In my past few years working on fundraising campaigns, a common theme kept recurring. Something that I had been trying to get an understanding of, and get the rest of my team onboard with:
Supporter journeys and understanding the customer experience.
Working in a digital role at the time I often felt isolated. I was the only person in the team ‘doing digital’. And in feeling that way, it was important to me that as a fundraising team we were joined up. I was working across our email program whilst some else was working across offline channels. We both sat in the same team so surely, we were joined up in our thinking?
Thankfully, it turns out we were. However, we also realised there were the gaps. Gaps like, the vast amount of time that would pass between a supporter donating and being thanked. How many missed opportunities there were to engage supporters with. How little we were really communicating with them, all whilst taking their money every month, and not demonstrating our gratuity and feedback from our beneficiaries.
So, how did we go from being joined up to figuring out what was missing?
Mapping our supporter journeys had always been on someone’s to do list. Then it landed in mine. At first, I thought, why me? It’s not digital. It’s not explicitly fundraising. I’m a digital fundraiser. It was a big task. Trying to get buy in from different teams to give you their time. I spent days interviewing colleagues from different departments, trying to ply information out of them. Days trying to make sense of all these giant multicoloured journeys I’d drawn up on the wall.
“What communications do you send? How often? How do you decide who gets what? What’s missing?”
I hadn’t anticipated this being the answer to what’s missing, but everyone said it – digital. It was digital activity that could add value in almost every journey. So obviously I hadn’t been sitting around twiddling my thumbs, but having my colleagues come to the decision that they were missing digital, made my life so much easier. Finally, people wanted to ‘do more digital’ and we were able to start creating integrated journeys.
We now had supporter journeys mapped out from acquisition to retention and all the cross-sells in between. But, something still wasn’t right.
We still weren’t thinking about the supporter. We had just mapped out what we were sending them, we were still very inward looking. We weren’t looking at what the data was telling us and how people were responding to our different communications. We weren’t using all the rich data and insights we were learning from our digital activity, integrated with our offline activity.
So, what does customer experience really mean?
To me it’s about stepping back and looking at what your supporters are responding to, and how. Their behaviours will tell you so much more about what your supporters want to hear, what issues resonate with them, and what gets them to give that all important gift – rather than mapping out your marketing for the year.
Customer experience isn’t about your supporter care team and their SLA’s for response time. Customer experience is giving your supporters what they want. It’s about personalisation that goes beyond peppering their name throughout an email. Supporters want to be acknowledged and know how they can make a difference.
The message is simple – what is your data telling you? Start understanding your data to build trust with donors, and give them the experience they want from donating to charity. It’s about tapping into what they care about and less about what charities want people to care about.
With the looming deadline of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018, isn’t time you started creating exceptional customer experience so that your supporters will want to opt in to your communications?
We’re passionately focussed on customer experience here at Copper, and we can help you better understand the interactions your supporters have with you. Get in touch and let us help you develop a consistent focus on the care and development of your donors.