Designing an effective customer experience strategy
What is customer experience?
Too often charities consider customer service to be the most powerful, if not the only, tool to deliver a positive customer encounter. However, whilst it is important, there are a whole host of other opportunities businesses should be aware of if they are to deliver a positive experience to their customers.
Any touchpoint that a supporter has with your charity informs their overall experience. In a digital age these touchpoints are many and always multiplying. Today much of our communication is done online, whether it be via your charities’ web domain, email or social media accounts. Therefore, it is important for charities to consider all these destinations as touchstones for their supporter’s when building a strategy. It is important that a charity understands the drivers that bring supporters to them in the first places in order to build a customer experience strategy that meets the supporter’s expectations and fulfils their requirements.
Why does a supporter engage with a charity?
This is often the initial driver that guides customers toward your charity. Therefore, it is essential that your charities’ website clearly states your objectives, impact, and origin story. It is also key that your charities’ website or socials make it clear to customers how they can contribute and the impact of their contribution.
Having learnt a little about your charity the supporter may now wish to connect with you to keep up to date with your charity’s news. It is important that you not only clearly direct customers towards the best way of staying in touch – this may be through signing up to a newsletter or following your socials – but that you also ensure time to regularly provide updates through your chosen methods. This will keep customers engaged and promote the image of an active charity. A charity with a healthy list of subscribers is also more appealing to corporate donors.
They have learnt all they can from your website, newsletter, socials, etc, and now they wish to make a personal enquiry. This is an important step in converting your customer’s intentions into actions. A successful donation can be considered as evidence of a positive customer experience. Research shows that increasing the visibility of individual donations and describing the impact of donations increases the likelihood of a donation. Therefore, it is essential that the customer is guided clearly toward your charities chosen method of receiving enquiries. This may be an online form , email, phone call or other forms of contact. You need to be prepared to meet that enquiry promptly with relevant information which reassures and encourages the customer by explaining how their donation will deliver a positive impact, and how the donation will be made public.
Finally, the customer may arrive at your charity to make a contribution. To ensure a positive customer experience this must be a frictionless process which, as above, rewards the customer with the reassurance of how their donation will help bring about positive change. Any friction at this stage which makes donating difficult can quickly dampen any momentum that your supporter has to donate. Furthermore this can create a negative as the customer can feel they have failed to convert their good intentions into real actions. Therefore, it is important to streamline this process so that the donation is made, and the customer is rewarded by being provided visibility of their donation and reassured of the impact it will have.
So now we know why a customer may arrive at your charities website we can now prepare ourselves to ensure a positive customer experience.
What creates a good customer experience?
It is key to ensure that information is well signposted and accessible so that customers can navigate your charities website and get the information they need. Guidance and help must be easily accessible for customers. That means an effective process must be in place to enable a quick response time to customer’s queries. If you currently only use one customer facing tool such as socials or a website, consider adding more to increase your opportunity of engaging potential customers.
Confirmation and Reassurance
A visiting customer needs to be reassured that their time, and potentially money, is being spent to deliver the maximum impact in the area that they want to support. Therefore, stating your company’s objectives, milestones, and strategy is key. Publishing the journey of your customer’s potential donation is a great way to do this. This gives your customer a tangible reward for their donations.
Research has shown that giving visibility of the individual customer’s donation is a key driver in securing donations, as is providing visibility of how the charity spends the money. By providing, and constantly reminding, customers of how donations are utilised it will ensure a positive customer experience by removing any further research tasks that a customer may feel they need to otherwise do. Charities with transparency build quicker and better relationships with customers.
Finally, and importantly, is reducing friction. It should not be a task for a potential customer to donate to your charity. We have all experienced a poor customer experience whereby it is actually difficult to make the payment necessary to secure the goods or service you want. I am sure you don’t need reminding of the frustration this causes, and also how quickly you opt to either save the money and forgo the purchase or make it elsewhere. Therefore, this is an important step that all charities must spend time refining. By taking away the opportunity for potential customers to turn their good intention into an action, it can be extremely demoralising for the customer, leaving them with a bad perception of your charity.
How can we help?
We can deliver a Health Check. What will we look at?
- Potential friction areas around donating.
- Customer facing communication processes.
- Visibility of charities impact.
Our experienced consultants have worked with a number of charities with various needs, pain points and objectives. We can do the same for you through our consulting services and health check capability. Sound good? Why not get in touch today?