Mandate for Change: Effortless Constituent Experiences
By: Kenneth Kuhler, Account Executive at Salesforce.org
As an Account Executive here at Salesforce.org, I am fortunate to get to work with some of the largest nonprofits in the world — nonprofits that do amazing things and make the world a better place for all of us.
Being on the front lines with my clients, I have witnessed the synergistic rise of cloud, social and mobile, along with the opportunities and challenges they present to organizations. These challenges tend to be compounded for larger organizations that have more complex technology infrastructures, and many well established business processes that may or may not be optimal. Change is hard, but it is necessary. Period.
To provide some context around the urgency, the average tenure for an S&P 500 company back in 1958 was 61 years. By 2011, the average tenure was only 18 years. At the current rate of churn, over 75% of the S&P 500 companies will be replaced by 2027. With even more growth in the number of new nonprofits than the number of new businesses founded each year, we can expect to be facing similar rates of churn in the social sector before long. Nonprofits need to keep pace with the changing landscape in order to maintain their positions as industry leaders.
With larger organizations in particular, research shows that the top two obstacles to achieving digital priorities are:
- Organizational structure was not designed appropriately for digital
- Business processes are too inflexible to take advantage of new opportunities
In regards to smaller organizations, you may not have the same scale of “change management” challenges as the larger and more well established nonprofits, but technology can be just as strategic. The right technology can enable a smaller organization to bridge the “budget gap” between you and your larger counterparts, which may have budget for things like DRTV, direct mail, etc. Technology can serve as your megaphone and help you level the playing field.
Recently, I participated in our Salesforce Admin 201 training class and got to sit alongside some Salesforce clients. Sitting next to me was an executive from a large, established telecom company, and I decided to ask for his perspective on technology and how it fits into his business. He initially brought up the term “Net Promoter Score.” This is a standard customer satisfaction metric based on “how likely your clients are to recommend your company.” The higher the better.
He cited the fact that newer companies — the ones that have popped up in the last few years and are therefore built on newer technology stacks — are getting far higher Net Promoter Scores than older and larger traditional ones. He said, “It’s no longer enough for a company to just provide good customer service; they need to make the engagement experience easy.” In essence, customers expect experiences to not only be positive, but also simple. And leading companies now recognize this as a key differentiator in the race to outpace the changing market. The old systems of record, and the business processes associated with them, simply cannot deliver these effortless experiences.
Curious, I searched to see if any nonprofits were using NPS to measure themselves. I found an interesting article that speaks to why some nonprofits are adopting this methodology. The nonprofit highlighted in the piece speaks to powerful impact that adopting this methodology can have on retention rates and revenue. It creates a forcing function that drives your organization to deliver those streamlined constituent experiences.
When I think of “simpler experiences,” two key aspects come to mind:
- Holistic view of all interactions, meaning information about all of my touch points is known and that knowledge is distilled onto one screen.
- More ways to engage, in other words, more opportunities to interact with your organization (community, social, call center, programs, email, website, direct mail, volunteer, etc).
To put it simply, you have a 360° view of constituents, and they have a 360° view of your organization.
That is what Salesforce does best. Our platform is the conduit that helps organizations adapt to the changing technology landscape and enable “simpler constituent experiences.” It serves as the nexus for all constituent touchpoints, so data is readily accessible and the constituents can interact with ease.
Organizations large and small must adapt. Information will only become more prevalent as “The Internet of Things” movement gains traction and the world becomes more connected. The time to act is now — before the massive influx of data cripples organizations still tied to the legacy systems. Technology can be the roadblock that holds you back or the catapult that launches you into the future. The choice is yours.
We look forward to these types of conversations.
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