6 Strategies of a Guest-Focused Culture

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

Growing up, in school a D wasn’t a very good grade.  And, where I went to school, sometimes a D was slang terminology for a demerit, which meant I spent a Saturday morning at school in study hall.  Not a great way for a kid to spend a Saturday.  However, you and your company will want the following D’s, especially if customer service and building a customer-centric culture is important to you.  And, I know it is!

The Six D’s of Creating a Customer-Centric Culture

Define it.  Customer service is part of your brand promise.  It is what you want your employees to deliver.  It is what you want the customer to experience. Make it clear and make it simple.  For example, Ace Hardware, known for their customer service, is known as the “Helpful Hardware Place.”  They have defined customer service as being Helpful, and in their hiring, training and customer interactions, they make it clear that Helpful is what they are all about.

Disseminate it.  Don’t keep it a secret.  Just because you’ve defined the customer service experience, at this point it’s just lip service.  Now you must train your employees on how to deliver it.  The Ritz Carlton hotel chain has laminated cards with their “credo” and several other important core values printed on it.  Each employee carries the card with them, and in many cases, has memorized it.

Deploy it.  It’s time to execute.  The employees have been trained.  Now it is time to implement and act on the customer service initiative.  Everyone must know it and be on board with it – even people who don’t have any contact with your customers.  They have internal customers who they support.  Customer service is everyone’s job.

Demonstrate it.  Now that everyone knows it and has been trained, everyone must demonstrate it.  Leaders must, through their actions, show everyone how it’s done.  And, everyone else should do the same.  Everyone becomes a role model for how to deliver amazing customer service.

Defend it.  If you see someone doing anything contrary to what you want the customer to experience, you step in to help.  This isn’t about reprimanding or calling someone out for doing something wrong.  This is a teaching opportunity, and treated as such, creates a culture that comfortably empowers employees to deliver great customer service.

Delight in it!  Take pride and delight in the success you have with your customers.  Celebrate the success of the company and individuals who have demonstrated amazing customer service.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times  bestselling business author. Copyright ©MMXIII, Shep 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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Recent Comments
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
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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