You've Got One Shot With Donor Customer-Service
Recently, I heard a stat about customer service. According to HubSpot, 65 percent of customers have stopped buying from a company after it makes just one customer-service mistake.
Why is this an important topic for my nonprofit blog? In the old days, consumers gave nonprofits a pass on some things. Well, those days are gone. With the shifting demographics of donors and volunteers, as well as the introduction of digital marketing, consumers today have similar expectations of all brands they engage with—commercial or nonprofit. They want their needs met, questions answered and problems resolved. Additionally, with the world of computing and databases, consumers expect brands to handle requests in close to real-time within their databases.
Now, if you are saying, "Gosh, I don’t have this problem," think again. Here are five things to consider:
1. Do you know how many donor complaints and requests you got last month? If not, why? This is something you need to measure. And, while you are measuring, make sure you log the complaints and requests by category.
2. Do you know how many interactions it takes for you to solve someone’s problem? Are you resolving problems on the first try? If not, why? Is there a breakdown with a particular business process (communication preferences, name changes in a database, etc.) that is either delaying things or not getting it right?
3. Do you have some kind of inbound number where people call to get their questions answered and problems resolved? If yes, I have two questions for you. One, can the person who answers the phone handle the majority of the issues, or do other people have to get involved? And, two, do you know how long people have to stay on hold before talking to someone live? These two issues are important because people are more stressed and overwhelmed than ever. Long hold times and the feeling that they are being passed around constantly register as bad customer experience in people's minds.
4. If you take customer service issues via email, how many days go by before you respond to your donor or volunteer? The maximum acceptable wait time, across the country, is 24 hours—are you meeting that expectation? This is important, because if people have a problem already, you don’t want to make it worse with a delay.
5. Have you ever surveyed your donor-service users? Most organizations keep data on who has emailed or called them with questions, concerns or problems. Have you ever followed up on that experience?
Just remember, when someone reaches out with a question, a request for service or a problem to solve, they are not leaving you. Face it, if they wanted to leave your organization, they would just go away. So, you need to take care of the people who reach out—because they like you enough to reach out.
Don’t lose that relationship.
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.