Make Your Guest’s Experience Purposeful

– a note from the Vision Room Curator: During August we are focusing on Guest Experience in churches, but some of the most powerful learning for churches can occur by reading about customer service – all you have to do is substitute the word “Guest” every time you see “customer.” The following content was graciously supplied by Shep Hyken, a customer service and experience expert. Enjoy!

The customer experience shouldn’t happen by accident. It should be planned and thought out well in advance of the success you hope to have with your customers.

I recently had a conversation with someone who helped focus my long term strategic plans. We talked about the success I had in the past and what I hoped would be continued success in the future. I am very goal-oriented and shared my goals for the upcoming quarter, for the year, and even for ten years. These included the number of speaking engagements I wanted to do, the number of training dates our trainers would book, the growth in our online university and more. While she seemed impressed, she asked me how I planned to make those goals a reality. I told her what had been successful in the past, and how it should continue to take me into the future. 

Her response took me by surprise. She informed me that I had been successful by accident. While I had my goals, the detail about how I planned to achieve these goals was minimal. 



That made me think about how many organizations go about delivering great customer service. In effect, they do it by accident.

They hire good people and hope they will deliver based on their past experience. Some companies take it a step further and have some training. Still they are just hoping to achieve what the customer would consider to be a great customer service experience.

Customer service doesn’t happen by accident. It starts with hiring the right people and training them, but that still may not be enough. The best companies don’t take a chance. They actually design the experience. So here are a few steps in the process to help you move from accidental to purposeful amazing customer service.

  1. Already mentioned is hiring and training. By the way, training should be ongoing – not a one-time thing. Training isn’t something you did. It’s something you do. It doesn’t always have to be a big training session. If you have a weekly meeting, take several minutes to highlight customer service and share a tip.
  2. Create the customer journey map. This is plotting out all of the touch-pointsthat the customer has with your organization. This shows the obvious places where the customer can form an impression, and where the opportunities are to make that impression a Moment of Magic®.
  3. When you are looking at the journey map, determine what goes on behind the scenes that drives the experience at any particular touch-point. For example, a server at a restaurant may take the customer’s order and five minutes later come back with the food. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes to ensure that food comes out in a timely manner and is prepared the way it is meant to be. What are the friction points that could hurt the front line touch-point? How can they be mitigated or even eliminated? What can you do to enhance or make the frontline touch-point better?
  4. Train people on how to deal with mistakes and complaints. It’s not a matter of if you will ever have one of these Moments of Misery™, it’s when. The best companies make mistakes and have complaints, but they have trained their people and have a system that turns that Moment of Misery™ into a Moment of Magic®.

Don’t rely on chance or luck to make you successful. Be purposeful. Plan with detail.

A long term successful customer service initiative doesn’t happen by accident. 


Copyright ©MMXIV, Shep Hyken – www.Hyken.com

> Read more from Shep.


 

Want to know more about Guest Experiences in your church? Start a conversation with our team. We’re glad to offer our input. Your vision is at stake, so let’s talk.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a customer service expert, hall-of-fame speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He works with organizations to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training program that helps organizations develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. For more information contact (314) 692-2200 or www.Hyken.com.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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