Customer Experience Recovery Tactics - Non-Profit
While we were able to find some examples of tactics that non-profits use to exemplify excellent customer servicesThere is no recent information in the public domain providing creative ways that non-profits recover customers. The focus of all the publicly available information seems to be on proactively providing excellent customer service. Three examples are described below.
- Pet Rescue is a non-profit in Australia that acts as a liaison between people looking for dogs and rescue organizations that have animals ready for adoption.
- Many of the people who contact the organization do not understand the role the organization plays in adopting pets.
- Because they are a small operation, everyone from the CEO to volunteers is involved in replying to potential customers.
- To assure consistency of message, they have pre-written templates for all types of customer interactions, which anyone can use when dealing with customers.
- This consistency ensures no one says anything to cause an unhappy customer experience.
- Proactively seeking out the people who use the service provided by the non-profit and asking them for input is another way to head off unfortunate client experiences.
- One of the more academically rigorous publications for non-profit professionals recommends this guide to doing surveys.
- After surveying the participants in their health, social and educational programs, staff in a Houston non-profit reworked the entire intake process based on survey responses that highlighted long waits and unfriendly service.
- A food bank operating in Canton and Akron Ohio installed an awning after clients told them it was unpleasant to wait outside in bad weather when picking up their food.
- Non-profits need to differentiate between customers and clients. For example, in a non-profit that finds jobs for the unemployed, the unemployed are their clients, but their customers are the companies that hire the workers.
- In some organizations, the donors are the customers and fundraisers are the interaction between the organization and its customers.
- Understanding the model for a specific non-profit and defining the appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each group is a way to ensure the non-profit is providing the proper customer experience at each stage.
- An in-depth article called "The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Unhappy Customers (with Examples!)" does not explicitly address non-profits
- It is a unique and valuable article in that it provides actionable steps to take with unhappy customers.
- One example is The Six Steps to an Apology. It's not enough to say sorry. To deal with a customer's unhappy experience, the employee must provide:
— An expression of regret
— An explanation of what went wrong
— An acknowledgment of responsibility
— A declaration of repentance
— An offer of repair
— A request for forgiveness
Unfortunately, despite deep dives into the topic of unhappy customers for non-profits, we were unable to find any relevant creative way to win back customers with unfortunate experiences.
We began our search by looking for non-profits that had used customer experience recovery tactics. Finding nothing, we switched to a more general search of unhappy non-profit customers. Not finding anything, we thought maybe looking for non-profit apologies might give us some examples of dealing with unhappy customers. Our searches returned many articles for non-profits, but none that provided the kind of cases the research criteria described.
Taking a different approach, we switched to searching general news articles and magazines for any stories about non-profits doing anything to recover unhappy customers. We found numerous stories in the news of non-profits doing something wrong, or even perceived as wrong. The organizations made general apologies to their stakeholders and announced what they would change. Some of these examples included St Mary's Catholic hospital apologizing for a patient wall of shame and Head Of Charity Backed By NFL Apologizes For Dreadlock Cutting and other similar stories. None of these was specific to uncovering an unhappy customer.
Our next approach was to get a list of the "must-read" magazines for non-profit professionals. The article we found gave us a list of the ten top publications. We did site-specific searches of each one looking for any information on recovering customers or dealing with bad experiences. In doing a deep dive into these sites, we found that in at least two of them, customer service had not been mentioned since 2012 and 2013. In The NonProfit Times, a 2014 article positioned customer service as "Striving to provide exemplary service, i.e., stewardship, to their donors". The one piece we did find on improving customer services included the instruction to "fax" the donor. At this point, we concluded that if non-profits have unhappy customers, there is no recent information about them available in the public domain.