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Managing Donor Experience: The 5 big challenges.

Managing donor experience is a relatively recent concept which has become key to our relational and marketing plans’ success.With all of the new technological advances competing for our donor’s attention,here are the 5 major challenges for small and large organizations this year.

# 1 The Rise of Mobile

Smartphones are taking over. Globally, 1.4 billion smartphones were sold in 2015, according to Gartner. Smartphones have revolutionized consumers’ habits and behaviour. This is undoubtedly one of the most striking phenomena of the decade.

The rate of the mobile usage keeps increasing from year to year. 2017 is no exception to the rule. Organizations that seek to optimize the user experience need to integrate this technology in their marketing and relational plans. Organizations should focus the coming year on improving the mobile donor experience. How?By proposing a mobile application, adapting the website to the mobile phone (responsive design), and using text messaging as a marketing channel.

# 2 Multichannel Intensification

The channels of communication have grown considerably in recent years, especially with the emergence of digital channels: email, sms, mobile application, chat, online questionnaires. Donors often use multiple channels to interact with the organization, and pass from one channel to another (from the mobile to the website, from the website to the physical point of transaction).This trend is expected to continue in 2017.

Organizations have to offer their donors a multichannel donor experience, that is to say:

  • Provide an optimal donor experience regardless of the channel used by the donor.
  • Provide fluidity in the passage from one channel to another, and thus the connection of the different channels. For example, the possibility of finding an offline charity event on the mobile application.

# 3 Combining the digital and physical: the rise of Phygital marketing

Organizations must not only offer more channels of interaction, but must also ensure that the various channels are properly integrated.There must be bridges between the different channels so that donors can switch from one to the other with ease.

There are two main families of channels: digital channels (online) and physical channels (offline). For some years now we have been seeing a blend of these two types.Some use the term “phygital” to describe this phenomenon.

# 4 Authenticity in donor relations

Donors appreciate organizations that listen to them. This includes the integration of social networks into the relationship strategy. Many organizations are hiring people to respond to demands on social networks (community managers).

# 5 Self-reliance

The human side of donor relations counts a lot, but donors also cherish their autonomy. They are increasingly enjoying the services that enable them to solve a simple problem on their own without the help of the organization. Why? Because the donor is looking to save time and minimize their efforts. The development of self-service tools is another 2017 trend of donor experience.

In the search for maximizing the donor experience, you have to keep in mind this seemingly contradictory aspect with the previous point. The principle is: let the donor do what they can do themselves, and concentrate the donor relations on the more complex actions or problems.

An example? Have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on your website that answers the basic questions, or show them how to use the app via tutorials. This helps to manage your donor service, and improves your efficiency.

As an organization, it is essential that you are aware of these developments to differentiate yourself from the crowd and maintain a good level of donor satisfaction. These trends are not new but their importance will certainly increase in the months to come.

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