Using simple SMS and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems to reach out to and engage with stakeholders who have non-smartphones and no internet
NGOs’ – a concept written about so often and yet very few really see them as they are. You’ll find millions of blogs, articles, facts & figures about them. It’ll tell you about all the good they do. Some may even misconstrue their acts of goodness. But, while we are shown this one aspect, we are simultaneously kept in the dark about another. The challenges they face. They are undoubtedly reaching hitherto underserved markets but not without challenges of their own.
So the real question here is, can cloud telephony really help NGOs’ with some of the challenges they face? You’ll just have to read further to see for yourself.
Raising funds from potential donors is always a task. From pitching to sealing the deal, the process is cumbersome especially because you aren’t really giving them any product/service in return. You need to make your pitch realistic. Show them the impact. Give them numbers. The metrics are a good way to showcase the reach & impact. But how will you do that? Do you have documented proof?
With cloud telephony, fundraising becomes fairly simple. Using your web-dashboard you can:
track where your calls have come from
track whom all your telecallers are calling
track the number of people you have reached
generate reports that help you analyse whom all you have and haven’t reached out to
Tracking calls can help you understand which areas you have covered and which ones you can potentially target. Also, using a web dashboard that is dependable will ensure that your fundraising programme which runs over the phone is executed smoothly without any glitches.
As an NGO, your processes are more likely to be manual rather than automated. Your telecaller will most likely manually dial the number on a phone and then wait for the person to answer. This means you need an on-premise hardware system. You’ll also need space for these systems which will lead to more cost. Plus the hassle of repairing these systems. Even after all of this, your executives can only reach out to one person at a time. So not only is the time of your executives being wasted, you are also spending a truckload of money.
Cloud-based telephony softwares are relatively easier to use. Their simplicity will enable non-profits to use them for automating their processes with greater ease. A lot of the manual work such as getting the number of the potential donor and then dialling it in is now made easy. All you have to do is integrate your web-dashboard into your CRM. This makes the job of your tele-calling team a lot faster and more efficient.
3. Good donor experience:
Good customer experience in any line of work proves to be beneficial. For your NGO, you will also need to create a great experience for your donors. No one will be willing to donate if they have a bad experience. Your tele-callers will need to be the ones to drive this change. Now if they have bad phone lines or connectivity or bad call quality, can they really do their best?
Cloud telephony can help your donors have a great experience because of two reasons:
a. It is dependable:
With an uptime of about 99.95%, you can be sure that you never miss calls. Even if you do, you’ll have the number so you can call them back quickly. Your donors will surely be happy with this.
b. It gives you greater mobility:
Your hardware devices cannot be moved from one place to another. Calls can only be made from the office which restricts the level of mobility of your staff. Your tele-calling executives can now call your potential donors using cloud telephony from anywhere as long as they have internet connectivity.
4. Effective campaigning:
Campaigns form a huge part of NGOs’. The problem lies in measuring the effectiveness of this campaign. How do you measure the impact it’s had? How do you see how many people it has reached? How do you know who supports this cause? How can you get people to sign a petition without wasting their time?
Campaigning using SMS and calls is now one of the best ways to campaign. For example, if you want to get a petition signed by a large number of people, you can run a call center campaign that has an IVR option which says ‘press 1 if you support this campaign’ or ‘press 2 if you do not support this campaign’. Campaigning like this makes it faster for you to get petitions signed without going through the hassle of individually approaching people. You can also keep a track of how successful you are a lot more easily.
5. Budget constraints:
From all the money that you get from donors, naturally you can spend very little on your own premises development. Most of it will be channelled to your causes and their promotion. You cannot afford wastage of resources. You will, however, need systems that are reliable, infrastructure that is good enough, and anything else that makes your work more efficient. How can you do this with a budget at hand?
Cloud telephony can help with budget constraints in two ways:
a. It is cost effective:
Cloud-based telephony services such as Exotel, typically work on a pay as you go model. They are cheaper than having an on-premise hardware system that is not only a huge expenditure but also takes up a lot of space. You will, therefore, need more infrastructure to accommodate all these hardware devices. Also, in the long-run, you will need to regularly repair these devices which will lead to more expenditure.
b. It has greater flexibility:
Suppose you suddenly realise you don’t need 10 executives and you can manage with 8. In a typical hardware system, you would have already bought the devices and incurred expenditure on the same. Cloud-based telephony systems, however, allow you to easily change the scale of your workforce without incurring extra cost or wastage of resources.
If you are still not convinced, see how some of Exotel's clients in this sector are using cloud telephony services.
Apply here to avail Exotel's special discount for NGOs.