- The for-profit world has known for a long time that happy customers equal loyal customers. So why should it be any different in the non-profit sector? Jacqueline Lee har bakgrunn fra Canadian Cancer Society og er opptatt av proaktiv giverservice.
The for-profit world has known for a long time that happy customers equal loyal customers. So why should it be any different in the non-profit sector?
Providing good customer service should, by now, be a fundamental pillar of any business. I had a recent experience with an airline where they kept me on hold for over an hour. I am very stubborn so I stuck with it. Eventually I was put through to someone who said it was the wrong department and transferred me to “the correct” department. It kept me on hold for 30 more minutes and then hung up on me. This airline should consider reading this article.
The for-profit world has known for a long time that happy customers equal loyal customers. So why should it be any different in the non-profit sector? It’s not. Excellent customer service in charities leads to higher retention rates, decreases the number of complaints and reduces the numbers of donors falling off, just to name a few of the benefits. Ensure that you have easy to find and up-to-date contact information on your webpage so donors know who to call if they have a question.
Now how can we take this knowledge a step further? It’s one thing to provide reactive customer service, but in the non-profit field proactive customer service is a game changer. If you can reach a donor before they get frustrated enough to call, or simply stop donating, it can even turn some of those frustrated donors into brand advocates. A happy customer will on average tell at least 3 people about their experience. The opportunity cost of letting these donors stay frustrated is huge, because not only will they not positively rave about the charity, they will rage about it to many more. Once a donor calls, ensure that your front of line staff have the answers they need to answer a donor. They should be kept up to date on media releases, recent campaigns, common FAQs and who to escalate the calls to. As someone who has worked in customer service from the bottom-up, it is essential that every staff member is ready to respond to the public. There have been too many times when I have called a charity and they have no idea what I am asking about.
In a Canadian test at one of the largest health charities, brand new one-time gift donors were called to thank them for their recent gift of $X. They were then told what impact their gift had on research and for patients. Donors were asked if they had received their tax receipt, if their contact information was correct and if they would like any further information on their gifts. They were also asked why they chose this particular charity. This resulted in retention rates increasing by over 2 times, and increasing contact information in the database by over 70%. This also increased the lifetime value of these donors and added the ability to further steward them through a variety of channels. Typically, charities make the time to call and thank donors who give major gifts (if you aren’t already doing this – you should). However, it is your everyday donor who makes up the majority of your donor file. Now you are probably thinking that nobody in your office has time to make all these phone calls. Luckily, the test saw no difference between a volunteer calling versus a staff member calling. It is a cost-effective method to increase retention and engage with your donors.
This is an exciting time for fundraising in Norway. You can stand above the rest by showing your donors how much you appreciate and care about them. I look forward to seeing you reap the rewards from proactive customer service. If you have any questions regarding direct response, donor relations, or matching gift campaigns please feel free to contact ProFundo or myself.
Until next time,