Speaking at our last Donor Centricity Collective (DCC) event, Mark Jenkins, CEO of Resurg Group asked the audience a series of thought-provoking questions designed to help them endear more donors to their cause. LemonTree asked Mark to share those questions with you here to get you thinking about endearing your donors.
At Resurg, we’ve managed to turn the concept of endearing customers on its head. Instead of us trying to endear them, we have created an environment where our customers actually endear themselves to our business. We’ve achieved this through a relentless focus on the client relationship journey and addressing a few key questions through that lens:
- What combination of events will almost guarantee endearment?
You can’t expect immediate endearment. Nor should endearment be treated as a one hit wonder. However, if you can work to successfully engage your customers – or donors – across a series of interactions it will ultimately lead to endearment.
- What does ‘endear your customers / donors’ mean to you?
Endearment can mean different things to different people and different organisations. For Resurg, a truly ‘endeared’ customer:
- Owns their relationship with us
- Feels empowered in the relationship
We know that if we can put our customers in the driving seat of their engagement with us, then we simply facilitate their endearment to the product and to Resurg.
3: How can your customers / donors ‘own’ their relationship with you?
We have worked hard to make our product all about the customer. It wasn’t always like that. For a long time, it was all about the product. Whilst the product worked, our customers weren’t fully engaged with it. They were passive participants.
We wanted our customers to be active with our products. So we found a way to make the product far more about them and their needs. We introduced benchmarking.
The benchmarking function indicated what other customers were achieving with our product and how. The customers themselves were demonstrating the potential value of the product to each other. We weren’t involved. Our product simply showed the different benchmarks for different metrics. In doing so, we created a common connection between our customers, aligning them more closely with people just like them and putting them in control of their journey with us.
How can you make your cause more about your donors? How can you incorporate them into your cause, so they feel a greater sense of ownership in the charity from the outset?
4: How can you empower your clients / donors in their relationship with you?
We recognised that we were pushing a lot of information out to our customers. Sometimes this was well received; other times not. We realised that if we simply allowed our customer to set their own criteria for how and when we reached out to them and with what content, they would engage with it far more readily because they had requested the information. They were in the driving seat. They were empowered.
What sort of engagement criteria can you offer your donors that could help trigger their giving?
Reflect and refine:
Reflecting on our own journey, perhaps the greatest success we’ve had when it comes to customer endearment has been facilitating the connections between our customers. We invite them to become part of a network – a performance group – where they can openly communicate with and learn from their peers, as well as share their own insights and best practices. Together, they influence and shape each others attitudes, decisions and behaviours.
Again, Resurg is not involved in these group. But simply by creating a platform for connection and facilitating these relationships, we have built an ambassador network within our customer base. A tribe of people who endear each other to the Resurg products and business.
I encourage you to consider how you can leverage the power of the peer-to-peer donor network to help influence individual donor attitudes and behaviours. For example, how can you harness the power of LemonTree’s DCC community and the collaborative insights of its members?
Remember, endearment does not stem from a single occurrence. Create a journey for your donors where they own – and feel empowered in – their relationship with you, not the other way around. Focus on a combination of events and interactions, and you will be rewarded with their endearment.
As one of Australia’s finest business intelligence, performance management and analytics specialists, Resurg provides businesses with the tools for smarter decision-making by integrating their forecasting, data analysis and reporting into a single platform.