Today’s consumers are as savy as ever, but they’re not only looking for great value in their purchases. They’ve also come to expect outstanding customer service. According to USA Today, Amazon, Chick-fil-A, Apple, Marriott, and Kroger lead the pack when it comes to customer service. In booster club fundraisers, you’re serving the same customers who now expect superior service.
Too often, a booster club’s fundraising focus is on the internal needs of the organization, and that’s not entirely bad. You must be clear on your funding needs and the method you choose to raise money. However, to maximize your booster club’s fundraising revenue, begin by focusing on the customer. Here are four keys to providing great customer service in your fundraiser.
1. Provide value to your customer. Ask yourself, is the product or service you are selling something that you would want to buy? Is it reasonably priced? Your customers may not expect the absolute lowest price, but they need to feel like they’ve received value for their purchase.
Here’s an example of what NOT to do. A recent trend in my town has been for student groups to stand at the entrances to Walmart with buckets asking for donations. DON’T do this! Your customers deserve something in return for their donations, and your students need to learn the value of hard work. When they work to earn the funds that support their program, they’ll build pride, ownership, and self-esteem, and they’ll learn about free enterprise and capitalism in the process.
2. Provide excellent customer service. Excellent customer service makes the difference between a one-time sale and a customer for life. When you are friendly and polite and promptly deliver, you will create repeat business. You’ll also build the brand of your booster organization and extracurricular program.
3. Make it easy for the customer to purchase. Create order forms that are simple and easy to understand, and make sure that your students have the resources they need to make a sale when a customer is ready. Sell your product on your website, offering payment through PayPal or another e-commerce service. If you don’t have the ability to sell through your website, at least provide sale information, frequently asked questions, and clear instructions for how to buy.
4. Deliver your product on time. If your fundraiser includes the pre-order of product to be delivered later, clearly establish delivery timing, and hold to your commitment. When you take a pre-order, arrange a delivery date that is convenient for the customer. Some customers may even want to be notified by text message when their order arrives. Never take a customer’s order without setting a delivery date, and always follow-through with the product on-time.
The fundraising field is crowded, with many school groups and nonprofits competing for the customer’s charitable dollar. When you provide great customer service, you set yourself apart from the rest. Your customer will have an exceptional experience, and will feel a sense of contributing to the greater good by supporting your organization.
If you’re ready to learn more effective fundraising techniques, check out my book, The Booster Leader: 35 Leadership Essentials for a Thriving Booster Organization. The Booster Leader is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.
Question: How does your booster club delight its fundraising customers? You can leave a comment by clicking here.