A great donation experience with the development department doesn’t make up for a poor billing experience. The donor’s experience is the sum total of all interactions, not just a single departments. One bad experience at a key touch point can bring down several great ones by other departments. While departments are necessary, silos created by them can be deadly for the overall donor experience.
Aligning your organization around the donor experience is hard work. It is easy to say we are going to do it and we are going to create a donor focused culture. It is harder to do it. It is necessary work though. Creating alignment starts with defining the stages of a donor’s journey from their point of view from start to finish.
Delivering a unified experience is the end game. To do that we have to stop doing one off work that optimizes part of the experience but sub optimizes the whole experience. What difference does it make if we improve the call center experience but ignore the reason why they were calling was a really bad web site experience?
Creating a reliable and repeatable experience isn’t tackled by each department having separate priorities and metrics. The “big things” need to get fixed. That requires the hard work of seeing the whole journey and creating big and stunning “wow” moments.
Creating alignment is accomplished by spending hours mapping out the whole experience, from the donors point of view, and fixing the big “pain points”. Alignment is not created in a series of one off improvements.
This process doesn’t have to take forever. There are always a few big things that can be tackled quickly. A continuous donor experience improvement process is the key to getting sustainable results.
The CEO and the C-Suite must require a holistic approach to the experience. Creating accountability for unified improvements is key. Middle managers can make or break the success if their efforts are always seen as departmental and not corporate.
The voice of the donor is usually best represented at the point where the moments of truth occur. That may be the donor service representatives, donation representatives, billing clerks or other front line personnel.
The main resource needed, which can be a big constraint, is requiring that multiple departments participate with commitments of time in mapping and improvement exercises. Once major pain points are identified, funds need to be allocated to actually solve the problems and just gloss over them by applying band aids.
Here are the key ideas:
- The donors experience is the sum total of all interactions, not just a single departments.
- Start by defining the stages of the experience and the moments of truth that comprise all of the experience touch points.
- Begin soon. This can’t wait.
- Encourage cross-departmental buy in.
- Shoot for sustainable results.
- The CEO must make this a priority and personal time devoted to being engaged.
- Focus on middle management as a key fulcrum for change.
- Significant time commitments are required.