3 Unpardonable Sins of the Guest Experience

Some of your visitors are looking for reasons not to return.

These guests are difficult to please. If they look for the flaws in your church, they will find them. There are no perfect churches, and pleasing everyone is impossible.  Do your best to love everyone, but the prospect of chasing people who are intent to run is usually a futile process.

Some of your visitors are looking for reasons to stay.

These guests are looking for a few things that are important to them, such as friendship, spiritual growth, help in a crisis, or a healthy environment for their kids. If they find a few things they care most about, they will overlook a few less than ideal aspects of your church.

In fact, it’s amazing how forgiving people can be if you treat them well as a person.

The musicians on your worship team may not be world class, or perhaps you don’t have enough parking, or maybe your student ministry isn’t what you want it to be. But if you treat people well they are usually pretty forgiving.

This is not an excuse to ignore the things that need attention, but it’s enough grace to know that you can still do great ministry while you work on what needs to be improved.

First time guests and people new to your church will give lots of grace for the flaws and shortcomings if you treat them with:

  • Kindness
  • Respect
  • Love

But there are some things people who are new to your church will not forgive. These are mistakes you cannot afford to make.

3 Experiences Guests Won’t Forgive:

1) If you treat their kids as a program to be managed rather than kids to be loved.

Structure can beat out spirit, and the programs and processes can become more important than the person.

This can happen in any ministry in your church, but there is little to no grace when it comes to people’s kids.

I’m willing to bet that the heart of your church is about life change, meaning, and real spiritual transformation through Christ. You want to see the children love Jesus and enjoy church!

But here’s where it breaks down. If you begin to make your children’s ministry easier on the staff and volunteer leaders by making it more difficult for the parents and kids, you are making a big mistake. You’d never do that on purpose, but it happens.

The leaders must always absorb the pressure, not the guests.

If the kids become a number in the check-in process or are scolded more than encouraged because they didn’t behave just right, or there are so many rules that it’s impossible to keep up with, it’s highly unlikely that the new families will return.

2) If you treat the adults in any way “less than.”

Most reasonable adults are pretty resilient. As I’ve said, they understand there is no perfect church. But if you treat them poorly as a person, you don’t get a second chance.

One thing that’s easy to forget is that even though someone may be spiritually unresolved or disconnected, they are still usually spiritually sensitive.

If the pastor says something that makes a person feel spiritually foolish, or an usher or greeter treats someone with disrespect, they won’t give you a second chance.

We can’t live on pins and needles worrying about offending everyone, but we can do our best to serve with intentional love and grace.

I remember several years ago trying to help a young mom tend to her crying baby in church. I did my best to be kind and respectful, but I inadvertently offended her by asking her to take her child to the nursery. Maybe I could have done a better job, or perhaps it was a no-win situation, but the result was she was upset and said she’d never come back.

Most of these situations are nuanced and unintentional, but it’s so important to do our best to treat our guests with love, respect, and kindness.

3) If you treat any guest with an eye to get more than you give.

It might seem nearly impossible for a church team to treat any guest in such a way where that person felt like you wanted more from them than for them. But once again, this is easier than it sounds.

Church leaders are often under pressure. They are under pressure for things like more volunteers, larger offerings, and support in general for the vision and direction of the church.

For example, if a church is hurting for more volunteers, they can put pressure on people, including guests, to sign up.

When pressure (or even guilt) is employed rather than inspiration and encouragement, you have fallen into the mistake of wanting more from the people than for them. Your guests have no appetite for that.

Another example might be if a church is behind in the budget. That can sometimes “leak” out in a sermon, or during the time to receive the offering. This kind of pressure makes it feel like the church wants more from the person than for them. If this is what your guests experience, they are not likely to return.

Kindness, respect, and love will always help you treat people well.

> Read more from Dan.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Reiland

Dan Reiland

Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together. Dan is best known as a leader with a pastor's heart, but is often described as one of the nations most innovative church thinkers. His passion is developing leaders for the local church so that the Great Commission is advanced.

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7 Things Disney’s New Attraction Can Teach Church Welcome Teams

Throughout the history of Disney theme parks, from the opening of Disneyland in 1955, to each new park and land opening all the way through Shanghai Disneyland in 2016 and even up to the latest land coming to a “galaxy” near you, there has been one common denominator that is the foundation of their success…

  • It’s not the amazing design and concepts of places you can go only in your imagination…
  • It’s not the intricate attention to detail that makes you feel like you’re really there…
  • It’s not even the stories that pull you in and make you a character in them.

It’s the Cast Members – men and women who bring all the above to life.

And there’s no better example of this than the newest land, Galaxy’s Edge, which opened in Disneyland May 31 and is opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios August 29.

Pictured above are Disneyland Cast Members, a few days prior to the opening of Galaxy’s Edge on May 31, 2019.

Pictured above are Disney Hollywood Studios Cast Members, a few days prior to the opening of Galaxy’s Edge on August 29, 2019.

Cast Members have always been integral to the concepts and ideals of Disney’s theme parks. Walt Disney summed it up very well in this quote:

You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world…but it requires people to make the dream a reality.

In Galaxy’s Edge, Disney has given Cast Members more “connection” to the experience than ever before. Cast Members are being told that this is a place where they too play a role in helping the Guest Experience come to life.

Many of the Cast Members are part of the Resistance. They are supporting Guests in the queue at the coming Rise of the Resistance, and at various other venues. In other locations, such as Docking Bay 9 and up on the Star Destroyer, you’ll encounter those associated with the First Order.

The residents of Black Spire Outpost make up the remainder of the Cast Members. They handle much of the support for food and beverage as well as retail. In their role, some can lean toward either the Resistance or the First Order. Or, they can maintain a neutral or even “I could care less” position about who is in charge. But as it relates to the story, they are “caught” between the pull of both sides.

J. Jeff Kober, a former Cast Member who was instrumental in the writing of Disney’s “Be Our Guest” book, provided me with the above information. He went on, adding the following thoughts that are applicable to your organization:

  • Are you staffing your organization with people who have the right attitude and the critical thinking skills needed?
  • How are you using the implementation of new products and services as a chance to reward your team members with new growth opportunities?
  • What resources are you providing your team members to set them up to do their job successfully?
  • What “role” are you asking your team members to play?
  • What efforts do you have in place to train and develop your staff? What things can you not assume? What things must they be able to experience themselves? What must you do to develop them long term?
  • How are your team members – especially those behind the scenes – supporting your front line staff?
  • What are you doing to treat your team members as assets and not liabilities?

The concepts above are crucial to the success of your hospitality ministry. But they don’t just appear out of nowhere. Today’s Galaxy’s Edge Cast Members started their journey the same way Cast Members have from the very beginning – with the vision and values of Disney.

Again, thanks to J. Jeff Kober for the inspiration!

Your team is THE most critical part of creating an Exceptional Guest Experience. They make your Guest Experience “real” every weekend!

> 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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Are Your Guests Stuck?

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.


I originally wrote today’s post for Forbes. It appeared on the Forbes site on October 18, 2018. I’ve made some slight modifications since then, as it turned into a two-part series.

The good news is that you’ve embarked on a customer experience transformation journey. The bad news is that you don’t think your organization has evolved as much as you’d hoped it would by now. Perhaps you started to see progress, but it suddenly seems like forward movement has stalled.

You’re not alone. A lot of companies are, or claim to be, working to improve the customer experience, with little or no visible evidence. Companies are still treating customers poorly. And customers are still complaining.

What’s going on?

In this two-part series, I will provide my thoughts on why customer experience transformation efforts stall or slow. In part one, I’ll focus on those reasons attributed to company leadership; in the second part, I’ll outline reasons associated with employees and operations. (Ultimately, it’s all on leadership, but I’ll drill down a bit in part two.)

1. Misplaced or Mistaken Focus
You know the old “acquisition vs. retention” debate. Acquiring customers is so much easier than retaining; retention is hard work, and it’s a huge part of what the customer experience transformation work is all about. Focusing on acquisition yields a much faster ROI, especially when companies are driven by growth metrics.

Because retention — and hence customer experience transformation — work is slow and difficult, people get bored and tend to fall back into their old habits rather than relentlessly driving toward the ultimate goal. It’s important to recognize that a customer experience transformation is all about baby steps. In order to keep people energized and focused, share quick wins, and celebrate successes as you progress.

2. The Revenue Conundrum
Related to the misplaced focus on acquisition is that message you receive from the CEO that starts with, “Revenue is down this quarter. We need all hands on deck, focusing on drumming up new business.” Suddenly, all of your customer experience transformation resources are shifted to business development and sales efforts.

Interestingly enough, the first question the CEO should ask is: “Why are sales down?” Is it a quality or performance issue? Is it that you’re getting Blockbuster’d? Do you really understand what your customers’ needs are and what jobs they are trying to do?

I’ve seen this scenario play out a few times, and each time, if they would’ve fixed what was ailing them, then sales numbers wouldn’t be down. Don’t take your eyes off the ball. Stay focused on the customer and the customer experience. Stay focused on the work that you’re doing to improve the experience. After all, a poor experience is likely why customers aren’t buying.

3. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
It’s a fact: in order to successfully transform your culture to be one that is customer-focused, customer-centric, and customer-obsessed, you must start with executive commitment. Without that commitment, you will not get the resources – human, financial, capital, or other – that you’ll need to implement real change.

But… And there’s always a “but,” isn’t there? But, if you get a verbal commitment that’s not supported by the actions (e.g., actually assigning the resources, modeling the behavior, walking the walk, etc.) or if you got a commitment that had initial support (actions) that has since waned, you’ve got a problem. You’re now in a holding pattern until actions once again shore up the words.

4. It Hasn’t Been an Enterprise-Wide Effort
When you have executive support and commitment across the entire organization, the change efforts will have a much greater chance of taking hold and being successful. If you don’t have organization-wide support, or (especially) if the CEO isn’t on board, sure, you can start making changes within pockets of the organization, but you won’t get far. A true transformation must involve all departments; there can be no silo’d efforts. Customers actually know when the focus (and the experience) is silo’d!

5. Communications Aren’t Open and Continuous
heard this great quote from leadership development experience Susan Scott the other day: “What gets talked about in an organization and how it gets talked about determines what’s going to happen or isn’t going to happen.” So true! Communicating the vision, the how, the why, the what’s in it for me, etc. is so important when you’re going through this type of transformation. And the communication must be open and ongoing. Provide progress updates. Answer questions. Talk about and celebrate quick wins. Keep the conversation going. Things that leaders talk about are deemed important by employees; things that are not, well, are not considered to be important.

6. Sense of Urgency Wasn’t Established/Maintained
According to John Kotter, the first step of any change initiative is to create a sense of urgency. What’s the burning platform in your business? Pick one: Customers are leaving. Employees are leaving. Costs are rising. Processes are out of whack. The culture is a mess. Bankruptcy. Impending hostile takeover. They’re all bad. If you haven’t clearly communicated, including ongoing reminders, to your employees what the burning platform is and created that sense of urgency, they forget the why. Thoughts shift to, “Things aren’t so bad; why should we change?” or “It’s just business as usual; what’s the big deal?” And then you lose them.

No one ever said that a customer experience transformation was easy. It’s a lot of work and requires a dedicated and relentless focus on making things better. If you’ve seen your progress slow, evaluate your efforts against the six items I’ve written about here. And stay tuned for several more reasons coming in the second part of this two-part series.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. -Warren Buffett

Read the second part here.

> Read more from Annette.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annette Franz

Annette Franz

Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, consultant, and speaker. She’s on the verge of publishing her first book about putting the “customer” into customer experience. Stay tuned for that! Annette is active in the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), as: an Executive Officer on the Board of Directors, a CX Expert, and a CX Mentor. And she is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP). She is also an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council, an invitation-only community for successful business and career coaches. Members are selected based on their depth and diversity of experience.

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Why “How It Feels” is as Critical as “How It Works”

It’s fairly easy for volunteers on your team to state what they do. It’s also pretty easy for most volunteers to talk about how they do what they do. However, few volunteers can actually articulate WHY they do what they do.

The reason? Stating WHY goes to values, and values are often talked about but more often misunderstood.

A church without values is like a river without banks – just a large puddle.

Values are the shared convictions that guide the actions and reveal the strength of the church. They are the values that represent the conscious and collective soul of your church because they express your most deeply held ideals. They define your ministry’s ethos.

Values are filters for decision-making and springboards for daily action. They are the constant reminder of what is most important to your church.

As with any organization, your church has a set of shared values underneath the surface of everyday activity. The problem is that they stay weak because they are unidentified and unharnessed in guiding the future.

The role of the leader is to identify the most important values and pull them above the waterline of people’s perception. Once they are in clear view, the leader can nurture their development, enabling the church to do more of what it does best.

What is true of your church as a whole is also true of individual ministries in your church – such as your hospitality ministry.

THE QUICK SUMMARY

The key to growth as a church, youth ministry, or a business is getting first-time guests to come back. And as any good manager of a hotel, a store, a restaurant, or an attraction knows, the key to getting guests to come back is not actually the rooms or the product or the food itself; it’s how guests feel when they’re there. It’s about hospitality. No matter how much effort and time we spend on excellence–stirring worship time, inspiring sermons, a good coffee blend in the foyer–what our guests really want when they come to our churches is to feel welcome, comfortable, and understood.

Written by a church consultant and a hospitality expert, The Come Back Effect shows church, ministry, and even business leaders the secret to helping a first-time guest return again and again. Through an engaging, story-driven approach, they explain how service and hospitality are two different things, show how Jesus practiced hospitality, and invite leaders to develop and implement changes that lead to repeat visits and, eventually, to sustained growth.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

No matter how over-the-top your service, if it doesn’t connect with the emotions of your guest, it isn’t hospitality. Hospitality is about the feeling.

Life is so hurried and hectic. What if the church could be the place where a guest feels the least hurried? Where the relational moments could provide a safe environment – safe to process through difficult moments in our life?

Decide proactively what you want your guests to feel, then look for ways to create environments that will help them experience that.

When the emotion is there, it doesn’t feel like someone’s doing their job. It’s like they’re your friend. It feels like they’re rooting for you and that doing their job is a way to support you – not just a means to perform a task.

Hospitality is about caring for the emotions of the guest just as much as it is about serving them, if not even more. That means knowing when it’s time to go above and beyond the call of duty or when it’s time to walk away. Hospitality is about merging the function – the tasks – and the feeling.

Every time a guest experiences us, we should honor them enough to deliver the same level of hospitality in every experience. But that same level of hospitality might mean responding differently each time, because the experience is about the guest. It’s not about making ourselves feel good about the service we provided. It’s making the guest feel good about the hospitality we showed.

Many ministries have been “doing” this serving thing for so long that all they worry about is “doing.” We need to reimagine what it means to be the guest and what it means to add feeling back into it. This means prioritizing the feelings of the guest over the tasks we perform for them.

The question to ask when faced with this information is obvious: Do we simply let the tasks go in exchange for the feeling? No. This idea of merging function and feeling is about a perspective shift more than anything. It’s not strictly a behavioral change, though this will affect your behavior. It’s about focusing on the feeling of the task – not simply the task itself.

Jason Young and Jonathan Malm, The Come Back Effect

A NEXT STEP

Serving is task oriented; hospitality is feeling oriented. Simply performing tasks is not enough to compel a guest to come back. Hospitality should change the way we perform our tasks. Tasks are important, but it’s the intangible feelings we transmit that turn them into moments of hospitality.

At your next team meeting, expose your team to both the good and negative feelings so they can know what good feelings to deliver in order to replace the negative emotion. Using the list developed by the authors below, highlight the positive feelings that stick out to you. What are some additional feelings your team would add?

You want your guests to feel:

Confident                   Pleased                       Included

Safe                             Comfortable               Refreshed

Satisfied                     Excited                       Challenged

Accepted                    Interested                  Secure

Hopeful                      Valued                         In control

Acknowledged           Relaxed                      Delighted

Empowered               Welcomed

Educated                    Familiar

Now, underline the negative feelings you’ve experienced in guest services environments. What are some additional feelings you team would add?

You don’t want your guests to feel:

Confused                    Doubtful                     Frustrated

Unsafe                         Angry                          Uninitiated

Skeptical                     Hurt                            Overwhelmed

Cynical                        Distrustful                  Uncomfortable

Suspicious                  Processed                  Out of control

Ignored                       Rushed                        Helpless

Annoyed                     Uneasy

By knowing and understanding the negative feelings that can happen, your team what’s possible by replacing those negative feelings with positive ones.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 99-3, released August 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

Each issue SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> > Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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5 Next Steps to Create a Next Visit for Guests

We are living in a world of post cultural Christianity. Our churches can no longer expect guests to show up just because we have the doors open. We have to be prayerful. We have to be intentional.

This post is, by its nature, very practical. But it can be a positive step in Great Commission obedience as you seek to expose people to the gospel and create more gospel conversations.

These, then, are five key steps to reach and retain guests. Most of these can be implemented in your church right away.

  1. Create a culture of inviting. One of the primary reasons our churches do not have guests is straightforward: We are not inviting people to come. In my research for the book, The Unchurched Next Door, we found that nearly eight of ten unchurched persons would come to church if we invited them and accompanied them to the worship services. If we invite them, they will truly come. I will address this issue more fully next week.
  2. Make certain you have a positive “guest flow.” Nelson Searcy, in his book Fusion,created this guide for the number of first-time guests each week in our worship services. If the number of first-time guests in your church is fewer than 5, you need to find out where the challenges reside.
  • 3 first-time guests for every 100 in worship attendance: maintenance mode
  • 5 first-time guests for every 100 in worship attendance: growth mode
  • 7 first-time guests for every 100 in worship attendance: rapid growth mode
  1. Be prepared for the guests when they arrive. The studies we have seen indicate we have between five and seven minutes to make a good first impression when the guests do arrive. Again, I will elaborate on this issue more in future posts.
  2. Find a way to get contact information from guests. Ask guests to complete a guest card, but remember less is more. If we simply ask for an email and a name, we are likely to get higher responses. And if we say we will make a contribution to a local ministry (such as $5 for every card turned in), we will get even a higher response.
  3. Contact guests within 24 hours. If you have their email address, send them a quick but personal email. If you have their mobile number, send them a text. These contacts can be brief, but they almost always increase the likelihood of a return visit. Your goal is not only to reach guests, but to retain them as well.

As you have requested of me, I am being more intentional about suggesting practical resources to accompany these blog posts. A good resource is “How to Retain Guests More Effectively.”

Reach guests. Keep guests. Have gospel conversations.

See what God will do.

> Read more from Thom.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.  Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism.  He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to speaking in hundreds of venues over the past 20 years, Rainer led Rainer Group, a church and denominational consulting firm, from 1990 to 2005. The firm provided church health insights to over 500 churches and other organizations over that period. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons: Sam, Art and Jess, who are married to Erin, Sarah and Rachel respectively.  The Rainers have six grandchildren: Canon, Maggie, Nathaniel, Will (with the Lord), Harper, and Bren. He is the author of twenty-four books, including Breakout Churches, Simple Life, Simple Church, Raising Dad, The Millennials, and Essential Church.  His latest book, Autopsy of a Deceased Church, was released in 2014 by B&H Publishing Group.

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Fill In These Hospitality Gaps ASAP

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. 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?

As the leader, it is up to you to recruit that “one more” volunteer to help provide the warmest welcome possible.

> Read more from Bryan.


 

Want to know more about Guest Experiences at your church? Let’s talk! Connect with an Auxano Navigator here.

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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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Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Three Things That Make Your Guests Feel Welcome

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.


 

How can we reward our customers for doing business with us — which will increase the likelihood that they will come back and do more business in the future?

You redirect their attention to an enhanced experience.

Think like a Hollywood director and re-shoot, re-cast, or re-edit your brand.  These three steps could involve everything from your image, packaging, employees, and even your customers.

Here’s how:

Re-shoot 

Maybe there’s nothing wrong with your product; perhaps all you need to do is revamp your image to attract a new audience. And sometimes, all that calls for is a reshoot of your products.

Motorola figured that out when they realized they should go beyond marketing themselves as nothing more than an electronic device but as a symbol for fashion and lifestyle. Now, to compete with the iPhone, Motorola is trying to convince you they aren’t just selling you a smartphone — instead, they are delivering an accessory that helps complete your overall look with everything from phone design to an add-on projector, and more.

Re-cast

Find approaches to “re-cast” your employees or customers in a manner that creates an enhanced customer experience. Look at your target customer and see how your business needs to change based on how your customer has changed.

We’ve seen Vegas do this by recasting themselves from the gambler who hits the buffet…to the “hip” person who hits the Strip, parties, shops, and makes memories that require making pacts that, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Re-edit

How can you re-edit and enhance the experiences that your customers have to deliver them more “hands-on” time with your products and services?

Interactivity is one. (Yes, your customers can get “hands-on” time both virtually and physically.) Optimizing your distribution channels is another.

We all know someone who hates being the passenger. When they’re riding in the car with us, we can sense their foot pumping an imaginary brake. These people are used to being in control.

I believe many customers are experiencing a similar anxiety today. They, too, want to have their “hands on the wheel. Providing the customer with more authority and autonomy could be an important step to enhance the experience that our customer receives in this time of “show business.”

Great examples of interactivity today can be found in the video game industry, Pay-per-view movies and on-demand sporting events, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and just about every television newscast that offers their viewers the opportunity to dial their “televote” line or connect via social media to register their opinion. The reason these work so brilliantly is that the interactive participant becomes an involved customer. And isn’t this a concept that we can acknowledge all started with show business?

This approach of prioritizing interactivity can also work on your own “show business.”

  • The interactive customer becomes so emotionally involved and connected to the experience you provide that they become more than customers…they are loyal advocates of your brand who start promoting for you! 

I know that we’ve been focusing on change a lot lately here at Distinction Nation. But one thing that has remained constant despite all the innovations and evolving business landscape: “word of mouth advertising” remains the most powerful form of marketing.

When you re-shoot, re-cast, or re-edit your product or service, you enhance the likelihood that your customers will be delivering great “word of mouth” for YOU!

> Read more from Scott.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott McKain

Scott McKain

Scott McKain is an internationally known authority who helps organizations create distinction in every phase of business and teaches the “Ultimate Customer Experience.” His keynote presentations benefit from three decades of experience, combined with his innate talent for articulating successful ideas. McKain has spoken before and consulted for the world’s most influential corporations. Scott McKain creates captivating presentations and bestselling books which clearly reveal how to create more compelling connections between you and your customers and how to stand out and move up, regardless of the economic climate in your industry.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
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comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
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— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

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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comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
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Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

What a Baseball Game Can Teach Us About Church Welcoming

I dare you to read about the Savannah Banana success story and not smile…

…and by the way, you will learn some EXCELLENT Guest Experience tips along the way.

Recently, I turned to the Donald Miller “Building a Storybrand” podcast, and it only took about 20 seconds into the interview until I was captivated by the story of Jesse Cole and the Savannah Bananas.

In that short interview, and after about 1 minute on the website, I was hooked.

The story of Jesse Cole and the Savannah Bananas is only marginally about a baseball team. It’s really about the SHOW that goes on before, during, and after every game. Which has lead to a long sellout streak in the past, a waitlist in the thousands, and for the 2019 season – (at the time, six months away), a sellout.

I checked with some friends who live in Savannah, and it was true – the ENTIRE 2019 season is already sold out. That’s a 4,000 seat ball park for a summer college ball league. If you don’t know anything about baseball, that is literally the bottom of the totem pole. Fans aren’t coming to see a baseball game…

…they’re coming for the experience.

How can you translate that into the Guest Experience at your location?

A few articles from Jesse to pump you up:

His book, Find Your Yellow Tux, has amazing stories about the experience at a Savanna Bananas game. You  go to the website, scroll down, and download a free copy of “Secrets of the Yellow Tux Playbook.”

Better yet, watch this video.

You’ll be hooked, too, and want to learn more about how you can make your Guest Experience STAND OUT.

> 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); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
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
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Giving Your Guests Your Best

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.


When I was a young boy, I imagined I was Wild Bill Hickock a lot of the time…or sometimes I was Hopalong Cassidy.  We watched the great cowboys on black and white television and then rushed to the back yard to replicate their antics.  I now live on the 13th hole of a PGA golf course designed by Jack Nicholas about an hour from the Augusta National golf course.  My golf-playing buddies would watch golfing greats at the Master’s on color television and then rush to the nearby links to replicate their moves.  The mimicking behavior looks the same to me.

So, what if you watched great service in action and then rushed to the marketplace to replicate what you experienced.  I have a friend who is the CEO of a company.  She gives her new hires a night at the nearby Ritz-Carlton hotel followed by lunch at a nearby Chick-fil-A.  All she asks is that they come back and catalog actions they observed in the two establishments and how they could use those same actions at the company she leads.

But, here is one for those of you who lead a customer-facing unit or organization.  What would it take to deliver a customer experience so profound your customers would be moved to serve others in the way they are served by your employees?  What would it require for your service to be a poignant role model of greatness to everyone?

Touch-your-heart service has a magnetic impact on customers.  It attracts them because it conveys to a customer the kind of unconditional positive regard that characterizes a relationship at its best.  Customers like the way they feel when dealing with service providers who have such a greatness orientation.  They feel valued, not used.  They enjoy relationships with value and substance far more than encounters that are functional but hollow.  Give to your customers the best that you have and the best will come back to you and to others.

> Read more from Chip.


 

Want to know more about Guest Experiences at your church? Let’s talk! Connect with an Auxano Navigator here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chip Bell

Chip Bell

Chip R. Bell is the author of several best-selling books including his newest: Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service. He can be reached at www.chipbell.com.

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COMMENTS

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comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
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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
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.