The most important 2 feet can be found on the front lines of your church’s Guest Services or Hospitality teams:
- They belong to the team members who are the “first face” of your church – parking lot crews, greeters, ushers – anyone who is making the first impression with your Guests.
- They also represent the space and distance where the words you use and the actions you take make the most powerful impact with your Guest.
The interactions that take place in that space (two feet) by your team member (two feet) are rich with expectations – and can also be filled with missed opportunities. In that space your front-line team members have become the face and voice of your organization. Creating a great Guest Experience comes down to having great people on your front line teams and training them well. Many churches struggle with Guest services. Often the primary barrier is translating the organization’s vision into action at the front line. An article in HBR.org outlined four activities that your church can learn from when it comes to your front line teams.
- Listen to team members. Want your team to take great care of your Guest? Start by taking great care of them.
- Hire for attitude, not aptitude — and then reinforce attitude. To get friendly service, enlist friendly people. Having selected people with the right attitudes, leaders need to ensure they reinforce the behaviors they want to see.
- Give people purpose, not rules. Rules have their place, but they go only so far. When people are given clear expectations and trusted to do their jobs, they feel valued and empowered. They choose to go that extra mile through passion, not compliance.
- Tap into the creativity of your front line. Giving frontline team members responsibility and autonomy inspires them to do whatever they can to improve the Guest experience. When they see a problem, they fix it without waiting to be asked.
Engaging with Guests is primarily through personal contact, and that starts on the front lines with your team. The care and energy your teams use to connect with Guests reflect the care and energy you as a leader use to connect with your team.
A release of our SUMS free book summaries spoke directly to this topic. Judgment on the Front Line by Chris DeRose and Noel Tichy outlines how front-line team members can be one of your greatest assets and shows how to tap their rich vein of insight and leadership. Download a copy of this free summary here.
How your front line teams represent your church – what they do (or don’t do), what they say (or don’t say) – that’s the powerful human “first impression” your Guest is experiencing – and will remember.