According to the Customer Experience Matters blog, customer experience matters.
Okay, that makes it sound about as un-newsworthy as possible. But really, this is interesting stuff at New Report: The Customer Experience-Loyalty Connection.
The report looked at a number of customer experience factors in 12 industries, from airlines to wireless carriers, and found that better customer experience correlated with increased revenue:
Customer experience leaders enjoy a double-digit advantage in customers willing to buy more from them, reluctant to switch business away from them, and likely to recommend them. A modest improvement in customer experience can drive between $179 million (for health plans) and $308 million (for hotel chains) of incremental revenue over three years for every $1 billion in annual sales.
It begs the question: Does donor experience matter in a similar way? After all, the difference between a good and bad charitable giving experience probably isn't as dramatic as the difference between a good and bad experience at a hotel. We fundraisers just don't have nearly the capacity for tormenting our donors that airlines do.
But I'm guessing experience matters, and that if they applied the same study to nonprofits we'd see similar results -- that treating people right means they give more and stay with you longer.
I think giving donors a good experience includes these things:
- Get the data right. Don't spell names wrong. Don't have duplicate records. Don't mess up giving records.
- Be thankful. Receipt promptly. Thank specifically for what they gave. Thank more than you have to.
- Report back. Let donors know about the difference they make. Send a newsletter that's about them, not you.
- Offer choices. Let them control how often and how you communicate. Let them direct their giving to the things that interest them. Find cool ways to put them in the driver's seat.