For profit organizations know that improving customer experience increases customer retention and profit over the long-term. In fact, there are volumes of research on this topic by reputable firms like McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, and the London School of Economics.
The data is conclusive. Improving customer experience increases revenue and profitability.
The London School of Economics found that reducing negative word-of-mouth from existing clients by 1% increases profitability by 300% more than improving positive word-of-mouth by 1%.
It’s time nonprofits take note and embrace this model. Imagine the increases in donor retention and long-term donor value if you had a strategic, organization-wide focus on improving the donor experience.
What kinds of things might you find when you map your donor experience?
You might find that:
1. Thank you receipts are going out weeks after gifts are received, communicating to your donors that their support is unappreciated and not needed.
2. Your receptionist is impolite when he/she answers the phone. Or potentially worse, donors calls go completely unanswered.
3. Donor names are spelled incorrectly and you haven’t corrected it after being asked multiple times by the donor to do so.
4. Your communications (appeals, newsletters, e-mails, event presentations) talk all about you and the many wonderful things you do, but don’t connect the impact your donors make.
5. You keep telling donors how much you need unrestricted dollars and wondering why they don’t make big investments. They keep wondering why you aren’t listening to them when they tell you they’re interested in specific programs and want to know more about those programs.
Managing the donor experience and identifying each touch point you have with donors, where you’re delivering less than exceptional services, and how to proactively improve the experience will yield:
1. Higher retention rates
2. More engaged donors
3. Brand advocates
4. Increased long-term donor value
5. More net revenue
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