On June 1, Meeker put out her Internet Trends report, highlighting the evolution of the sector. You can see the full report here. These online reports have key lessons for us as a sector, one of the big ones having to do with customer/donor services.
One of the challenges we have as an industry is delivering timely donor services in the preferred channel of our donor. We have all seen the Facebook exchange that goes something like:
Them: how do I stop you from mailing me?
You: Thank you for letting us know that you would like to stop receiving mail from us or reduce the amount of mail you receive. To do so, please call our free donor help line at 877-DONT-CARE.
There are several problems with this, not the least of which is that your boilerplate sounds like it was written by a robot who desperately wanted to fail the Turing test. But another one is: if they wanted to call you, they would have called you.
Instead, they went on Facebook.
Now you definitely don’t want to feed the trolls excessively. You generally don’t want to do more than two back-and-forths out on Facebook publicly. But there has to be a better way to meet donors’ needs without scaring away other potential donors.
Enter slide 104 of Meeker’s presentation. (I told you it was comprehensive; we read these things so you don’t have to.) She’s led up to this point talking about the growth of messaging with WhatsApp having 1 billion monthly active users, Facebook Messenger having 800 million, and three other messaging platforms having more monthly active users than there are people in the United States.
So on slide 104, she talks about how Hyatt and Rogers Communications launched Facebook Messenger customer service in November and December respectively. Within one month, Hyatt had a 20X increase in the number of messages they received. Rogers Communications’ users report a 65% increase in satisfaction and a 65% decrease in customer complaints.
Now, think about the most common donor interaction people have with your organization. If you have anything under a 50% retention of new donors rate, and chances are you do, along with everyone else in the sector, that most common interactions is:
- Someone makes a donation
- You talk to them some more and ask for donations again
- You don’t hear from that donor again
What is it worth to you to be able to address any questions, doubts, problems, etc., that these donors are having?
Two comments on customer services that you hear over and over are:
- For every person who complains, there are X more who were as ticked off, but didn’t complain.
- A dissatisfied person who you have the opportunity to satisfy will be a better customer/donor for you than a person you didn’t dissatisfy to begin with.
So instead of hiding your donor service phone number, show it proudly. If a person is online, see if you can do a live chat with them to address their concern. And, yes, if they are on social media, actively solicit and take care of donor concerns, as quickly as you can.
The coming battles for donors will be fought over experiences. What experience can you offer?