If Guest Experience Were a Hymn

Hymn singing is a ritual in just about every religion on the planet.  It helps a collection of people share a common expression of belief in a manner that is joyful or celebrative.

John Wesley, with his brother Charles, founded what is now the Methodist Church.  In his 1761 book, Select Hymns, he wrote the “Directions for Singing” currently found in the front of most Methodist hymnals. If you substituted the word “Guest Experience” for “singing,” Wesley’s directions would also provide powerful tenants for delivering a remarkable Guest Experience.  And, while churches may refer to their constituents as parishioners, members, or “the congregation,” always remember on the other side of the worshiper’s eyes is the perspective of a customer.

“Sing lustily and with good courageBeware of singing as if you were half dead or half asleep.”  Guests abhor handing their hard-earned funds or limited time to a team member who acts completely indifferent.  When they witness front line members “taking their own sweet time” to respond to a request, it makes them search for other service providers (including churches) who serve “lustily and with good courage.”

“Sing modestly…that you may not destroy the harmony but unite your voices together.”  Remarkable Guest Experiences require teamwork.  If the housekeeper is slow getting hotel rooms ready, the front desk clerks continues to disappoint the guest with “Your room is not quite ready.”  The waiter looks foolish if the chef failed to prepare the meal as described.  In the same way, if the minister makes a promise the staff cannot keep, the disharmony leaves customers disappointed.

“Sing all…let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you.”  Great Guest Experiences are about good closure.  It means ensuring theGuests’ real need is met, not just their request.  It involves ensuring the Guest is pleased with the outcome, not just satisfied with the effort.  And, it takes going the extra mile even when we are tired and ready to go home.

“Above all, sing spiritually.  Aim at pleasing God more than yourself…so the Lord will approve and reward you…” While a religious song has a spiritual goal, the end game for Guest Experience is somewhat similar.  It is not about pleasing yourself; it is about pleasing your those you serve.  Service processes should be designed for the Guest, not for internal convenience.   And, making Guests happy yields the rewards of growth and the pleasure of knowing your team made a difference.

If your Guest Experience were a hymn, would it elevate the spirits of your Guests?  Would it unite the passions of those who “sing” with you?

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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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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
— Debra
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)

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