Hotel Chocolat have shops in most major railway stations. It’s a dangerous place to browse. On Friday morning I bought some chocolates for my mum for Mother’s Day. As I paid the person serving me offered me a free “early morning” chocolate and then added if I completed the customer survey I had a chance of winning a years free chocolate. I left feeling good – even though I’d just bought £10 of chocolate!
How do you make people feel?In Pret I took a colleague from Kenya for a coffee before a meeting. We were arguing who should buy the coffee insisting each of us should buy for the other. The person serving us suddenly said “it’s on us” and gave us two lattes on the house. I tweeted it, have told others, and of course returned to Pret many times since.
A few years ago I met a cousin on mine who works at Costa. He told me of the customer service pack they launched and sent out to all staff. Inside the box was one thing … A mirror! The point they were making? The most important part of the customer experience is the attitude of the person delivering it.
Last week I got a letter from a charity I supported in the past and do so every year from a door to door collection. I do so because a neighbour we know comes around each year and it’s a cause I’m very happy to give to. I provide my details so they can get the gift aid of course. The letter didn’t acknowledge any of that at all – just (another) request for a donation. Feeling ? Disappointed.
The same day I got a call from Virgin Media. The caller began by saying thank you for being a customer for 13 years, asked if I was happy with the service, and then went to offer me a package of extra station at no cost (well for 6 months). I knew I was being sold to but the way they did it was great. And at the end, like the chocolate thrown in, the caller said they would give me 100 minutes of free calls to mobiles a month.
Each year Ocado, the online shopping service we use, gives us a bottle of wine on the anniversary of our first order. This year it was a voucher so we could choose the wine we wanted.
How can a chocolate shop, a coffee chain, a media seller and an online supermarket get it right and yet charities often get it wrong?
Do you convey “You matter”?
It’s that extra bit of effort they all take to think about me. It says to me you matter. And it clearly makes business sense.
Perhaps this is consequence of the regular donor on a direct debit. Once you’ve got them the perception is you don’t need to tempt them back. So all the effort goes in to that sell rather than the ‘customer experience’ so you come back.
Yet providing a memorable donor experience is easy – as the above examples show its the small things matter but it needs that extra bit of effort. At SolarAid we often send handwritten thank yous using cards we had made specially for the purpose, we thank regular donors a year on and tell them what they have helped achieved, and we offer a solar light to donors who give £60 or more. I am sure we could do even more.
What sort of donor/customer experience do you give? What do you offer your supporters? How can you make them feel wonderful when they effectively buy from you by donating to your cause and walk away with a smile having parted with their cash?
STOP PRESS in the UK there is an initiative to help develop the donor experience. You can get involved to, where ever you are in the world by sharing your examples of providing a great donor experience. You can find out more here : http://donor-experience.com/join-the-movement