have something nice to say…; (4) Be kinder than necessary; you never know what else someone is going through; (5) “Please” and “thank you” are magic words, and (6) If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, and… more! Check out this common sense article that will help you stand head and shoulders above the competition – if you just commit.
Click-it: Customer Experience Improvement is a Team Sport. This is one article in a series of 10 from the folks at Clear Action, customer experience trainers. I like this one because I often say that donor retention ‘takes a village.’ Read through the entire series if you get a chance. The language is not the same as we commonly use in nonprofits, but the point is crystal clear: there’s a lot of research out there on what keeps customers (aka donors) loyal. We nonprofit do-gooders should pay attention.
Click-it: CX = #1 Priority for Small Businesses. This article by Justin Smith on the Live Person blog caught my attention because of the focus on small businesses, and this finding from a research study of 560 small to medium-sized businesses in a wide range of industries: “customer service and support is the highest priority for 2015, above sales acquisition and sales conversion.” If you read my blog at all, you know I talk all the time about making donor retention your highest priority. Read this article for some tips on how to start rethinking your customer service experience with a limited budget (hint: think more digital engagement).
Speaking of Customer Service…
Tomorrow is the LAST DAY to sign up for The Power of Thank You. This e-course is delivered directly to you – guides, webinars, podcasts and all sorts of bonuses – so you can watch/read at your own convenience and ON YOUR OWN SCHEDULE. So don’t worry if you have to miss a week. The materials are YOURS TO KEEP! And I’ll be your coach and cheerleader all the way through. The absolutely best – and easiest – way to keep your donors satisfied and loyal is through gratitude. Once you ‘get it’ – and get your organization on board with it – it becomes transformative. Register here. You can add 4 team members at no extra cost too!
Want to learn how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out your donor’s joy of giving to you – and thereby s-t-r-e-t-c-h their giving? If you’re finding it tricky to get around to the major gift ask, join me and the Foundation Center on May19th for 50 Ways to ‘Move’ Your Donor: Stewardship Solutions to Get to Yes with Finesse. You’ll learn how to move your donor and get a novel, tried-and-true methodology to choreograph and measure your moves so you know exactly when you’re ready to ask. No more procrastinating! No more guessing! The Foundation Center and I will clear the air with an intensive online Major Gifts Master Class. I’m giving away all my secrets – don’t miss it!
Photo: Flickr, Isaac Torronterra