Now IT Matters

Customer-Centered Experience for your Non-Profit by Natalie De Laurell

This post is written by NiM Sales Associate Natalie De Laurell. Natalie and Joni Bryan represented NiM at Texas Dreamin’

Last week I swung down to Austin for Texas Dreamin’, a Salesforce Community event. As it tends to go, the highlights of the event were getting to connect with colleagues and clients, and snag the swag that vendors offer in exchange for your contact information! Now IT Matters employees all work remotely, so it was a treat to encounter Joni Bryan in the flesh and represent the NiM team.

An unexpected highlight of the event was getting to hear Simon Mulcahey talk through the ways that business is changing as a customer-centered approach becomes increasingly possible. I often have the sense that these keynotes are part marketing, part business school regurgitation. This one was packaged with a British accent and an attractive slide deck! But I heard some things that caused me to mull over the ways that we support the Nonprofits we serve in centering their approach around their constituents.

More and more, clients/customers/constituents are expecting a customer-centered experience. And why shouldn’t they! As Simon pointed out, the most recent technological revolution has made it possible. Companies which explicitly place customer service at the top of their priority list are doing quite well. Hello, Amazon and hello, every single deliver-it-now app-based service out there. It’s easy to work towards this focus when you’re a for-profit business that views customer service as a means to an end - the bottom line! The script changes when you’re a purposeful Nonprofit for whom that bottom line is a means to an end - your missional impact.

Consider what this might look like at your Nonprofit.

  • Do your donors have ready access to their giving records? Can your donors update or change a recurring donation amount on your website, without needing to call in and wade through a telephone menu?

  • Can prospective volunteers apply online, check the status of their application, and connect with other volunteers to hear their experiences?

  • Can your patients book their appointments and pay bills through an online portal?

  • Can constituents easily opt-in and opt-out of your monthly newsletter?

  • Can your community easily see events that might be of interest to them? Can they register with a few clicks, and invite friends?

These are some of the ways that Nonprofits are creating a constituent-centered experience. If you’d like to explore these or other ways that your Nonprofit can focus its efforts around those you’re endeavoring to serve, drop us a line!

Your Salesforce Needs Some Design Love (Part Three) by Reilly Ellis

Usability Testing (You are not your users)

The most important thing to remember about design is that you are not your users. The design principles that I previously covered will help you set the groundwork for a usable system, but the best way to see if your system is usable is to test your users using it.

Remember the law of familiarity. Admins are in Salesforce all the time. What makes sense to you may because of your history with the platform may not make sense to someone who is just in Salesforce to enter program data.

The is doubly true when you’re doing a redesign or introducing a new feature. You’ve developed familiarity with your design through the time that you spent creating it. It can be hard for you to tell if something makes sense because of its design or because you’ve developed a learned association.

Usability Testing vs. User Acceptance Testing

You’ve probably does user tests in your system before, but it’s likely those were user acceptance tests. User acceptance testing checks to see if your systems working correctly, for instance, does the “Total Payments” rollup accurately calculate all the payments?

Usability testing checks if your users are using your system correctly. For instance, do they know what the “Total Payments” field is? Do they use it like you want them to use it?

Usability Testing in Six Steps

1. Identify users

Survey a range of users - new users, super users, and users who still struggle.

2. Introduce a scenario or task

This is what you’ll be testing! Something like, “create a new contact” or “find the date of someone’s last donation.”

3. Ask the user to narrate their thoughts while they complete the task

Their narration will give you insight into your design. What parts do they understand? What parts are they missing?

4. Observe the user complete the task (silently!)

This may be the hardest part of user testing - but it’s important for you to stay silent. You won’t always be there to guide them when they’re using Salesforce.

5. Ask follow-up questions after the task

This is your chance to dig in to the actions you observed and get more feedback on the design.

6. Iterate & repeat!

Make the necessary changes, find more users, and repeat!


Usability Testing Quick Tips

Not everything is perfectly intuitive the first time around. You can test “learnability” by asking the same user to complete the same task multiple times. If they get it after a couple tries, great! If they still need help weeks later, you should reassess your design.

If you or your users don’t have time for dedicated usability testing - wrap it in with training. When your users ask you how to complete as task, have them show you how they do it first before you show them. This will give you some quick insight to the usability of your design.