Transcript Episode 115 – How to Create a Donor Customer Experience Journey to Rave About on The Prosperous Nonprofit[00:00:00] Stephanie Skryzowski: Hey there. If you’re looking for the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast, you’re in the right place after a hundred amazing episodes, we’re changing things up to serve you the most inspiring content in a fresh new way. Thanks for being here and keep listening.
Welcome to the prosperous nonprofit, the podcast for leaders who are building financially sustainable and impactful nonprofits and changing the world. I’m Stephanie Kowski, a Chief financial Officer and founder and c e o of 100 Degrees Consulting. My personal mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers, to grow their impact and their income.
On this show, we talk to people who are leading the nonprofit sector in new, innovative, disruptive, and entrepreneurial ways, creating organizations that fuel their lives, their hearts, and their communities. Let’s dive in.[00:01:00]
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the prosperous nonprofit. I have quite the episode for you today, so this is gonna be a little bit different. I’m cracking up, but I need you to stick with me to the end because I had some incredible lessons today from drum roll, please. Of all places, the dentist. Okay, so hear me out.
Listen to this experience now. I have not been to the dentist in quite some time. I am not gonna tell you how long because it’s super embarrassing, but it was definitely way longer than the recommended cleaning every six months. And the reason why is that the last time I went to the dentist, I had a kind of terrifying experience.
Okay, now I’m being dramatic. It wasn’t terrifying. It was just like, Super painful and it didn’t have to be, and I didn’t feel like I was heard or seen, and [00:02:00] it was like traumatizing with a little T like minorly traumatizing to the point where it’s been a long time since I’ve been back. And so I happened to be having a conversation with someone about a completely different subject.
A few weeks ago, and they happened to mention, oh, my partner owns a dental practice, and it just so happened to be super close to my house and in the same plaza as my daughter’s pediatrician. So while we were on the call, I looked it up and I was like, oh, I was immediately impressed by their website.
Their website was beautiful. It’s beautifully designed. It was very modern, and it did not feel like a dentist’s office. It felt like a high-end luxury spa. And I’m like, okay, this is a feeling that I can get behind. So I got off the call with this person and then I was like, you know what? I really haven’t gone to the dentist in quite some time and I really need to.
So I was like, all right, well let me just, let me just see what this place is all about. So they actually had an online booking link. Like I [00:03:00] could book an appointment online. I didn’t have to call and wait on hold and deal with a gruff receptionist. And to my surprise, they even had appointments available within like four weeks, which the dentist that I had been going to, if you missed that appointment or you had to reschedule, you were.
Good to wait another six to eight months. So I was like, all right, well let me do this. So I found a time that worked for me and after I confirmed the date and the time, it brought me to a questionnaire to fill out. And it wasn’t like, fill out your insurance information. When’s the last time you went to the dentist?
It was like, tell us about your previous dental experiences. What was good, what was not so good? And so I had the space to write all about my traumatizing experience. It asked what would make you feel more comfortable at your dental appointment? Maybe aromatherapy, maybe a heated blanket, maybe noise [00:04:00] canceling headphones, and ask what TV.
I liked to watch Netflix or Hulu. It. Really made me feel kind of excited for the experience. Like, what is this gonna be like? This sounds so pleasant. This is so unlike any dental experience I’ve ever had before. So I. I scheduled the appointment and I was like, all right, well, let’s, let’s see what happens.
At least I feel good that I have a dentist appointment on the calendar. Well, a couple weeks later at when I was about, I don’t know, two or three weeks out from the appointment, I got a call from a friendly person. Who was calling from the office just to explain to me everything that I should expect on my first visit.
Now this was not, you know, an automated sort of like robot caller saying, this is a call to remind you of your appointment. No, this was also not a gruff receptionist reciting the same line that this poor person probably recited a hundred times a day. Hi, this is [00:05:00] so-and-so calling from the dental office.
This is to remind you of your appointment, like we’ve all gotten those calls before, right? No, this was a woman with a personality who’s like, we’re so excited to welcome you to the office in a few weeks. And here’s what to expect. So when you come in, we’re going to give you a tour of the facility. We’re gonna take these pictures, we’re gonna do blah, blah, blah, blah.
Like she walked me through the whole thing. I felt super comfortable and she was like, do you have any questions? Is there anything that we can chat about today that would make your visit better? I was like, whoa, okay. I’m super impressed. And I told her that on the call. I was like, okay. Coming from another business owner, I am super impressed at your customer service, your customer experience so far.
So props to you. Okay, so I went to the appointment today and I, I have to say I was a little bit excited, like, what am I going to? What should I expect here? It’s gonna be like a spa treatment. So when I walked in the door, the first thing was that the aesthetics of the place were unlike any other dentist office I have ever been to, or doctor’s office for that matter.
Excellent design really. Clearly they [00:06:00] invested in some interior design. There was good music on, not the typical, you know, soft rock from the seventies and eighties. It smelled good. The whole place had beautiful plants all around. There were private rooms, not your typical like dentist office with the open door so you can see everybody else getting worked on.
It was beautiful and you could tell. That they really paid attention to what people didn’t like about going to the dentist, and they did the opposite. So immediately I felt comfortable, I felt. At home, I felt warm, like warmth. And so it was an amazing experience all throughout the process. Like, okay, at the end of the day, well actually first of all, they had latest, the latest technology.
They had lots of cool ways to take pictures of your teeth that I hadn’t seen before. And they explained everything throughout. So, okay, this machine is gonna do this, and with this machine we’re able to see blah, blah, blah. And here’s how we’re gonna analyze this information and use it to help make.[00:07:00] Diagnoses and decisions regarding your teeth if we need to. Um, so that was really cool seeing new technology. And what I especially loved was that there was no. Judgment. There were no snooty questions. How often do you floss? How many times a day do you brush your teeth? When’s the last time you went to the dentist?
Literally, they did not ask me any of those questions once. And you know how it is when the dentist asks you, or the hygienist asks you, how, how often do you floss? You’re like, every day. And they’re looking at your teeth. They’re like, yeah, we know you’re lying. In this case, it’s like they have all the pictures of my teeth.
They’ve looked like in depth inside my mouth. They can tell if I’ve been flossing or not, right? So like, don’t make me lie or don’t make me feel bad about the fact that, do I floss every single day? If I’m telling the truth, I probably do not. Um, so I love that there was no judgment. There were no. Snooty questions because they could tell, they had the technology to be able to tell, like, okay, we can tell you don’t flush your teeth every day.
We’re not gonna make [00:08:00] you, uh, answer that question. Right? And I loved that they explained everything along the way. Okay, here’s this tool, here’s what it does, here’s how it’s gonna feel. Just tell me if it’s uncomfortable, if you don’t like it, whatever. So I loved that. Now, the teeth cleaning, okay. Honestly not my favorite, but I survived.
There was a TV right above my head. I could watch whatever I wanted on Netflix. I turned on Gilmore Girls. 20 minutes later it was done. Um, and then upon my departure, they had, um, a concierge, or they called it, I don’t know, like a custom or client. A client relationship specialist or something like that came into the room and we sat together and looked at an iPad to choose.
The next time that I would come in, she had a card reader right there so I could swipe. As I was sitting comfortably in the chair, I wasn’t trying to like juggle my coat and my bag and standing over a counter to check out. So they did everything right in the room, and then I got a little goodie bag. You know how it is when you go to the dentist, you get a toothbrush, you get some floss?[00:09:00]
But this was not the typical, like here’s the free plastic bag that Crest, you know, has their logo all over it? No, it was a, you know, paper gift bag with handles. There was a shirt inside, probably like a first visit thing. Plus the free toothbrush and dental floss. But it was like, nice, it, it wasn’t like a Crest or a Colgate or whatever it like, was in a nicely designed box.
And um, and a plant clipping, like they said, well, our owner, our dentist really loves plants, And so they had this wall of these beautiful clippings and you could choose a clipping to take home, and then they give you a little pot with some soil that you can plant it in. And it was just, Lovely as, and then they offered, they also offered, um, would you like a drink to go?
We have kombucha and sparkling water and you know, still water. And I was like, oh my gosh. So anyway, why in the world am I telling you about my dentist experience? Well, as you can tell, Actually, first of all, this is not an [00:10:00] ad for this dentist, but if you happen to live in Buffalo in the North towns, I’m happy to share the name of the dentist.
Just send me a message over on Instagram or send me an email and I would love to share it. This fantastic dentist with you all. That is not the point of this podcast episode. I’m not advertising a dentist. I’m not sponsored by the dentist. What I wanna talk to you about today is customer experience, right?
So the entire time, literally from the second I was on their website. All I was thinking about was like, what does our customer experience, our client experience at 100 degrees consulting look like? Right? What does it look like from the moment that someone hears about us, the moment they hit our website to check us out to the time that we onboard them, and they’ve been now been with us for a year?
What does every interaction with our clients look like? Are they excited to get on that kickoff call? Do they feel judged because their finances may be. Are not in as good of order as they should be. They [00:11:00] already feel guilty about it, just like I felt guilty about not going to the dentist. So are we making it worse or are we approaching them with a totally non-judgmental attitude?
Right? So I was thinking about my organization and how we approach our clients and what that experience looks like for them. So here are. A few points that you can apply to your organization. Now, if you are a business, think about your customer journey from the moment your clients hear about you. If you are a nonprofit, Think about your donor journey from the moment your donors hear about you, what is their experience like?
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So let’s start at the beginning. How did I hear about this dentist office? It was a referral, right? That was my very first touchpoint with the dentist office. Think about, are you getting referrals? Are your donors being referred to you by. Other donors by other people that know of your organization. I mean, I know my company.
That is the number one way that we’ve grown is by referrals. And so that says a lot already, right? Like, Hey, we really love supporting this organization and you should too. That says [00:13:00] a lot, right? That gets you over such a huge hurdle if somebody else is willing to vouch for you. So number one, referrals.
Number two, your website. Everybody has a website and or a social media presence these days. And if you don’t, you are missing out, right? Because if somebody Googles you and they cannot find you because you are not present on social media or you do not have a website, they’re probably gonna be like, oh, well that’s not real.
Moving on onto the next, right? So your online presence is so important, and I really can’t overemphasize this enough right now. We don’t need to be dropping like tens of thousands of dollars every single month into our online presence. But you need a clean and polished and modern website with easy functionality.
I cannot tell you what a game changer it was for me to be able to book a dentist appointment online. Now, I’m not scared of talking on the phone. I do not have any SCI type of phobias or anxieties about talking on the phone. But like, just [00:14:00] to know that, hey, I have like five minutes in between calls and I can use that five minutes to book a dentist appointment, get it on my calendar and I’m done without having to set on hold or like go back and forth with dates, with, you know, with a receptionist on the phone.
Like that is a game changer. And so think about your website. How easy is it for somebody? To donate, right? How long does it take for them to find that donate button and go through the process and give you their money? Right? How long does it take someone to schedule an appointment with you? It should be fast, it should be easy, and your website should be, have really, really strong functionality.
So that’s number two. Number three. Understanding people’s preferences and potential pain points, right? So in this process, after I scheduled the appointment, I got a form to fill out that allowed me to share what I liked and didn’t like about the dentist, as well as, um, share my preferences, right? What do I like to watch on [00:15:00] tv?
What would make me more comfortable in this experience? So how are you cultivating that experience from the beginning with your donor, with your client, with your customer, right? Are you like, think about your donation form on your website. Are there options for somebody to designate exactly where they want their money to go?
Right? What are their preferences and are you. Listening, are you hearing them? What are their pain points? Maybe if you know, if you have clients or customers, giving them an opportunity upfront to share in a written form, Hey, what has not worked so well for you in the past? Because, I mean, the idea is we wanna come in and make it better.
We don’t want to repeat that, right? So how can you make sure that your people feel heard and seen from day one, right? And this is part of like the welcome call that I received prior to my appointment. This is part of it too, right? Like how are we shepherding someone’s experience through their journey with us, right?
What are those touchpoints that we [00:16:00] have? Okay, so someone has scheduled an appointment, maybe someone has made a donation. What is the next touchpoint you have with them? You probably don’t want that next touchpoint to be, say, when you show up to the dentist’s office, right? Or when you show up for that kickoff call, or you know when they’re receiving your next, your next solicitation email for another donation, right?
We need other touchpoints in between that make people feel welcome and warm and like they’re part of something, right? So what are those touchpoints you have? So the next piece is what is the experience once they’re in, right? Once you’ve gotten someone from referral to website through whatever contact form or donation page or whatever it is, now they’re in, you’re, they’re in your community.
They are one of you. What is that experience like at this dentist office? It was the design, it was the music, it was the fragrance, it was the plants, it was the whole [00:17:00] experience that was cultivated inside this dentist office once I was there. Right. That made me, I. Like not wanna run for the hills pretty much.
Right. It wasn’t all like brown old carpet and tan chipping paint walls and like outdated furniture. Right. It was the experience once I was in. So once you have a donor, what does their experience look like on the inside? You know, are they getting maybe special mailings or a special invitation to different events?
Once you have someone as a client or a customer, how are you making that experience inside really special for them. Now you’re doing the work, right? You are. You have the donor, you have the client, you have the customer. How are you making them feel? With the work that you are doing for them. Right. So one thing again that I found, Really, I was gonna say [00:18:00] groundbreaking, really, um, unique about this dentist office is again, the no judgment.
There was no judgment either open or veiled about how long it had been since I had been to the dentist or how often I did or did not floss my teeth. Right. Okay. I assure you. Well, just side note, I do have very good at dental hygiene and I do floss my teeth. Do I do it every single day? No, but I don’t want you to think I don’t have good dental hygiene anyway.
There was no judgment and there were lots of explanations. And so I think about, you know, my own business, a hundred degrees consulting and no judgment, and our approachability is something that we are known for. So if you are behind on your numbers, If your bookkeeping is a hot mess, we’re not gonna judge you.
We’re not gonna ask obvious questions that make you feel stupid and that make you feel guilty, and that make you feel shameful. We are just gonna get in and do the work and talk about next steps and what needs to be done to improve things, right? Like we. Do not [00:19:00] approach things with any type of judgment at all.
So we ask for the facts, but that’s it, right? We ask for the facts so that we can help make things better. And so I think about that. Think about that for your organization in the work that you’re doing. Now, this looks different for everybody, but are you approaching your work from a truly non-judgemental place?
And actually the other thing I wanna add about the experience, just kind of jumping back to the good design and the music and the smell, um, is the technology, right? Like they were not coming at me with an x-ray machine from the 1980s. They were not using super outdated technology and like scraping the heck out of my teeth with like these.
Oh, so that scraper thing, you know what I mean? Um, right. They had new technology and so again, I think about a hundred degrees consulting in our experience, we’re not [00:20:00] coming at our clients with like these, you know, raggedy old spreadsheets that are not using formulas and everything is manual. No, like, We have efficiencies that we have learned and that we bring into the experience with all of our clients that they really feel like, oh wow, okay, these people are on top of things, right?
So think about that. In your organization, when you’re thinking about this journey, either for people that you serve or you’re thinking about this journey for your donors, where does technology come into play? Are you using super, super outdated systems that are really obvious, right? Or have we come into the 21st century and we’re using modern, fresh technology that makes things easier and smoother for everybody?
And finally, the departure, the sort of ending touchpoint with them. It was lovely, right? They had this concierge person come in and take care of my payment and take care of my scheduling, and I got a little goodie bag [00:21:00] upon departure that was not like cheap trinkets and crap, but it was actually something nice that I’m going to keep, and I mean, maybe I’m gonna think about my dentist every time I look at that plant.
I don’t know. We’ll see if I can even keep it alive. But the point is that there was a really beautiful. Sort of end point that leaves me not necessarily dreading the nest, the next encounter. Right. And so, um, you know, I know with our clients we often, we do a little end of year gift, which is a, a bit of just a little expression of our gratitude for our clients.
And think about your sort of exit experience. What does the exit experience with your organization? Look like, right? I mean, hopefully with your funders, with your donors, there is no exit experience, right? We want them to continue on with us, but how are you showing them your appreciation for them throughout the year or maybe at a designated time?
Um, I’d love to send gifts around Thanksgiving, sort of playing on [00:22:00] that theme of gratitude and thankfulness. And how are you showing your gratitude for your donors and really encouraging them to, Hey, stick around. Come back. Consider us for another donation. And I don’t mean just a letter saying, thank you, give us more money, right?
I’m also not saying it needs to be anything expensive, but there was clearly thought put into what the departure experience looks like for these patients at this dentist practice. So, I’m telling you, I literally got home from the dentist an hour and a half ago and I was like, I need to record this episode because there are so many lessons to be learned from this customer experience journey.
So just to recap, what we talked about was the, the sort of referral, right? The initial touchpoint with your organization. We talked about your website and your functionality and the functionality of the website, We talked about how easy it is to contact you and to share and be [00:23:00] seen, and be heard about how you feel and your preferences, and your likes and dislikes.
We talked about that. Intermediate touchpoint between the initial contact and whatever the, whatever the next thing is, right? Like that sort of cultivation of, um, making somebody excited to want to stay with you. Right? We talked about what is the experience like when you’re on the inside, once you show up to that dentist’s office.
Once you become a client, once you are now a donor, what does the experience look like on the inside? We talked about using non-judgmental language and an approach to talking to people where you’re not coming at them like, Hey, the last time you donated was three years ago. Where’s our money? Right. But really understanding people, seeing them, hearing them, accepting them for where they are right now, and coming up with a plan to.
Sort of usher them along their journey. And finally the departure, [00:24:00] right? What does that end moment look like To really wanna encourage someone to come back, right? So I just left the dentist and I could choose like, okay, yeah, I’m gonna go back there to schedule, you know, for my next six month cleaning. Or I could choose, well I’m just gonna go find someplace else, or I’m gonna go back to the other place, right?
So I have a choice right now and I’m choosing to go back to this place cause I really liked it, but I have a choice. And all of these things, this entire process, all of these pieces really helped solidify that choice. So think about this, just because your donor has fun at your gala, right? Maybe you have like an amazing performer and a really fun auction and really good food, and everybody has a great time, but just because they have a great time at the gala, That’s just one piece of it, right?
That doesn’t mean that they’re going to stay a donor forever. You need all of these elements in the whole donor experience and the whole client experience, the customer journey. You need all of these different pieces [00:25:00] to really keep someone sticking with you. I hope this was interesting to hear. I have to tell you, I have not had a customer experience quite like this in.
A while, if not ever. I don’t know. Especially that was something like the dentist. So I hope this was interesting. It was really interesting to me, and again, I was literally taking notes on my phone throughout the process because I wanted to come back and share this with all of you because I think there’s so many good lessons learned here about how we can take really, really good care of our people throughout their entire time with us.
That’s it for today, friends. I will catch you next time. As always, if you’re loving the show, would you leave us a review and a rating over on Apple Podcast? I would love that so much. I always like to share the most recent ones, um, on Instagram, and it just helps us be able to attract better guests that are gonna deliver even more value to you, and it’s so, so, so appreciated.[00:26:00] Thank you for being here. Thank you for listening, and I will catch you next time. Before you go, I just wanna thank you for being here. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100 degrees podcast.com. That’s 100 degrees podcast.com, and I’ll see you next time