Growing an Irresistible Welcome

Have you been to Walt Disney World?

Did you leave with a “can’t wait to come back” attitude?

You’re not alone. In 2017, more than 20.4 million attended the Magic Kingdom theme park alone (there are three others at Walt Disney World in Florida).

One of the first leadership books I devoured was In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Bob Waterman. Among their profiles for best business practices was the Walt Disney World (WDW) Resort, specifically for quality service that generated customer loyalty.

In the book Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service, the folks at the Disney Institute spell out their approach to customer service. It’s not complicated: “Quality service means exceeding your guests’ expectations by paying attention to every detail of the delivery of your products and services.”

You might think that the heart of making this happen is money, or technology, or the “wow” factor of a ride.

Nope.

What is one of the most frequently stated reasons why guests return for another visit?

The cast.

Disney calls all of their employees “cast members.” They have roles and responsibilities, the most important of which is “courtesy.”

As Jeff James, Vice President of the Disney Institute, puts it, “A $200 million attraction won’t be fun if the cast member at the front is less than pleasant.”

Beyond this is the attention to detail, particularly in matters of quality. In Disney theme parks they have the saying, “Everything speaks.” This means, “Every detail – from the doorknobs to the dining rooms – sends a message to guests. That message must be consistent with the common purpose and quality standards, and it must support and further the show being created.”

If only the church could be more like Disney World.

Not in terms of existing for mere entertainment, and not in terms of a vision of providing “happiness.”

No, the church is much more than that.

But the church is meant to be Disney World in terms of its effort to reach out to others in a way that makes them want to return. Its volunteers should be marked by friendliness and courtesy. If “everything speaks,” then nothing about the church should speak against the message it is trying to convey, or the honor due God.

When it comes to serving guests, opening the front door to guests, and having our guest relations mirror our message and purpose, then yes, we should not only be like Disney, but put Disney to shame.

Disney wants to say, “Be Our Guest.”

Unless I’m missing something, so does the church.

It’s just that we’re not saying it as well as Disney.

But we should be.

Sources

The Disney Institute, with Theodore Kinni. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service (Revised and Updated Edition).

Read more from James.


 

It may seem like magic, but there’s really one reason Disney excels at Guest Experiences. Check out Auxano’s Guest Experience Boot Camp in Cincinnati, OH on August 7-8 to find out what that is.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James Emery White

James Emery White

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. He is the founder of Serious Times and this blog was originally posted at his website www.churchandculture.org.

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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
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How a Mere 18 Inches Can Start a Counter-Culture Revolution

Look at this picture. What do you notice?

Counter-Culture

These guys that change oil and rotate tires made a small adjustment to their store that could also make a big difference in a first-time guest’s perception of your church:

They came out from behind the counter. 

By turning the computer screens around and standing next to the customer, a type of counter-culture revolution started. According to the mechanic, without the physical barrier in front he feels more connected to each customer and a higher level of trust exists, as they can see what he sees on the computer screen.

And who does not need more trust from their mechanic?

Most churches need a revolution from the “counter-culture” as well. Moving about 18 inches out from behind the typical welcome center desk…

… communicates readiness. Removing the barrier helps host team members feel more accessible to someone new, almost as if guests were actually expected. Take a walk around your church hallways or lobby. Which counters are ripe for removal and which should reside against the wall?

… forces simplicity. Church communications clutter diminishes when it can no longer hide in cabinets or shelves under the counter. Take a look at everything on and behind your welcome desk. Thinking next steps, ask yourself: What are the one or two most important pieces of information a guest needs right now?

… builds intention. Volunteers who are not standing behind a counter move from a passive posture and naturally become more engaged with their surroundings. Take an evening and schedule some training. What skills and practices will help lead your host team members from reactive welcoming into proactive hospitality?

Counters are great when dispensing a product in coffee shops and fast-food restaurants. However, even tire stores can see the relational benefit of moving out from behind desks to serve and engage people where they are.

Isn’t it time to start a counter-culture revolution in your church?


Would you like to know about how your environment can be more engaging? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

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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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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
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
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.