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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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
— VRcurator
 

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