Nonprofit Satisfaction and Experience
The Temkin Group publishes an annual Experience Ratings study. It evaluates the quality of the experiences U.S. companies deliver to their customers by surveying 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with organizations. They measure the experience across three different areas:
- How did the consumer feel about his or her recent interaction with a company? (emotion)
- How easy was it to interact with a company? (effort)
- To what degree was the goal of the interaction accomplished? (success)
To quote the 2015 report: “Customer experience shows its first decline. We compared this year’s results with survey responses from the past four years and found that customer experience has dropped since last year. Even when we removed utilities from the analysis (which we only added in 2015), the number of poor and very poor companies grew from 25 percent in 2014 to 28 percent in 2015, while the number of good and very good companies remained the same. Of the three components, emotion experienced the most significant decline.”
Luckily, nonprofits are not included in this report—but if they were, how do you think they would measure up? Perhaps more importantly, how well do you think your organization would measure up if you asked your constituents about their experiences with your brand? What makes that question so scary for most people is that nonprofits have so many different engagement avenues that thinking through “a satisfactory experience” can become somewhat overwhelming. Understanding if your constituents are having experiences that make them feel good about their choice to engage with your mission and, perhaps of greater importance, feel good enough to want to come back again is critical to your success. Here are some tips to make this less overwhelming:
Think through the various channels where you have large usage by your constituents. Don’t just think about your donors—although, dissatisfied donors will probably make the biggest impact on your organization the fastest.
- Customer service/donor service/inbound telephone service:
Whether you have a general inbound number to handle any constituent questions or an inbound number that provides services to the general public, your brand has a chance to make a great impression—but it can break down in several areas. You need to understand how long people are waiting on hold before they speak to someone, how many people are abandoning the call before they speak with someone, and if people are getting their issues resolved or questions answered. You should never close the call without asking if their needs were met.
Furthermore, your organization should be using this important one-on-one experience to educate callers about opportunities related to the cause, other services that are available to help them, etc. As always, what you offer must be relevant to the constituents or any positive feelings you have created by meeting their needs earlier in the calls will be reduced.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.