This One Guest Moment Matters the Most

Editor’s Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think “Guest” in terms of the “customer” the author is talking about – and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of these great minds.


“Smile and the world smiles with you.” That is part of a longer quote attributed to Stanley Gordon West. It became the topic of conversation while on a New York subway with my daughter, Alex, when I noticed her smile at someone who, in turn, smiled back. I complimented her on the small but kind gesture, and it started a great conversation about life and customer service.

Now, some of you may be thinking, “Big deal. It was just a smile.” But it is a big deal. Alex shared the story about where she learned about the power of a smile.

Back when Alex was a teenager, she attended the annual convention of the National Speakers Association. There was a youth program that featured the top motivational speakers in the world. One of them was my friend W Mitchell, an amazing man who has overcome incredible adversity. First, he had a motorcycle accident where his face and a good percentage of his body was burned. Then he was in a plane crash that put him a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The way Alex remembers it, Mitchell told a story about how he didn’t want to go outside. After the motorcycle accident, he was uncomfortable about how people might react to seeing his face. One day he mustered up the courage to walk outside. He saw a little girl and was terrified he might scare her. She looked at him and smiled. He smiled back. That little girl’s smile meant the world to him.

Alex said, “After hearing his story, I started smiling and saying good morning or hello to everyone.” She told me how every day when she takes the train home from work there is a homeless man who is always asking for money. Hardly anyone looks at this man as they walk by him. Alex said that the first day she saw him she smiled and said, “Hi,” as she walked by. On that day she was wearing a coat with a leopard pattern, so the man responded, “Hello girl in the leopard coat.” Thus began a daily ritual. Every day she would smile and say hello and he would always respond the same way.

She mentioned that she does that same thing at work. As she walks by a colleague, she always smiles. She almost always gets a friendly smile back.

That day, as we were shopping, I noticed sales people that weren’t smiling or making eye contact with their customers when they walk into their stores. I couldn’t help but think of the missed opportunity to set a more positive tone and create a better human-to-human connection.

The point is that a smile is a small gesture, but a powerful one. It takes little effort and doesn’t cost anything. You just have to get in the habit of doing it. It’s powerful at work and in your personal life. When you get into the habit of smiling at others, you’ll start to notice how many people smile back at you.

Read more from Shep.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs, go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken


 

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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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— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Four Disney Secrets that Make Your Welcome Amazing

Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think “Guest” in terms of the “customer” the author is talking about – and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of these great minds.


The Disney University—a name that carries clout and evokes images of excellence. Mention this highly-regarded institution to any business leader and the question that often follows is:

“How do they develop the world’s most engaged, loyal and customer-centric employees, year after year?”

Although the word “University” is invariably embodied in the title of corporate and organizational training departments around the world, very few of these “universities” have matched Disney University’s level of success for at least two reasons:

  1. Many don’t enjoy the levels of leadership support enjoyed by Disney University founder, Van France.
  2. Many don’t understand training cannot be limited to ‘Here’s what you need to do, now go do it.’ That’s not good enough. Training needs to instill a spirit, a feeling, an emotional connection.

Van France and his team of strong-willed visionaries created a corporate culture and an organizational DNA well before these words were ever in vogue. They didn’t just go to the store, buy pixie dust and start throwing it around. Their tireless devotion to perpetuate Walt Disney’s dream, plus the game-changing business concepts they created, helped build an organizational culture that is respected around the world.

Secrets of the Disney University
What does it take to create legions of amazingly motivated employees, year after year? How does a training organization, any organization for that matter, thrive well beyond the honeymoon period? The message from Van, and the many who worked with him to create the Disney University, is unwavering. Success is predicated on:

• Having a seat at the leadership table.
• Being a valued part of the organizational culture.
• Moving well beyond providing merely short-lived programs.
• Being incessantly creative and willing to try new approaches to keep the message relevant, fresh and engaging.

Many who worked with Van describe his style in the following ways: “Van kept people focused. He kept us from making training programs too esoteric and academic by keeping us focused on practical application, using simple concepts such as, we create happiness, and we know the answers.”

Who keeps you focused?

Excerpt from Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees  Publisher: McGraw-Hill

> Read more from Doug.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug Lipp

Doug Lipp

Doug enjoyed a unique career with Disney, beginning in 1978. He achieved recognition as a college intern in the Disneyland Marketing Department in Anaheim, where his natural speaking and leadership skills caught the eye of Disney’s executive leadership. After graduate school, he was fast-tracked into an exclusive Disney management-training program, where he was quickly promoted to a leadership role in the prestigious Disney University. During this time,Tokyo Disneyland (TDL) was in its initial stages of development. It was vital that the “Disney Way” be implemented in its first theme park overseas. Doug was selected to help train visiting Japanese executives in this philosophy before TDL opened. For two years, Doug helped manage both the construction and operations phases of TDL, including hiring and training more than 4,000 Japanese employees. After completion of TDL in 1983, Doug returned to Disney’s headquarters to lead corporate training initiatives. At the time, Disney was undergoing tumultuous change. Doug continued to work at Disney’s corporate office during this period of new leadership and strategic growth. In 1993, Doug’s life-long, entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish his own training and consulting firm, G. Douglas Lipp & Associates. Since 1995, Doug has delivered many thousands of keynote presentations to well over one million attendees around the world. He is a passionate champion for building great and enduring organizations through the development of loyal, engaged and customer-focused employees.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

What Guests Are Really Experiencing

Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think “Guest” in terms of the “customer” the author is talking about – and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of these great minds.


You may have heard the expression, “Take a walk in your customer’s shoes.” The idea is that you put yourself in the customer’s position and see the situation through their eyes. This is good advice for those who have customer-facing responsibilities.

You may have heard other versions of this expression. One of the more humorous versions is, “Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes, and once you’re a mile away, you can say anything you want about the customer and they can’t hear you.”

I said it was humorous. I didn’t say it was right.

Recently, I was speaking at a convention in Philadelphia, where I heard another version of the phrase. This one’s a good one. “Before you walk in the customer’s shoes, take off your own shoes.”

What this means is that even though we try to see the experience through the customer’s eyes, we sometimes don’t – or can’t – because we know too much from being on the inside of the company. It’s hard to separate ourselves from what we think the customer perceives versus what the customer actually experiences.

Years ago I came up with a short poem: Think like the buyer, not like the supplier. That’s it. It’s just one line. I would have used the word customer instead of buyer, but I couldn’t come up with a good rhyme. The point of the poem is similar to the idea of walking in the customer’s shoes. We need to get inside the heads and hearts of our customers and step away from our company roles before we can truly understand what the customer is thinking about us.

However you say it, there’s only one way to do it. You can’t talk about it in a conference room with your colleagues. You must become the customer. Depending on your type of business, there are different ways to do so. Call your company from the outside and experience what it’s really like to go through the phone tree or be put on hold. Make a call to the sales department or go visit a store as a customer. Experience all you can from the customer’s perspective.

We want our customers to have a great experience. The only person who can really judge your success is the customer. The customer is the judge and jury on that one.

Do your perceptions of the customer’s experience align with the customer’s reality? Take a walk in your customer’s shoes – after taking yours off – and find out.

> Read more from Shep.


 

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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); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

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Why Prayer is Essential to Hospitality

I could not be more grateful that my prayer life has gotten both thicker (deep) and thinner (ongoing) as I move through my post Sabbatical world. It has produced some new practices in my assimilation ministry, galvanized some old ones, and given me new passion for others that Gene (our Lead Pastor) leads us in.

Here are 9 ways that thicker and thinner prayer is permeating our church and its assimilation ministry:

1.  5:08 Prayer

Over a year ago, Gene Appel invited everyone at our church to set the alarm on their phones to 5:08pm. This was to remind us to pray that we would reach 1% of the 5.8 million people who live in a 20 mile radius of our hub campus with the message of Jesus. We call this our “Go Beyond Vision” and we have been sharing it in Next Steps with new people God is adding to our church for 5 years. Gene asked us to pray daily at 5:08pm for the fulfillment of this vision for a full year. It was fun to hear phone alarms go off in the middle of the message or in Next Steps during the Saturday service (even when it was my own phone as I hosted Next Steps…which prompted me to lead everyone in 5:08 prayer on the spot!). There is a power to this kind of “thin prayer” when it’s daily, and includes everyone for a 365-day streak. I could go on and on about the unprecidented things God brought about during this concerted daily prayer effort, but let me share just three of them here:

  • We were given the largest donation Eastside has ever received: a 4.5 million dollar church property in Bellflower that enabled us to launch our 4th campus.
  • The number of guests who gave us their contact info at Guest Central increased by 90% year over year and Next Steps grew by 26% as a result.
  • We became the 2nd fastest growing church in the U.S.

2. Car prayer

Like many of you, I pray in the car on the way to church that God will defeat the forces that are opposing guests as they attempt to make it to church and to Next Steps. I also pray that the Hosts and Table Hosts at every campus will be empowered by God to help guests experience their connection to the Body of Christ. This regular practice of “thin prayer” not only makes a difference in things unseen, but it makes a difference inside me as I remember whose battle this is and what my role is (and isn’t).

3. Phone prayer

We do a lot of phone follow up when guests make decisions to follow Jesus or are baptized. When a need is shared in one of these phone conversations, I have learned to ask if I can prayer for them right now. They are always surprised and grateful to have me pray for them over the phone. Many of them have never heard a person pray for them before and it has an impact on guests in multiple ways. I try to practice this in person as well when a guest shares a prayer request with me. They are consistently so appreciative that I paused to let them hear me pray for them or their loved one.

4. Pre-game prayer

One way of expressing a thin but powerful prayer is by circling up with the Table Hosts and Assistants just prior to “game time” in Next Steps. I do this with any of them that are present before the guests arrive, spontaneously. When we do this, we can sense our dependence shift internally from ourselves to God. We also observe breakthroughs together that we credit to God and our asking Him for them specifically.

5. Table prayer  

At the end of every session, we have Table Hosts pray that the assignments of the week at Next Steps will make a powerful difference in their growth as a Christ follower that week. Though they do not have time to ask for prayer requests, they usually include in this prayer anything that an individual may have shared in discussion that could use prayer support. Sometimes, they even email that guest during the week to see how that issue is progressing.

6. POC prayer

POC stands for Pastor On Call. We always have at least one available during and after services. The cool thing is that they are not just ordained staff, but Next Steppers who have graduated who have the gift of pastoring. I am so proud of these people when they serve in this role. We are in the habit of referring people to POCs from Guest Central and Next Steps when we sense someone needs a level of conversation and “thicker” prayer that can best be experienced in a pastoral moment in a room we have dedicated for this purpose.

David Sotelo is one of our interns and also a young adult. He is not a ministry major or necessarily pursuing vocational ministry. Recently he received a card that a guest sent to our office addressed to “Pastor David”, thanking him for taking the time to listen and pray for them. Whether it takes place in our office on weekdays or in the church at weekend services, there is nothing quite like this kind of prayer for helping guests feel connected to God and our church.

7. Big weekend prayer

Before Christmas and Easter services, Gene will have the entire staff meet him in the auditorium to hear him share specific prayer targets surrounding these high-outreach weekends. He then sends us for 20 to 30 minutes to anywhere a guest might appear that weekend: Every seat in the auditorium, Guest Central, the parking lot, restrooms, Kidside, and more. All are covered with “thick prayer” from the perspective of guests who we want to see connect with God and others at our church in these services. It gives us as staff the conviction that our property is now set apart for a holy purpose and we are ready for it, come what may.

8. Diploma prayer

This is one of my favorites moments of thin prayer and a real privilege. Whenever someone has completed all 4 sessions of Next Steps, they are given a Certificate of Completion (Diploma) for graduating from the training. I am always amazed at how much they value these certificates. On all campuses, they are printed out with guest’s names on them so that they are ready for the guest’s final session. They have Gene’s signature printed on them as well and a wet signature from either myself at the Anaheim campus or a Campus Pastor at our other Campuses. We sign each one individually so that we can pray for each person being added to our church by name as they are being added. This not only gives us name recognition for guests joining our church, but it also gives us the ability to say to each Next Step Grad, “I have prayed for you by name”. This just feels right.

9. 21 days of prayer

This is a time to thicken the prayer life of everyone at our church in a way that those new to our church can easily connect with. Inspired by Church of the Highlands in Birmingham AL, we do this one to two times a year to rally people around who they are as followers of Jesus in our community in this generation. This year, it will be attached to Gene’s series on the book of Acts entitled “The Deep”. The online prayer guide breaks Acts into 21 readings, gives a key thought for prayer each day fueled by a daily video prayer request from an Eastside staff person released through social media. To thicken the prayer even more, we have Wednesday evening Nights of Worship during the 21 Days to help the church members new and old experience prayer in community. Rocket fuel for the climb.

Since returning from my Sabbatical, my prayer life has become an ongoing tapestry of thicker and thinner conversations with God throughout my day. It has also been permeating the lives of our guests in ways they don’t even realize. My challenge to you as a Sherpa is to not take any guests on the climb without taking prayer along with you as a key piece of equipment for reaching the summit.

> Read more from Greg.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Curtis

Greg Curtis

I came to the church I serve, Eastside Christian Church, when I was 14 years old. I never saw anything like it. I saw so many changed lives (including my own), that it changed my career trajectory. I choose to not attend the college I planned on and choose instead to go to Bible college to pursue a degree in ministry. Gene Appel came back to Eastside in 2008, this time as Senior Pastor. Gene had interned at Eastside when I was a Senior in high school and stayed at my home during part of that season in his education. Both churches now were facing critical facility issues. The short story: both churches remerged after 27 years at a new location half way between the two. Gene gave me pretty much a blank slate for creating an assimilation environment to connect the guests that were arriving in large numbers due to our relocation and outreach strategy after the churches merged back together. 3-plus decades of leading in the local church. my journey has brought me here. That's who I am and what I am about.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Essential Reads for Better Guest Welcomes

Summer is a great time for reading – even if you’re not on vacation. Admittedly, I’m biased. I’m a voracious reader – to the tune of 3-5 books per week. Yep – you read that right! For me, reading is a discipline – but it’s also a gift.

You should be a reader, too, because leaders are readers. To explore that thought, click here. Over on my other website, 27gen, you will find a LOT about books. For starters, there is a weekly excerpt from past issues of SUMS Remix (a book excerpt published by Auxano every other week). You can read more about SUMS Remix here.

But for now, and for this website, here are some new – and new to me – books that will help you become a better Guest Experience Leader.

Beginning Monday June 3, and on every Monday throughout the summer, I will be featuring a few quick nuggets from each book relating to the Guest Experience. I call it a “book teaser” and when they are published, I will link them in the list above.

And if you’re really curious, follow this link to The Essential Guest Experience Library. It’s a listing of several hundred Guest Experience related books I have accumulated over the years. Look for an interesting book title – and “check it out” at your local library or purchase from your favorite bookstore. (The books above and in my Library are linked to my Amazon Affiliate page. Purchasing them from the link will not cost you any more, but will provide a small amount to help me continue expanding my Guest Experience library!).

Want to know more about reading, or any of the books mentioned above or in my library? Leave a comment below or contact me!

So – what will you be reading this summer to become a better Guest Experience Leader?

> Read more from Bob.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob Adams

Bob Adams

Bob is an absolute fanatic about Guest Experiences, growing up watching his father serve customers at the gas station he built and operated for 44 years. Bob is continually connecting with corporate leaders in the customer experience world, learning and then translating practices for ChurchWorld. He writes, speaks, and consults on the topic frequently. Vocationally, Bob has a dual role at Auxano, a clarity first consulting firm serving the church. As Vision Room Curator and Digital Engagement Leader he researches, edits, writes and publishes online content. As Guest Experience Navigator, he leverages his passion, providing Guest Perspective Evaluations and Guest Experience Blueprints. Bob and his wife Anita have been married for 39 years. They have 4 children, 3 daughters-in-law, 1 son-in-law, and 4 grandchildren.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Single Greatest Sacrifice You Can Make for a Guest

August kicks off “Guest Experience Month” on Auxano’s content platforms, and there’s no better way to get an early start than with a guest post from Jason Young, Director of Guest Experience at Buckhead Church and Northpoint Ministries.


 

A single mother came into our services looking for a seat. She requested a seat at the end of a row so she could quickly slip out in the event that her child needed attention during the service. I found a row where this might be possible and asked a woman who was already seated, “Ma’am, would it be possible for you to scoot down? This lady needs an aisle seat this morning.”

The woman in the seat looked down, then back up and said, “She can walk around me.”

I apologetically looked at my guest, walked her away from the seat, and said, “I’m sorry ma’am. If you would like to sit in an aisle seat, we don’t have to sit there because that doesn’t feel like the most enjoyable place to sit.” Then I escorted her to another seating area.

If I had said nothing or seated her next to the inconsiderate lady, I would have left my guest feeling the embarrassment and shame of the situation. But because I acknowledged the situation and protected my guest, she felt empowered again. She felt comfortable and respected.

We’re all familiar with the idea of a bodyguard. In fact, you’ve probably seen a dramatic scene in a movie where a gunshot rings out. The film speed slows down as the brave bodyguard hurls himself in front of the person he’s protecting. His body inches in front of the bullet where it makes its impact. The film speeds up, chaos ensues, and you see the relief on the protected person’s face. The bodyguard saved their life by taking the bullet. The brave protector considered the life of their client more important than their own.

While my story isn’t quite as dramatic as that, that’s essentially what I was trying to do for the single mother who attended our service. I was a bodyguard for her. I took the bad experience on myself so she didn’t have to experience it.

That’s the single greatest sacrifice we can make for our guests:

Brokering bad moments so they don’t have to experience them.

 There are many ways we can do this for a guest. Jonathan Malm and I offer quite a few ideas in our book, The Come Back Effect. Some simple ways, though, are things like:

  • The guest doesn’t have to feel lost when they can’t find their car. The parking lot attendant takes that emotion on themselves and finds it for them.
  • The guest doesn’t have to feel embarrassed when their child throws up in the children’s room. The childcare worker takes that emotion on themselves and cleans it up.
  • The guest doesn’t have to feel confused when they’re trying to find out the time of a support group that meets at the church. The greeter takes that feeling, absorbs it, and does the legwork to find out for the guest.

Brokering the experience for the guest is about sheltering them from the emotion. It’s jumping in front of the uncomfortable bullet and absorbing that so the guest doesn’t have to experience it.

When we acknowledge what they’re feeling and work to protect them from that, we make a guest feel truly honored.

In fact, you can even use language like that. It disarms a guest when you say something like:

  • “I’ll keep you from feeling embarrassed.”
  • “I don’t want you to feel lost.”
  • “You got here at the perfect time!”

We never want to reinforce a guest’s insecurities. Instead, we want to reinforce their security. Their comfort. Their confidence. Those emotions are memorable and will stick with the guest long after their visit is over.

Think through your service right now—through things a typical first-time guest has to experience. What negative emotions might they feel, regardless of whether or not they’re your fault or not? Now look for ways you and your team can broker the experience so they don’t have to go through that. It’s one of the greatest acts of love you can do for the guests who attend your services.

check out The Come Back Effect, by Jason Young and Jonathan Malm.


 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Young

Jason Young

I love growing leaders, building volunteer teams, designing guest experiences and being strategic about how they intersect. I am the Director of Guest Services for North Point Ministries. You can also find me helping organizations and churches. I have worked with Ford, LifeChurch.tv, LifeWay, Growing Leaders, PossibleNOW, The Fellowship, WinShape, Loganville Christian Academy, First Baptist Church Woodstock, Chick-fil-A, Catalyst and others. I have fun reading, watching movies, hiking, and visiting Disney World. I live in Atlanta, GA.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Significance Behind Recruiting One More Volunteer

On a recent episode of the My Ministry Breakthrough podcast, Danny Franks tells the incredible story of a parking lot volunteer that eventually became a church planter in China. It all started with a conversation with some visiting exchange students and a leader taking the time to do more than only help someone park their car. This ordained moment fuels Danny’s calling as Pastor of Guest Services at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. And it also challenges him to ensure that, each weekend, there is always at least one more volunteer than he actually needs. You can listen to the whole conversation here.

Without that backup volunteer in place, conversations that change everything are hard to have. To stop and talk means that a welcoming task will likely not be done. Gospel opportunities exist on your church campus every weekend, but your hospitality team may not be ready to recognize and respond to them. As the leader, it is up to you to recruit that “one more” volunteer to help provide the warmest welcome possible. Here are five holes in your hospitality to fill asap.

This weekend, put someone else…

…on the sidewalk.  The gap between your front doors and your guest parking spaces can feel like a long walk to the first time guest. Playing zone in your hospitality means that someone minds that gap, ready to receive a warm handoff from your parking lot team and walk alongside your guests into the front doors. Do you have anyone smiling on the sidewalk?

…in the parking lot.   The parking lot typically contains the most transactional hospitality moments every weekend. Everyone wearing a vest will necessarily be correctly positioned and focused, to keep every car moving and every pedestrian safe. Do you have anyone else out there who can engage in a relational moment if needed?

…at the back doors.  The invitation to return next Sunday may be more critical than the welcome this Sunday. It is easy to think of hospitality as merely a “before the service” need. However, the questions a first-time guest might have after worship could be much more important than those they have prior. Do you have people at the doors as everyone exits the service?

…in front of a counter.   The worst place for a hospitality leader is behind a desk. It is too easy to hide behind a table, to carry on a conversation with another volunteer behind a counter, and to forget that their first priority is to serve the guest. Do you have anyone positioned out in front of the counter, focused and poised to help?

…in the church office.  The office phone rings all week, and there is typically an operator or receptionist ready to give a warm welcome and connect callers to the appropriate extension. But on Sunday mornings, callers are likely looking for information or maybe even just reaching out for help. Do you have someone answering the phones on Sundays or will callers get an impersonal recording?

Auxano’s Guest Experience Navigator, Bob Adams, and I are hosting another great year of two-day Boot Camp workshops designed to help you improve your welcome each weekend. Most important, it’s not just about more information, you will leave with training and a plan! Find out more about bringing your team of five to this immersive experience here.
> Read more from Bryan.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Consider This Method for Getting Guest Information

We are routinely asked about the most effective ways to get guests to fill out communication cards or to turn them in. What if your church could get information on guests before they even set foot on campus? With an online registration form on your website, you can.

Whether you utilize this on a “Plan Your Visit” page, the home page, or the kids ministry page on your website, by offering an online guest registration form you are already ahead of the game when it comes to making a good first impression with a guest. Other than that, here are five reasons you should consider using online guest registration forms.

  1. It shows you expect guests. First and foremost, having an online guest registration form sends the message that you are expecting guests and want to be ready for them. This small detail communicates that your church is a guest-friendly one.
  2. Sunday mornings are typically hectic for parents. Online registration forms are great for all guests, but especially for those with kids. When my family visits a church for the first time, we dread the paperwork that comes with dropping our kids off in the nursery. We know we have to leave earlier than normal because of how long it will take. And we worry about how our kids will act while we fill out the information forms. Online registration allows parents to breathe easier and not dread the drop-off process. Parents will greatly appreciate the efficiency of an online guest registration form.
  3. You can prepare your volunteers. If you know to expect two or three extra guests in a toddler class, you can prepare those teachers for the extra kids. Volunteers are less likely to be stressed by larger-than-normal class numbers when they know what to expect ahead of time.
  4. It allows you to make an impression on kids and parents. On a positive note, knowing whom to expect allows volunteers to add a personal touch to their care. Imagine the impression a teacher can make on a hesitant child if they are able to greet them by name at first sight.
  5. You are more likely to receive accurate information. When a guest is unhurried to fill out a registration form, they’re more likely to fill it out completely and accurately. Also, handwriting issues are eliminated if forms are filled out electronically.

Does your church use online registration forms for guests? Have you ever visited a church that used them? Would you consider using them in your current church?

> Read more from Jonathan.


Learn more about your online guest registration – start a conversation with Guest Experience Navigator Bob Adams.


Want to learn how to create an EXCEPTIONAL Guest Experience at your church?Check out Auxano’s Guest Experience Boot Camp in Cincinnati, OH on August 7-8.

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Howe

Jonathan Howe serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources, the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week. Jonathan writes weekly at ThomRainer.com on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Startling New Findings on How Churches Welcome Guests

Every church sends a message through how they welcome and treat guests. Those with no strategy send the loudest message: “What we believe has not impacted how we treat you.” Not to be hospitable is to prove the message of God’s grace hasn’t impacted the totality of the church.

Hospitality is the combination of two words: stranger and love. It literally means to show love to strangers and it is very biblical. God’s hospitality toward us is the foundation and motivation for our hospitality toward others. God loved us while we were still strangers. While we were His enemies, He pursued us. And now we are to accept others the way Christ has accepted us. Being hospitable is even a qualification for being a leader in the church (1 Timothy 3:2). Churches must have a plan for how they show love to those who are their guests.

So what are churches doing in terms of their hospitality toward guests? LifeWay Researchinterviewed more than 1,000 pastors on how their churches welcome guests, and here are a few points from what the research revealed:

  • Nearly 80% of the churches have a centralized location where guests can learn about the church.
  • 40% of the churches gift some type of gift to first-time guests.
  • Churches with less than 100 people in attendance are much more likely to ask guests to stand and be recognized than churches with more than 250 people in attendance.
  • The vast majority of churches (96%) with more than 250 people in attendance ask guests to provide their information on cards the church provides.
  • 85% of the churches with more than 250 people in attendance provide some type of informational class for new people to learn about the church. 50% of the churches with less than 50 people in attendance do.

The research is encouraging in that most churches have a plan for hospitality, for showing love to those who visit. When thinking about hospitality to guests who visit your church, it is helpful to think in terms of systems and culture. They feed off one another in that a church culture that values hospitality will ensure systems are in place, and systems will help reinforce a culture. Both are important.

Systems for hospitality include:

  • A plan to ensure guests know where to park, where to bring their children, where the worship gathering takes place
  • Signage and greeters placed at strategic places in a guest’s path (parking lot, doorways, etc.)
  • A process to gather information from guests
  • A plan for follow-up for those who have attended

But if you do not have joyful and loving people in your church, your systems won’t be able to overcome the lack of hospitality from the people.

A culture of hospitality is based upon the following important principles:

  • Ministry leaders must continually remind people that we were once strangers and God pursued us.
  • Those serving as greeters, ushers, etc. must be friendly and joyful people who love the church.

Because this is such an important aspect of a local church’s effectiveness, I am really excited about Dr. Rainer’s new book, Becoming a Welcoming Church. You can find more information about the book here. I highly recommend it. It would be a great tool to give to people in your church to encourage and challenge them to help make your church a welcoming place.

> Read more from Eric.


Learn more about the importance of how your church welcomes Guests – start a conversation with Guest Experience Navigator Bob Adams.


Want to learn how to create an EXCEPTIONAL Guest Experience at your church? Check out Auxano’s Guest Experience Boot Camp in Cincinnati, OH on August 7-8.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger is the Senior Pastor of Mariners Church in Irvine, California. Before moving to Southern California, Eric served as senior vice-president for LifeWay Christian. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, taking his daughters to the beach, and playing basketball.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

20 Traits of Great Guest Experience Leaders

Editor’s Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think “Guest” in terms of the “customer” the author is talking about – and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.


Companies that have the strongest customer experiences often have the best leaders. Whether they are individual contributors, executives or customer-facing employees, they know what it takes to motivate and inspire others to create a positive experience. And it shows—customers can tell when an organization is focused on providing a great experience and that attitude is reflected in their people.

Here are the top 20 traits of customer experience leaders:

1. Communication. From emails to in-person conversations and written memos, leaders know how to communicate clearly and powerfully. They get their message across concisely and by using the right channel. Good leaders say what they mean and are as comfortable communicating with customers as they are with executives.

2. Listening. Great leaders listen to people and welcome feedback. They apply what they hear, involve others, and consider what would be best for customers. These skills include listening to comments from both employees and customers to learn what the company can do to create a better experience.

3. Empathy. Leaders have to connect with others. They must put themselves in the shoes of their customers and employees to understand how other people are feeling. It’s about more than just the purchase or the service received—it’s about the emotions that customers feel.

4. Delegation. Customer experience leaders know they can’t do it all on their own, and they share the workload with other people who are qualified to do the job. Great leaders know the skillsets of the people around them and assign tasks to the right people. Delegating involves knowing what needs to get done and providing enough details without micromanaging.

5. Motivation. Great leaders know how to inspire greatness in others and use this to encourage their employees to do their best to serve customers. They encourage each employee in his or her career and help them develop professionally. In order to best motivate employees, a leader must truly know them and help them set and reach their goals.

6. Trustworthy. Employees and customers won’t listen to a leader or give their best effort if they don’t think they can trust them. Leaders need to stand by their word and not get involved in office gossip or politics. Customers and employees should know that a leader won’t back out of a promise or go back on something they said.

7. Humility. Leaders are humble enough to realize that it isn’t all about them. They are willing to sacrifice their time, energy, and resources to make sure other people succeed. Humility can also mean turning to people who are more experienced for a task and focusing more on customers and results than on job titles and salaries.

8. Positivity. It can be easy to get bogged down with negative customers and experiences, but leaders rise above it and share their positive attitude with others. When stressful situations arise, leaders set the tone of positivity and encouragement for everyone around them. They think about the good that can come from a situation instead of jumping to the worst conclusions.

9. Creativity. Leaders think outside the box, especially when it comes to finding the best way to solve customer problems and create a great experience. They are willing to try new things and take risks that could potentially lead to great rewards. Creative leaders know the customers want something different that meets their needs, and they are willing to consider all options to find the right solution.

10. Responsibility. Instead of blaming others when things go wrong or taking all the credit when things go right, leaders win and lose with their team. They take responsibility for failures and make plans of how to improve in the future. Instead of just being the figurehead in charge of a team, they are alongside the employees to get the work done and make sure it is done right.

11. Commitment. Great leaders follow through on their promises to customers and employees and do what they say they will do. They are committed to the mission of the company and do what it takes to succeed. Even when times are difficult, they stand by their employees to ensure that customers are always satisfied.

12. Flexibility. Plans change, and leaders need to be agile enough to make adjustments without being totally thrown off course. This also means understanding human issues and making flexible procedures to meet people’s needs. The best leaders stick to their principles but also know that not everything is black and white and can make changes as needed.

13. Honesty. Transparency is key for leadership. Great leaders don’t keep things from employees and customers. They are honest and open about their actions, motivations, and the state of the company. Is something goes wrong, a leader doesn’t try to hide it or avoid talking about it—they are open and address every situation.

14. Organization. When managing numerous employees and customers, the ability to stay organized is key. Leaders focused on customer experience create efficient processes to get the work done and solve customer issues as quickly as possible. Leaders teach their employees how to stay organized in their work so customers know they can depend on the company to get things done the right way.

15. Strategy. Good leaders don’t fly by the seat of their pants. They have a strategic vision and reason for their actions. They use customer experience to strategically help other areas of the company and know the importance customers play in the overall goals of the company.

16. Approachable. Customers and employees know they can come to a leader with their concerns or questions and that they will be listened to and appreciated. A good leader doesn’t just sit in their office and watch over their employees; they get their hands dirty and get involved with all areas of the work. No job is too small for a good leader, and customers and employees know they can come to them with anything.

17. Innovative. Customers and trends are always changing, and leaders find innovative and new solutions to meet their needs. They are willing to take risks that could pay off with a great customer experience and a competitive advantage. Leaders encourage using new ideas and technology and promote a culture where employees aren’t afraid of failure because it leads to something better.

18. Forward-Thinking. Instead of only thinking of what is happening this month or year, leaders look to the future to prepare their organizations and employees for what is coming next. In customer experience, this means keeping up with trends and incorporating new technology. Leaders don’t wait for customers to tell them what technology they are using. They stay on top of developments so their company can be a leader in a new space.

19. Caring. For customer experience leaders, it’s about more than just the money—it’s about caring for people and helping make their lives easier and better. Leaders know the importance of helping customers through difficult times and encourage their employees to go the extra mile to help customers. They are less concerned about sticking to the letter of the law and more concerned about solving customer needs.

20. Decision-Making. Nothing will happen without a smart leader who is willing to pull the trigger, make tough decisions, and get things done. Leaders are smart and decisive. They know that business moves fast and in order to keep up, they have to make quick decisions.

> Read more from Blake.


 

Learn more about your developing Guest Experience leaders – start a conversation with Guest Experience Navigator Bob Adams.

Want to learn how to create an EXCEPTIONAL Guest Experience at your church? Check out Auxano’s Guest Experience Boot Camp in Cincinnati, OH on August 7-8.

Download PDF

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Blake Morgan

Blake Morgan

Blake Morgan is a leader in customer experience. She is a keynote speaker and customer experience futurist currently working on her second book with HarperCollins on customer experience technology. Her first book is “More is More: How The Best Companies Work Harder And Go Farther To Create Knock Your Socks Off Customer Experiences.” Blake is adjunct faculty at the Rutgers executive education MBA program. Blake contributes to Forbes, the Harvard Business Review and Hemispheres Magazine. She is the host of The Modern Customer Podcast and a weekly customer experience video series on YouTube. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, daughter and their two dogs.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.