Not long ago I was on a flight back to the U.S. from London and had one of the worst in-flight experiences in memory. It was as though the crew didn’t know the passengers even existed.
Their focus was on getting the job done.
Serve some beverages. Then serve some food. Remove the trays from those finished eating. Clean up their service trollies. Then take a seat and read a book or play on their smartphone. And respond (maybe) if someone pressed the call button. And for heaven’s sake, never freshen up the bathroom!
The very last thing on their mind was the customer experience. They really didn’t care what the customer went through as long as they “got their job done.”
What they failed to realize is their job was to give the customer a great experience. Serving beverages and food was just one of the ways to achieve that goal.
As I thought about this awful in-flight experience, my mind went to some of the research we’ve done that exposes the fact that too many charities treat their donors in exactly the same way. The internal team doesn’t think about the donor experience; they just focus on whatever they think their job is.
According to the findings of our Online Fundraising Scorecard, here are some of the hard facts:
- 79% of emails sent by the 151 charities surveyed didn’t personalize the “To” line with a first name.
- 37% of the organizations didn’t send an email in the first 30 days after someone signed up to receive their emails.
- 84% of landing pages were not optimized for mobile viewing.
And in a soon-to-be-released study on social media, we found that:
- Only 45% of nonprofits surveyed responded to a question posted on the Twitter account by an interested party.
- Of those 45% who did respond… only 26% of nonprofits responded on Twitter within 2 hours… 35% responded within a day. Some responded up to 12 days later.
- Only 51% of nonprofits responded to a question posted on their Facebook account by an interested party.
Just like the flight attendants, these charities don’t think in terms of the customer (donor) experience. They don’t have a donor-centric mind-set. Instead, they think their job is what they do, not what it should be, and that is to create a great donor experience.
- It’s okay to have a website with corporate content… regardless of whether it can be effectively viewed on mobile (where the majority of viewing is now taking place).
- They don’t believe that responding to people should be a priority.
- It’s good enough to have a presence in social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), but not important to use that presence to create a great customer (donor) experience.
- Everyone gets the same direct mail appeal regardless of whether they’ve supported the organization for years or a few weeks.
I’d encourage you to pull your team together and take time to evaluate every part of your communications, marketing, fundraising, and digital strategies/presence through the lens of your customer (donor) experience.
Some questions to consider…
- Does it make them feel valued?
- Does it treat them like they are important?
- Does it anticipate their needs?
- Does it make it easy for them to engage?
- Does it show that you care?
- Do they feel loved?
What your donors or potential donors experience when they engage with your organization will have everything to do with whether they will become lifelong friends and supporters.
By: Rick Dunham