One of the most successful campaigns of recent times in Ireland has been The Big Switch. It was a campaign by a natural gas company trying to get people to switch to them for their electricity supply. They had hoped to get 100,000 people to switch by the end of the year and managed it in just a few months.
What struck me was the reaction of the market leader, the semi-state ESB, to the switch.
I switched (it was a great offer, 14% cheaper electricity). The ESB, who has had a monopoly for years, did nothing. They never once asked if we would like to stay with them, they never asked was there anything they could do to keep our business. Nothing. Not even a thank you for all the business.
There is a lot (an awful lot) of talk about attrition recently. PFRA are doing a survey about it. What I am reading and hearing about it mostly blames the recession. But I have to wonder are we taking an ESB approach to donor attrition?
Are we just letting the donor go without communicating with them (phone call). Maybe they have come across another charity similar to ours that they feel is doing a better job, maybe they werent getting enough communication from us, maybe too much. If you talk to the donors who are cancelling regular gifts you may get a wealth of information that will make you better at what you do and you may also be able to encourage some to stay.
I can’t help feeling that there is opportunity in attrition.