How to Avoid Losing Donors Over the Phone

January 23, 2017 Charlie Davenport

So, you’ve engaged a supporter enough for them to pick up the phone.


They’re greeted by a friendly receptionist…& then left in silence or in the company of some horrendous 1970’s jazz music, until the relevant call-taker is found.


First impressions count and a supporter’s initial telephone experience has the power to make or break your relationship.


We can’t all have an immediate answer when supporters call, but we can ensure their precious time isn’t wasted.


Did you know?

  1. 71% of callers that experience silence on hold will abandon their call within 30 seconds.
  1. 90% of callers value professionally recorded on hold messages over radio, chimes, or music
  1. Callers will remain on hold up to 4 times longer if the message is relevant to their enquiry.


A poor call experience results in major missed opportunity.


It’s something the corporate world has known for years and why customer-centric brands have invested heavily in call flow architecture and design. For non-profits, the on-hold experience has the potential to become a powerful storytelling touchpoint in the supporter journey – and it’s so easy to do well.


How often do you have the opportunity to speak directly to such a captive audience?


3 ways to overhaul your on-hold experience:

  • Greet them: Ensure that callers are always greeted in person within 4 rings… if that’s not possible use a professionally-recorded voice announcement, thanking the supporter for their call and asking them to hold for the next available representative.


  • Engage them: Treat your on-hold experience as an advertisement for your charity.  What’s the most important story you can tell in that short window of opportunity? Credibility is everything in the non-profit sector, so ensure you sound professional.


  • Make it easy for them: If your charity is closed, leave a clear after-hours message and ideally alternative means of contacting the organisation e.g. website, social media etc.


By adding these simple strategies to your multichannel strategy, you’ll give your supporters a reason to keep on calling.


This is a guest blog from Andrew Whitaker, Director of Profit Messages on Hold.

The post How to Avoid Losing Donors Over the Phone appeared first on Blackbaud Europe.

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