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Delivering Amazing Online Customer Service for Non-Profits

Providing amazing online customer service can dramatically impact your efforts in fundraising. Learn how customer Movember used customer service as a competitive advantage.

In this recorded presentation, Jeremy Kmet, VP of Sales talks about how to provide amazing customer service for non-profits. In addition, non-profit organization Movember shares their business success stories and how they use to scale their support and manage their workflows. Learn how your business can provide the same level of amazing customer service and compete with larger counterparts.

The Importance of Providing Amazing Customer Service for Non-Profits

We talk to customers all the time about providing amazing customer service, that’s what is focused on — it's what we do. When we talk to a lot of our non-profit customers they tell us that they want to better understand why amazing customer service is so important. This is what we tell them.

Your organization relies on the customers, the donors, the volunteers, the partners, all of the folks that make it possible for you to achieve your mission and your goals. Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to create an amazing customer service experience. When we talk about providing amazing customer service, it’s less about solving the case and closing the case but about creating a mindshare. It's actually helping your customers understand what your purpose is, what your goals are and what your business is about.

If you create that experience, then you're going to create a tighter connection between that customer and your mission or your campaign. In fact, 78% of donors are giving to multiple charities, multiple campaigns, multiple initiatives, and 47% them say that they give the lion share of those contributions whether it's time or dollars to the campaign that they feel the greatest connection to.

When we talk about making sure that you’re building a connection with your customers, customer service is usually on the frontlines for the first interaction that a lot of customers have with your organization. The other part of that connection is that when you look at the trends that are happening in terms of gifting, gift dollars increased by a very marginal 2.6% last year. The number of donors decrease by about 2.7%. You’ve got this kind of tradeoff that is happening in the marketplace where if you're not building the types of connections or relationships with the folks who make your programs possible, it becomes very difficult for you to actually execute and achieve your outcomes that you're focused on.

Three Ways to Deliver Amazing Customer Service

1. Make it Easy for Customers to Connect With You

Those campaign letters that go out once a year, those requests that go out once a year; that’s not where most of your constituents are where they exist today. Now, again these metrics change depending on the demographic that you're focused on. But as you can see, 52% of them prefer to interact by e-mail, 51% are visiting your website, 40% by phone, 29% by Facebook, 21% over Twitter. So, if you're thinking about how you interact and how you engage, make it easy for them to connect with you on any channel.

2. Respond in a Personable and Timely Manner

It’s the worst possible thing when somebody reaches out to you and you don’t respond to them in a timely manner. It's kind of like the phone ringing and nobody answering. People wonder whether or not you're serious about what you are offering, whether you are a legitimate organization and whether you really care about them. We’ve all heard these customer service complaints: “Hey, look. I was kind of going through the process. I'm not sure if my transaction was completed. I reached out but nobody got back to me.” Or “I arrived. I didn’t see the volunteer team and I posted on the Facebook page, I tweeted. I couldn’t get hold of anybody. I don’t know if the event was cancelled.” But ultimately, make it an customer service experience that they’ll remember. Every one of those interactions is an opportunity for you to again build a closer connection with these individuals. Creating a personal and responsive experience at the right time for the customer is the type of interaction that you really want to deliver.

3. Give Your Customers the Right Answers

The best way to give customers the right answers is to ensure you’ve got experts. This can be 1) Support agents that interact with your customers day in and day out, answering questions and resolving issues. 2) Employees of our your support team that participate in the support process. But ultimately, infuse your entire company into your support interactions, and when a customer has a question, assign it to the person who can provide the best answer.

When you combine all three of these rules, your customers will start to think about you as their primary organization that they want to be a part of. You're building these long-term connections over whatever channel makes the most sense for your customers.

How Movember Provides Amazing Customer Service

A great example of a company that’s provided amazing customer service is Movember. Movember is a non-profit organization that has raised more than $400 million to support their focus on men’s health and cancer research. They’ve done an amazing job managing their support interactions and engagement, as well as their relationship with their customers.

Jason: I want to start with a simple question: why grow a moustache? For the most part, growing a moustache is a bit of pain in the butt. It's itchy. Your wife, girlfriend, or significant other doesn’t want to touch you. You make small children cry. In my case, you’re like a ‘70s gym teacher who’s a little on the sketchy side. But the benefits of the moustache are undisputed. You can save money on razors; it can take the attention off a bad haircut. You can save the taste of soup for up to nine hours after you’ve eaten a bowl. But perhaps the most important benefit of the humble moustache is that last year, it raised $147 million for men’s healthrst mobile-only booking service. We specialize in bookings on-the-go.

Movember is a 30-day online campaign that runs in the month of November that asks men to grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. The campaign started in humble beginnings in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 and has raised $441 million dollars and have seen more than 3 million participants. The growth has come from two key areas. One has been growth of those campaigns within territories and also global expansion. The campaign is also about awareness.

The reason why I share this with you is to understand a little bit of the scale and the stress that our platform is under during campaign. Unfortunately, we can't move Movember. The date’s kind of built into the name. If things aren’t built and ready about the first of November, we can't kind move it to December. The funds raised in the campaign are obviously very important. They're the things that allow us to support our men’s health partners and deliver back great programs. We have approximately $130 million worth of donation go through the technology platform in a 30-day period. We needed to build a platform that is the equivalent to if an organization that ran every month; it’ll be a $1.5 billion platform.

How Helps Movember Provide Amazing Customer Service

Jason: Before, we had a very manual system before. It was a fairly complex system, probably a little more complex than needed to be. But essentially we had a focus on having consistency across the different territories. One of the major benefits we've seen early on in our journey with this has been the ability to rationalize a little bit in terms of the amount of the staff that we need, and utilize some redundancy. With those simple questions that I spoke about before like, “I've lost my password,” someone from Canada doesn’t have to answer that question if it's a Canadian question. One of the things that has been the benefit of and has been a nice transition for us is being able to utilize some of that redundancy and spread the workload across multiple territories in a seamless way.

1. Provides a 360 Degree View of All Interactions

Jason: gives us a full view into all of our interactions between our ambassdors, our partners and our staff. I think this is particularly pertinent in the relationship that we've been developing with We’re able to control our tone of voice in most of our environments fairly easily. The content that we put on the web, what we put out in social media, what we put out in printing materials we can quickly control.

2. Creates a Remarkable Experience at Every Touchpoint

Jason: For the highly engaged, they have multiple touchpoints throughout the campaign but for many people, their only interaction with the campaign maybe through the website or it may be an e-mail, or it may be a call to the call center. If we don’t create a remarkable experience at each of those touchpoints, then those people won’t come back. I think that this is probably the most important lesson that we've learned is that if we continue to invest in making Movember a remarkable experience, we’ll continue to have people coming back year-on-year. gives us the opportunity to engage with customers across multiple touchpoints.

3. Supports Flexible Hours and Temporary Staff

Jason: Movember has 10 full-time employees that are providing customer service. But during November, during the key campaign season, we ramp the team up to 75 people to provide customer support, answer the calls, and engage during the campaign. We invest a lot of time in making sure that they understand and can speak fluently in the Movember tone of voice, and certainly our relationship with has allowed us to quickly scale to that point where we've got those teams singing from the same song sheet.

Movember Questions and Answers:

Question 1: Can you talk more about the call center and give us a little bit of an overview for non-profits that are realizing they need to start one? Everything from implementation to what you expect to get out of it and how it's evolved over time.

Jason: With a very short campaign, there's a need to provide a customer service function. It needs to be a very quick turnaround for us to get people registered and involved in the campaign. If we leave people waiting for three or four days, the idea of growing a moustache is gone and they’ve moved on to something else.

We knew from day one we said that we needed to build a team here that is consistent with our brand and really part of our organization. We started off with about three people and then two years ago we grew to eight people. Then start to localize the call centers. So, that was all centralized, the Australian team answering calls from all over the world. At that point, we took the decision to have local call centers in each territory. Now we have about 75 staff across four offices during the campaign period. gives you the visibility to connect the dots between those requiring a call center and potentially those who are already participating in your campaigns or your initiatives.

Question 2: Coming from medium size, non-profit that struggles to get acknowledgment letters out in a timely fashion, how does help manage that?

Jason: Once December hits, that kind of becomes our thank-you period. We have a fairly short window of time to thank as many people as we can, while it's fresh in their minds before they move into Christmas. The value of a handwritten note is phenomenal. People are so used to getting a thank-you e-mail or getting something automated, that handwritten cards are a big part of our strategy. And how has really kind of helped there is creating enough redundancy in that operation staff to allow them to do it. We can identify downtime and with their analysis of the operation staff, be able to assign some of those tasks to them upfront so there's not such a mountain of work in that first week of December.


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