Are you going to Convio's 2011 Summit in October?
Do you want to share your opinions so that we can make Convio more user-friendly?
The Convio Usability Lab will be back for its 4th year. No white coats or mad scientists here, just a team of user experience professionals who will be waiting to hear your opinions so we can make Convio software easier to use.
The process is simple. When you get to Summit, stop by the Usability Lab and sign up for a 30 minute time slot on one of the subjects we’re researching. At your appointment time, you’ll sit down at a computer with a User Experience professional who will walk you through mock-ups of potential changes, or let you interact with a prototype or existing functionality and give feedback.
We want to make sure any changes we’re making to our software improve the user experience, but the only way for us to know is to get feedback from you, the users. Your participation in our research will help us make Convio software better for you. Even better, by participating you’ll be entered in a drawing for an iPod touch!
Even if you’re pressed for time, stop by the Usability Lab to take our super-short Usability Survey. The first 50 people who take the survey will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card!
The Usability lab is open at the following times
Come by, say hi, and let us know how we can make Convio better for you!
One thing I love doing is talking to people I don’t know. I just can’t help myself. I want to know where they got their shoes. What they ordered that looks so delicious. Where they’re from (this happens often in DC as my city is a spot tourists love to visit!) or the derivation of their message T.
While I was attending the Direct Marketing Association of Washington’s Social Media Day a few months ago, I decided to strike up a conversation with one of the presenters. I was specifically interested in where Tania purchased her shoes (they were sparkly flats which I’d been looking for since a similar pair I used to own died in a tragic walking-home-from-work-in-the-rain incident). We got to talking and I learned of her Convio savvy and love of all things Gigya. So, it was right there, in the middle of the conference, that I asked her to be the subject of my next Connection Café post. And here we are…
Tania Luciow is a lover of sparkly flats, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and Convio. This is her story:
EG for CC: What’s your elevator pitch about what the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund does?
TL: We commemorate the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers, killed in the line of duty by maintaining a national monument in their honor and promoting law enforcement officer safety. Each year we help in organizing National Police Week and hold an annual Candlelight Vigil, with over 20,000 attendees. In addition, we are building the National Law Enforcement Museum, to tell the story of law enforcement in America.
EG for CC: How do you describe your role at the organization to friends at parties?
TL: For starters, I am not a law enforcement officer (a majority of people first assume that after hearing the organization’s name). I manage the Memorial Fund’s online community (Facebook/Twitter/Blogger/Flickr) and am also the staff photographer/videographer, designer, and handle some online marketing and messaging.
EG for CC: Of Convio’s selection of online resources, what have you found most useful?
TL: Hands down, I would say the Convio Community. Many times when I am stumped about how to accomplish or create something, I’ll search through the Community to find an answer. The tutorials and guides have helped, in addition to asking questions if something does not work right the first time.
EG for CC: What are you most proud of regarding your use of Convio with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial?
TL: Convio has really allowed us to communicate important information to our constituents. Having access to all of the Convio tools allows us to disseminate “Recently Fallen” email alerts, sent out every time an officer fatality is reported. Concurrently, we are also able to provide a forum for supporters and surviving family members to honor the officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty.
EG for CC: Share an anecdote about a project or specific campaign you worked on through Convio that was particularly exciting or interesting or productive. (I know you’ve got ‘em!)
TL: The beginning of 2011 was a particularly deadly time for law enforcement. In one 24-hour period in January, 11 law enforcement officers were shot, with three killed and eight wounded. In response to the increase in violence, we created a “Stand with the Thin Blue Line” pledge. The response was incredible – in the first hour, hundreds of individuals had signed the pledge. To date, over 11,000 individuals responded.
EG for CC: If you had advice to share for a new Convio admin, what would it be?
TL: Use the training sessions online and in person. Also, ask a lot of questions to other Convio users, they can usually help steer you in the right direction, as well as bugging your account manager about solutions.
EG for CC: What’s one secret tip or trick you’ve picked up along the way related to the Luminate Online platform?
TL: Copy and paste. I rarely start anything from scratch. Sometimes tearing already existing content apart is faster than a blank canvas.
We’ve all heard the stories of customer service experiences that have gone horribly, horribly wrong and in today’s world of social media, those stories spread like wildfire. But personally, I prefer to share stories of customer service done right. Last week, I read this blog post about the author’s recent experience with Morton’s Steakhouse and it gave me goose bumps. Shouldn’t we all strive to bring our donors this kind of personal experience with our organizations?
You will notice the author speaks to the Steakhouse’s spectacular Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and how it provides him with the consistency of excellent service across the country. A good CRM system should do just that; provide a complete 360 degree view of each and every name in the database.
For non-profits, Convio also knows that behind every name, there is a story, a relationship, a clear way to engage your supporters. Enter Luminate.
What also really resonated with me in the Morton’s story is the statement that “Customer service is no longer about telling people how great you are. It’s about producing amazing moments in time and letting those moments become the focal point of how amazing you are, told not by you, but by the customer who you thrilled.”
So, its important to note that a CRM system can only get you so far, it is how you use the system that gets you to those “amazing moments.” With that, I offer you 5 tips for getting the most out of your CRM system so that you can create your amazing moments:
5 Tips for Getting the most out of your CRM system
1) Garbage in, garbage out. Your CRM system is only as good as the data within it so keeping clean data should be the number one priority. Your database administrator should be running regular data hygiene queries to ensure data remains clean. Duplication of donors in the system is a common problem! Run a de-dupe process at least once a quarter.
2) Have accessibility to your data from anywhere. Imagine you are having lunch with a co-worker at your favorite neighborhood restaurant when you glance around the restaurant and spot one of your major donors having lunch with his spouse. It would be rude to NOT stop by their table and say hello but you must have had too much pasta because your brain seems to be functioning a little slow and you just can't remember the name of your donor’s spouse. With a few taps on your smart phone, you have access to your donor database and can now look up your donor’s account to find his spouse’s name and to also discover you just received another $5,000 check in the mail from them yesterday. You can now confidently stroll over to your donor’s table and say “Hello Bob and Sally, so nice to see you again.”
3) Be consistent with data. In order to do this, your organization should have standard protocols for how data is entered and stored in your system. Unfortunately, it seems that data consistency is lost every time a database administrator leaves the organization. Be sure procedures and policies are written so they can be passed on to incoming personnel and do not walk out the door when your database administrator leaves.
4) Track results. Your CRM system should not just be a data depository, it should be used to track your marketing and fundraising results in order to maximize donor engagement.
5) Train your employees and provide them with the freedom to use the information. A CRM system is of no use if it never gets used. Be sure an investment is made to properly train employees on how to use the system and continue to monitor your employees’ use of it and reward those that use it frequently and use it well. In addition, what we can all learn from this Morton’s story is to be sure your employees have the flexibility and empowerment to use the system to provide the best donor experience possible!
Earlier this summer, I attended the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF) annual gala lunch. The organization was celebrating its 40 year anniversary and several very fabulous accomplishments, too. The RSVP list was HUGE (I’ve never seen Washington, DC’s Hilton as crowded as it was that day), the menu was set (grilled chicken salad served on a bed of micro greens), and the speakers were confirmed (including First Lady Michelle Obama)! There was just one problem:
The First Lady’s presence required all guests to be screened through a metal detector which meant long lines of event goers waiting around with nothing to do.
Have no fear! In the weeks leading up to the event, the smart minds of the NPWF staff were hard at work with a plan to not only entertain guests while in line, BUT add value to their luncheon experience with the use of a little technology.
Here’s how it went down:
When I arrived at the event, I was presented with a ticket with my table number on it. There was a QR code printed on the ticket which, when scanned by my QR code reader on my smartphone, took me to a fabulous little site which included the seating plan for luncheon, the luncheon program, the video that was shown at the beginning of the lunch, and links to the NPWF twitter feed and Facebook profile.
I know what you’re thinking: I have no idea what a QR code is and that link to the Wikipedia article isn’t going to cut it. So, allow me to take a moment to explain what I’m talking about.
QR codes, short for “Quick Response” codes, are similar to barcodes, but with more web savvy pizzazz. When scanned using an app for your smartphone, they automatically take you to a website, image hosted on the web, calendar invite, series of text, or other types of content. They make copying and pasting URLs unnecessary and the Convio team is all about ‘em! In fact, my colleague Jonathan just posted something yesterday on this here blog about this fancy pants topic. Check it! I told you, we’re ALL about ‘em. And QR codes can be created really easily (and free of cost). There are a bunch of websites and mobile apps that’ll whip one up for you in seconds (check out this list for a few of the best).
So, back to my lunch date with the First Lady. The fun times I had on the NPWF mobile site kept me entertained while in line and enhanced my experience at the luncheon itself. I knew exactly how to find my table in the sea of the ballroom, previewed the video so I could turn my attention to live tweeting when it was shown to the whole luncheon crowd, and connected me with two great social media outlets so I could share the experience with my 2,500 Facebook friends (yes, that’s right, I love Facebook).
In addition to the QR code and mobile site, NPWF also had tons and tons of helpful and friendly volunteers greeting folks in line, answering questions, and keeping things moving while we waited. This was another very smart tactic since it added a little human connection and positive energy to a situation that would otherwise feature masses of cranky, hungry event participants.
I applaud the NPWF for their very savvy use of a QR code and a mobile site!
So now that you have a good feel for how much I enjoyed the NPWF luncheon QR code, I thought it would be useful to discuss a few other tips to make use of these funky black and white squares.
Direct Mail: Consider putting a QR code on a direct mail piece! USPS will even give you a 3% discount if you do so before August 31.
Membership Cards: Another great idea for QR codes is what Convio client WQED is doing -- they've put a QR code on their membership card so members can scan the code and go directly to a smartphone enabled site that has a listing of all the member benefits. So when folks are out and about, they can quickly and easily access that information.
Mix It Up: Get creative with where you put QR codes! Here is an extensive list that was featured on the Nonprofit Tech 2.0 blog earlier this year.
Beware: Before you plaster your office with QR codes directing folks to a mobile optimized donation form, check out this helpful article on QR codes gone bad. HINT: remember to test the code and link to sites that look good on smartphones.
To the Beltway, and Beyond: Advocacy friends, don’t think QR codes are just about the dollars. Epolitics has a whiole bunch of exciting ideas about ways you can incorporate QR code fun into political campaigns.
Form AND Function: Remember that QR codes can be stylish too! Here are 15 examples of well accessorized QRs.
And in the category of the most juicy Connection Café cliffhanger ever, consider this: we’ll be doing some very fancy things with QR codes at the Convio Summit in October. Join us there and experience the QR fun for yourself!
PS—One thing that is really important with QR codes is to make sure the place you’re sending people that use them is going to look good on a mobile device. If you’re using Convio CMS, don’t forget to check out the Summer 2011 release goodness all about mobile detection and sites that play well with smartphones. Just saying…
If you, like me, have ever struggled to come up with an articulate explanation of what this whole "cloud computing" thing is, look no further, because Salesforce has you covered. I really enjoyed this YouTube video they posted which puts it into simple, easy-to-understand terms anyone—from your nonprofit board to your grandmother—can understand.
Or, as the fine people at Appirio put it, "Cloud: Like a sheep without legs".
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