Why Your Church Needs Clarity of Purpose

Organizations beloved by their customers, those that are true and authentic, work hard every day to resist the pull of “normal” business practices to create a powerful human connection with their customers.

They are able to do this because they have something that binds everyone together, moving them toward a common goal: clarity of purpose.

Beloved companies take the time to be clear about what their unique promise is for their customers’ lives. They use this clarity when they make decisions so they align to this purpose, to this promise.

Clarity of purpose guides choices and unites the organization. It elevates people’s work from executing tasks to delivering experiences customers will want to repeat and tell others about.

  • Apple’s clarity for creating its in-store experience has built a cult following. Apple stores wouldn’t have become the gathering place they are today without the time, angst, and thought that went into deciding what those stores would and would not be.
  • Trader Joe’s, a grocery store so clearly focused on personal interaction with customers, obsessed over the decision to buy scanning equipment. They worried that the scanning equipment’s “pinging” sound would get in the way of their employees’ chatty conversations with customers.
  • Newegg.com, banned pop-up ads after checkout. They won’t abdicate their well-orchestrated customer experience and final memory to a third-party partner’s pop-up ad, even though pop-up ads bring in extra revenue.
  • For Genentech (one of the world’s fastest-growing and admired bio-tech companies), clarity of purpose fuels their growth. The personal knowledge of patients, and the details of the lives they are saving, motivates employees to make the right decisions for the customers they serve. It elevates their decisions from science . . . to saving lives.

Each beloved company makes key decisions to mark its place in the universe with customers. Beloved companies begin with a notion, an idea fueled by passion about their greater purpose for improving customers’ lives. It doesn’t matter if they are selling electronics or food, or saving lives; conviction helps them stay the course. Even in the face of sacrifice and, yes, sometimes pain, beloved companies press on for customers. They persevere until they get it right.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanne Bliss

Jeanne Bliss

Jeanne Bliss is not an evangelist or observer of companies; she is a customer experience expert. As the Customer Leadership Executive for five large U.S. market leaders, Jeanne fought valiantly to get the customer on the strategic agenda, redirecting priorities and creating transformational changes to the brands’ customer loyalty. She has driven achievement of 95 percent loyalty rates, changing customer experiences across 50,000-person organizations. Jeanne developed her passion for customer loyalty at Lands’ End, Inc., where she reported to the company’s founder and executive committee as leader for the Lands’ End customer experience. She was Senior Vice President of Franchise Services for Coldwell Banker Corporation. Jeanne served Allstate Corporation as its chief officer for customer loyalty & retention. She was Microsoft Corporation’s General Manager of Worldwide Customer & Partner Loyalty. At Mazda Motor of America she initiated the brand’s retention effort. After 25 years as the Customer Experience Executive in five major US Corporations, Jeanne founded CustomerBliss in order to create clarity and an actionable path for driving the customer loyalty commitment into business operations.

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

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