In-depth information for charities in response to the questions - what is customer experience and why is it important?
We are all customers. From the goods we buy, to the transport we use, all of the choices we make are partly or wholly shaped by our experience of them. For charities seeking support in a challenging climate, what is customer experience and why is it important?
The meaning of it all
In the business sector, Customer Experience (CX) is swiftly being recognised as a major factor in driving greater and sustained sales. But what does this elusive term mean? And how can this concept help charities? There are lots of theories online but it largely falls into two major components: perception and interaction.
What they see
A donor’s perception of a charity can be based on a single interaction or multiple interactions with your charity including your website and phone support.
What they feel
Customer interaction refers to all of the ways in which supporters engage with your charity including your website, social media, and phone support.
Sum of its parts
Is this not just customer service? There is a small but significant difference between the two. Customer service is part of customer experience. Customer experience is the overarching perception of a charity, by donors, based on every single interaction that they have. Whereas, customer service is the help given to supporters facing issues when engaging with your charity.
Customer service is reactive; it happens when a customer contacts the charity and is already dissatisfied. Customer experience is proactive: a holistic approach to the entire range of ways in which a customer engages with a charity to proactively spot and prevent dissatisfaction.
Breaking it down
You can improve customer experience by breaking down the supporter journey into integral elements. These templates can be adapted to suit the needs of your charity. They can help you to pause and consider all of the interactions that supporters have with your charity. Such steps can include pages on your website, marketing campaigns or even the content on your Facebook page. What does your donor do throughout their day that might affect when they donate to your charity? Should you schedule things at a particular time of the day or week to hit the highest engagement numbers?
The proof is in the pudding
Providing exceptional customer experience is massively important for any charity. The advantages of supplying a super customer experience include:
In a sector built on good reputations, providing a superior customer experience is invaluable. Putting customer experience first helps donors put your charity first enabling you to gather greater resources to help your mission go further.
Tips for ensuring good customer experience:
Pitfalls to avoid:
Feedback is an important source of information. Consider using surveys and even suggestions provided in emails, phone calls, reviews and social media comments. It contains huge potential for reviewing and re-shaping your customer experience.
In this age of Twitter rows, Facebook debates and the influence of Instagram, positive digital customer experience is essential. Digital also means mobile as, these days, most of us get information through our smartphones.
Digital customer experience shapes how many of your customers engage with your charity and whether they proceed to donate or not. Digital customer experience consists of many stages and interactions that shape an overall positive or negative experience.
Look into the digital customer experience in detail and review how donors are engaging with your charity digitally. Are people finding information easily? Are social media posts prompting donation? Is a clear, intuitive and user-friendly website interface leading to a good reputation?
Feedback is important here, too. It is especially important to track and diagnose any possible issues within your website or app, given that they represent the initial interaction with most of your supporters.
Customer experience shapes how smoothly and easily supporters find the process of helping your charity. Bumpy customer experience can drive supporters away and affect other parts of running your charity. You might rethink the popular adage, as it is no longer a question of is the customer always right but rather is the customer experience always right?