Some of you might have noticed that we’ve recently migrated our email and website to a new domain copper.cx. Besides being aesthetically nicer it signifies a significant shift in how we communicate what we do.
Over the last few years our focus has been increasingly on understanding our clients’ communications from their donors’ or customers’ perspective. We’ve seen how the expectations of donors have changed and how this has impacted fundraising communications. In their interactions with leading commercial brands like Deliveroo and Airbnb they’re receiving an experience that recognises them as a valuable and individual customer. They’re then desiring and demanding these same experiences in their interactions with other brands. Companies are also acknowledging that providing a valuable relationship is about how customers perceive their interaction with the company and how every interaction has an influence on their perception. This is what’s called Customer Experience or ‘CX’ and when it’s done well this provides revenue growth and an increase in customer loyalty.
What does Customer Experience (CX) mean for charities?
There is a lot to learn from the commercial sector when you start to think about interactions and experiences from a CX perspective. For charities you might say that there needs to be an even stronger focus on the experience, because donors aren’t receiving a product or a service in return. So charities need to consider all their touchpoints, interactions, communications and how collectively they can provide a positive or uplifting experience.
Charities need to consider all their touchpoints, interactions, communications to provide an uplifting experience
If you’ve used Uber or have an Amazon account you’ll know that you get clear and precise communications about your ride or your order. You can login and check what you’ve ordered, when it will be delivered and how much you’ve spent. But how many charities provide this level of detail? When we look at charity websites we often find pages full of the things that a charity wants to say, but when these are changed to answer questions or provide the information a donor wants, we see an uplift. Something we know from our work is that supporters are more likely to ask questions and search for answers than they were in the past, and they expect to find clear and simple explanations.
Understanding the reasons why people give is also a large part of providing a positive experience. Many, although not all, donors will want to receive some value for their donated pound and we’re encouraging charities to start understanding and measuring the value they’re providing.
So what does this mean in practice?
Copper still deliver fundraising campaigns, digital audits and strategies but why and how we do it is changing based on the shift in what we’re learning. When we work on strategies we’re thinking about the expectations and experience the audience has with the charity. When we run a campaign we’re looking at how that journey can affect a donor’s experience. When we’re planning touchpoints we’re reflecting on what might affect the donor’s experience of these.
For us, part of planning campaigns is about understanding the range of donor experiences that will precede the campaign and using segments or behavioural triggers to respond to these. It’s also about thinking about what might happen next. Are others channels supporting this campaign? What if someone wants to respond on a different channel? What if they want to complain?
But what happened to digital?
Digital will continue to be a huge part of what we do and this change doesn’t mean we’re any less digital than we were, but the focus of our work isn’t necessarily on being digital. It’s on the experience individuals receive and it’s on the range of experiences that a charity provides. We have access to some pretty impressive digital technologies that can track behaviours, drive individual communications based on these and then analyse an individual’s experience. None of that will change, in fact it’s only going to get better and more effective. We’re already looking at how AI can help charities, but that’s a post for another day.
Ultimately, we just want to help charities provide the most uplifting experiences to their donors so they can do more for their beneficiaries.
Jason is the Founder and Managing Director of Copper. He’s an Australian by birth but now lives in London with his wife and 4-year-old son.