9 Secrets to a Great Guest Experience

It’s time for the second session of the summer term of the 2016 GsD program, and just as in previous summer terms, we are conducting a reading survey course. Over the next few weeks, I will be listing a broad overview of some of the best literature in the field of customer service – and you will quickly see how it connects to Guest Experiences! It’s only an introduction to whet your appetite – the application to the world of Guest Experiences for churches will come in the second summer term!

2016 GsD Summer Term 1 Survey of Customer Experience Literature 201

Text: Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service

Author: Chip Bell

Synopsis: Chip Bell has written a delicious book that will make your mouth water! As you might guess from the title, Bell uses language and examples from the culinary world to focus on providing “that surprise that takes service from great to awesome.” Subtitled Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Serviceit delivers a delicious journey to innovative service.

According to Bell, there are nine “secret sauces” that form the basis for a customer experience that is served gourmet style:

Outline

> Amazement

Amazement can be defined as “a feeling of great surprise or wonder.” When Guests come to your church, they are probably expecting several things, one of which is to be made welcome. Because today’s church Guests live in a consumeristic world, they often expect more than just a normal greeting; anything less is a negative.

The secret sauce of Amazement takes the welcome concept to a whole new level. To differentiate yourself from your competition (which isn’t other churches, by the way), how can you amaze your Guest? What will you say, do, and/or provide that takes away your Guest’s breath, capturing their attention and ruining their appetite for your competition?

> Animation

Animation can be defined as “ the state of being full of life or vigor; liveliness.” Guests coming to your church will be frustrated by indifference. They spend enough of their day at work or other places encountering boring, comatose service. Surely it will be different at a church?

The secret sauce of Animation is present when your team members are alive and spirited. They anticipate Guests, eagerly welcome them, and leave the Guest’s energy level higher than they found it. What does your organization do to instill and inspire in your teams so that they are full of life?

> Abundance

Abundance can be defined as “a very large quantity of something.” Who isn’t surprised and delighted when receiving a little something “extra”?

The secret sauce of Abundance is demonstrated by the generous attitude your team presents to Guests. Almost magnetic, it attracts Guests because it conveys an unconditional positive regard. How are you developing your teams to go beyond the expected with a generous spirit and attitude?

> Ambiance

Ambiance can be defined as “the character and atmosphere of a place.” As humans, we are wired to favor symmetry. Our psyche reads dissonance in an experience long before our logical mind comprehends the reason. When you weave all five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste) together, you can create an experience that yields a story your Guests are eager to spread.

The secret sauce of Ambiance involves integrating all the sensory elements of a Guest Experience so they are congruent around a compelling story, theme, or vision. The secret is attention to minute details because the Guest’s brain can pick up any dissonant signal or symbol. What opportunities would you discover if you looked at your organization’s environment and experience with all five senses in mind?

> Adoration

Adoration can be defined as “deep love and respect.” There is no greater gift one can give a Guest than serving them with love. Love is also expressed in how your team members love the organization they represent.

The secret sauce of Adoration comes from ensuring that your front line team members know your organization’s benefits, not just the feature. It comes from investing in your team’s training. What can you do to make your Guests fall in love with the team member and the experience they are receiving?

> Allegiance

Allegiance can be defined as “loyalty of an individual to a commitment or cause.” It is created through the small acts of communication and caring that make Guests feel they can trust your team members to serve them well.

The secret sauce of Allegiance is demonstrated when your team members treat Guests like valued neighbors rather than strangers. It grows as a trusting relationship is developed, with a focus on the Guest, not the task at hand. How will your organization deliver an unexpected surprise to Guests, seeking to build trust with them in every encounter?

> Alliance

Alliance can be defined as “an association formed for mutual benefit, or a relationship based on an affinity in interests, nature, or qualities.” Guests care when they share, particularly if sharing is invited, not expected. Simplicity and sincerity are important to remember when helping the Guest move toward a position of helping you.

The secret sauce of Alliance reminds us that the partnership between team members and Guests always carries a co-created experience. Guest inclusion begins by being comfortable enough to ask the Guest for assistance. It also means being willing at times to sacrifice a little on efficiency or effectiveness for the commitment gained through participation. How are you involving your Guests in a partnership that creates and delivers an exceptional experience?

> Accessible

Accessible can be defined as “able to be reached or entered.” Recent research shows that being easy to do business with trumps every other feature of basic customer service. When a customer feels they can connect with you anytime, even big problems can be reduced to manageable proportions. Make access to stressless service a vital and obvious part of your Guest Experience recipe. After all, “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts.”

The secret sauce of Accessible is best used by examining your Guest’s experience through their eyes. Often, that involves the conscious effort to see details that we are blind to. When was the last time you took an “empathy walk” in the shoes of your Guests, experiencing exactly what they do?

> Adventure

Adventure can be defined as “an unusual or exciting experience or activity.” Is the Guest Experience you provide more like a light or a candle? Lights are important because they provide us with the capacity to see or see better. Candles do they same thing, but with style. If you want a romantic dinner, you don’t just turn on the light.

The secret sauce of Adventure reminds us that a great Guest Experience is light-like, but an innovative Guest Experience is candle-like. People who deliver great Guest Experiences focus on being good at what they do; people who deliver innovative Guest Experiences seek to add imagination to what they do. What could your organization do to make your Guest’s experience unexpectedly unique?

About the author: Chip Bell, senior partner with the Chip Bell Group, is a renowned keynote speaker, consultant, trainer, and speaker to some of the largest and most well-known organizations around the world. A prolific author, he has written or co-written twenty books, many of which were bestsellers.

Additional Resources: Check out the book website for more information, including a video overview of the book as well as a free download of Chapter 1.


A Quick Comment: Just like a chef takes a basic sauce and makes it into the foundation of an exquisite meal, your organization can take the “secret sauces” Bell writes about in Sprinkles and deliver a “value-unique” service that creates an unexpected, enchanting experience for those you serve.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief culinary excursion into the 9 Secret Sauces from Chip Bell’s wonderful book Sprinkles. I’ve only briefly touched the surface of the great ideas you will find in it. Want to create a great Guest Experience recipe? Look no further than Sprinkles!

Sprinkles


Guestology – the art and science of knowing and understanding your guests – is a term originated by Bruce Laval of the Walt Disney Company. The use of GsD (Doctor of Guestology) is my tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment that organizations that really want to understand and deliver a WOW Guest Experience need to study the best practices and principles in use today, and then adapt them to the context of their own environment.

If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the 2013 GsD Summer Reading 101 classes, you can begin reading a 10-part session here.

For more reading in the area of Guest Experiences, check out my Essential Guest Experience Library. I am always adding new resources for your learning pleasure!

> Read more from Bob


 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob Adams

Bob Adams

Bob is an absolute fanatic about Guest Experiences, growing up watching his father serve customers at the gas station he built and operated for 44 years. Bob is continually connecting with corporate leaders in the customer experience world, learning and then translating practices for ChurchWorld. He writes, speaks, and consults on the topic frequently. Best of all, he is a front-line practitioner at Elevation Church, serving in various roles at the Uptown and Lake Norman Campuses. Vocationally, Bob has a dual role at Auxano, a clarity first consulting firm serving the church. As Vision Room Curator and Digital Engagement Leader he researches, edits, writes and publishes online content. As Guest Experience Navigator, he leverages his passion, providing Guest Perspective Evaluations and Guest Experience Blueprints. Bob and his wife Anita have been married for 38 years. They have 4 children, 2 daughters-in-law, 1 son-in-law, and 4 grandchildren.

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Clarity Process

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Five People Who Volunteer in Every Church Parking Lot

He is the face of your weekly welcome.

He is the first human interaction every Guest will experience.

He is fighting on the faded front lines of an automotive battlefield.

He keeps chaos at bay by the power vested in a reflective nylon vest.

He is the Church Parking Lot Volunteer.

Not that all church parking lot volunteers are men, it is just that most women are not tempted by the rush of power and vestiges of control found only by directing slow-moving automobiles toward already-obvious decisions. In fact, church parking lot volunteers are a unique breed of servant leader, a people set apart. They possess a keen ability to step right from the parking lot into the worship service, and remain blissfully oblivious to their distinctive “I’ve been outside all morning” smell… suggesting that they may not be set apart enough.

However, as a church leader, it would be foolish to classify every parking lot volunteer into one cliched, amorphous whole. There are at least five distinctive sub-types within this walkie-talkie wearing brigade, each with different needs and motivations.

Here are five types of church parking lot volunteers and clear direction for leading each one:

The Deputy
Marked by his wrap-around sunglasses, fingerless gloves, and Batman-type utility belt, the Deputy carries a flashlight to his post each and every Sunday, no matter that Christmas Eve is the only nighttime service all year. The Deputy insists on wearing an earpiece, even though he was asked to stay on a different channel from the security team after reporting yet another possible disruption/charismatic worshipper entering the building. The Deputy travels the tri-state area all week in his plumbing-supply, or similar sales role. But he has never recovered from that one week spent around the Sheriff’s Office as a part of the Boy Scouts Explorer Program. Leading the Deputy requires the twin disciplines of patience and humor. Not taking yourself too seriously allows room for how serious he is, and playing the long-game of leadership will eventually earn his respect. Validate the Deputy’s role on the team and praise his decisiveness as he regales you with yet another heroic close call story from “Malfunction Junction” – the name that only he uses for the four-way stop next to Guest Parking. But above all else remember this about the Deputy: he knows that deep down in places you don’t talk about in church staff meetings, you want him on that wall. You need him on that wall.

The Squirrel
Maybe this guy is not the best person to have in the parking lot, but it is a Fifth Sunday and everyone else is at the lake. The Squirrel is indecisive, panics easily and usually ends up stopping or sending everyone, all at once. Sweating profusely and constantly spinning around, so as not to be overtaken by a hybrid, the Squirrel is a bundle of nerves when he comes back into the lobby. In fact, he is determined that your “15 Minute Rule” keeping him in the parking lot after each service begins, takes a year off of his life each Sunday. Leading the Squirrel requires you to be a cheerleader turned hostage negotiator every week that he serves. Be sure to tell him he’s doing a good job, but do not give into his demands for a transfer to the coffee bar or handing out bulletins at the worship center door. The stakes may seem higher in the parking lot, but out there, at least the Squirrel’s sweaty palms and shifty eyes are not involved in alienating your First Time Guests.

The Zealot
He is excited to serve. Maybe a little too excited for a Sunday morning. The Zealot proves that it is possible for a Welcome Team member to actually be too friendly. Traffic comes to a complete stop as he high fives each excited child and every confused adult in the crosswalk. Heaven forbid someone have their window down in the parking lot, as inquiries toward whether or not they are having a good day and updates on the morning’s coffee flavor are inevitable. The Zealot loves his role, can be counted on to have the golf cart cobweb-free and ready to go, and loves nothing more than to give you a ride right up to the front door each week. He gets there before any staff member, and your drummer just now realized that The Zealot isn’t in the band. Leading the Zealot is easy: just stay out of his way. He is the ideal volunteer, and can be counted on to take any task. Be thankful for the Zealot and treat him and his kind well.

The Rebel
You can tell your team has a Rebel because you cannot tell him apart from anyone else in the parking lot. The Rebel refuses to wear your silly yellow vest and will only stand where HE thinks the traffic flow needs him most. This rugged individualist has been known to release a Nevada Test Site-type mushroom cloud of vape smoke just as service ends. Simply put, the Rebel doesn’t care. He is not afraid to hold traffic in every direction in order to reply to a Small Group text thread on where to go for lunch. Leading the Rebel is the polar opposite of leading the Zealot. In fact, unless you have raised a teenage son or daughter, you are not actually qualified to lead the Rebel. You cannot tell him what to do. Nor can you hope that he will eventually figure it out. Leading the Rebel well keeps your daily walk with Christ honest, and your best bet is to keep sending him the emails and high-fiveing nothing but air each week. If you think you are up to the challenge, get humble and play two steps ahead of the Rebel, in order to make him think every idea is his idea. And you should just give up on him wearing that vest.

The Hostage
His wife made him sign up for this position, and he makes sure you know it each week. The Hostage shows up to volunteer in the parking lot just as the service is scheduled to start. Without a care, he will shrug his shoulders, linger in the coffee bar for ten minutes and then heroically slink in and join his wife in worship. Just know that the Hostage does not want to be there, and, instead of making sure your parking lot experience is great, his mind is occupied with working out a great escape plan. Leading the Hostage is actually quite simple, set up a direct line to communicate with whomever is holding him against his will. Need an extra 15 minutes for a pre-service meeting? Make sure his wife gets the email. Want an extra hand on Easter Sunday? Promise his captor that the Hostage will be returned unharmed, ready for family photos and afternoon ham.

You may not have a parking lot full of Zealots, but hey, at least you are building a team! Experts say your church will never get past a bad first impression, and the parking lot is where most first impressions are made.

Do you want to learn more about creating a great guest experience at your church? 

Do you have a team full of Rebels and Hostages, and no real plan as to how to lead them? 

Do you know that, bottom line, your church’s First Time Guest Experience needs to get better?


> Read more from Bryan.

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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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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
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What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Creating a Distinctive Guest Experience Requires Action

Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think “Guest” in terms of the target the author is talking about – and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.


Several times over the past several weeks, I’ve observed an interesting phenomenon.

At every presentation, I’ll be outlining the steps required to stand out in the marketplace of the group I’m speaking to — even with a slide at the end of each point saying, “What to do when you get home” with a list of actions every participant should take.

However, at the end of the presentation, I will now say to the group: “Before my last story, I want you to write down the first thing that you are going to DO when you get home to stand out from your competition.”

Invariably, some will instantly scribble a point, circle it, draw arrows pointing to it, and smile.  However, many in the group stare at the ceiling, rub their foreheads and write in fits and starts. (Even though I’ve already given them at least a dozen potential first steps during the presentation.)

Why?

Obviously, it’s possible that some just weren’t listening.  However, as I’ve observed them taking notes, that isn’t the correct answer for most of the ones involved.

Here’s my take — it’s a two-step problem.

  • First, it’s one thing to see a list of potential steps you can take.  It’s quite another to decide which one you are going to commit to taking.

Many years ago, I was asked to be a judge in our local beauty pageant to be the queen of our county fair.  (The winner would go on to compete for the title of Miss Indiana State Fair.)  There were several talented and attractive participants.  So much so, in fact, that I had a very difficult time selecting one to be my vote as the winner.

In other words, when presented with the choice of many terrific options, it becomes very difficult to decide which is best.  A natural response is to either delay making a choice — or, to become paralyzed by the process.

  • Second, there is something about writing out your decision that makes it more serious and binding.

Perhaps it is a throwback to our understanding about the importance of a contractual agreement — even if that agreement is only with yourself.  We seem to take it more seriously once we write it down.

Some were having trouble making the commitment to take action.  They were making all of the excuses in their minds — “I’m already too busy,” “What if I try it and it doesn’t work?” “I wonder if my boss is going to ask me about it?” and more.

Yet, without a commitment — what is ever accomplished?  You must first make a commitment to action before you can make significant progress!

This process has been a real learning experience for me — and, it can be for you, as well!

  1. Discipline yourself to make a decision.  What will you DO…starting NOW…to create distinction in your marketplace?
  2. Next — write it down and commit yourself to that action.
  3. Finally — GET STARTED!

You are on your way…….


> Read more from Scott McKain

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott McKain

Scott McKain

Scott McKain is an internationally known authority who helps organizations create distinction in every phase of business and teaches the “Ultimate Customer Experience.” His keynote presentations benefit from three decades of experience, combined with his innate talent for articulating successful ideas. McKain has spoken before and consulted for the world’s most influential corporations. Scott McKain creates captivating presentations and bestselling books which clearly reveal how to create more compelling connections between you and your customers and how to stand out and move up, regardless of the economic climate in your industry.

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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Don’t Put Your Guests First at Your Organization – Part 1

Editor’s Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think “Guest” where you see the word “customer” – and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.


In this first part of a two-part series, I’ll outline some important ways to ensure that your company is putting the customer at the center of all it does.

Why are companies in business? For customers, right? To create and to nurture a customer, to be specific. And, yet, we still see some dismal statistics about how many companies don’t focus on the customer experience or think they focus on the customer experience but really don’t. In research published by Bain, they reported that:

  • only 50% of management teams tailor their products and services to the needs of customers
  • only 30% organize the functions of their company to deliver superior customer experiences
  • only 30% maintain effective customer feedback loops

Temkin Group recently reported that 67% of large companies rate themselves as being good at soliciting customer feedback, but only 26% rate themselves as being good about making changes based on the insights.

These are dismal statistics. How do we turn this around?

If you haven’t yet started to focus on the needs of the customer, where should you begin?  What can you do to turn the tide?

First you must decide. And then, when you’re ready to put the customer at the center of all you do, there are six important steps to take to get started:

1.    Identify the customer
2.    Understand the customer
3.    Outline the customer lifecycle
4.    Map the customer journey
5.    Listen to your customers
6.    Socialize the insights/findings

Step 1: Identify the Customer 

Knowing who the customer is seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many companies have never gone through the exercise of identifying the customer. In a B2B organization, for example, customers can be many and varied; look within each customer or partner organization at the people you interact with, e.g., purchasing, product, support, accounting, end-users, etc. to identify your customer. The company is not the customer; the people you interact with within the company are. Not having a clear understanding of who the customer is hampers any further steps in this process.

Step 2: Understand the Customer 
Once you’ve identified who your customers are, you must understand them and their needs. How do they interact with your organization? Why do they buy products and services from you? What are their needs? What problems are they trying to solve? What are they trying to achieve?

A tool to use to answer all of these questions is personas. Personas are fictional characters created to describe your ideal prospect or actual customer. They are derived through primary research – research that can then also be used for your customer journey maps in Step 4. They are specific to your business, not to the industry. The descriptions include vivid narratives, images, and other items that help companies understand the needs of the customer (contextual insights) and outline feelings, motivations, goals, behaviors, challenges, likes, dislikes, objections, and interests that drive buying (or other) decisions. Each persona includes a human face and name. Used properly, personas keep the customer alive and front and center for the entire organization. They tie in nicely to your journey maps and are necessary to begin that exercise.

A hardware client of mine developed supplier personas in order to better understand the different supplier personnel with which they interact. Different supplier types and different roles within a supplier company have different needs and interact differently with your organization; understanding those then allows you to create a better experience for all involved. For their personas, we looked at the different roles within supplier companies and came up with six primary personas: operations management, logistics, production schedulers, inventory management, shipping, and accounting. A lot of research went into defining these personas, which were then used to develop journey maps that laid out the experience they had when trying to achieve whatever it was each did with the client. These personas were then used to better manage supplier relationships and to design a better supplier experience with the client, one more personalized to each specific role/persona. The client saw a remarkable uptick in supplier satisfaction, and hence retention, as a result of this increased understanding.

Step 3: Outline the Customer Lifecycle 
The lifecycle map shows the phases of the customer’s relationship with your company. It’s high level and good for understanding the overall relationship the customer has with the organization, from before he’s even considered a customer through when he is no longer a customer. It typically includes these stages: Need, Awareness, Consideration, Selection/Purchase, Experience, Loyalty, Advocacy, Engagement, Raving Fans. And, unfortunately, Exit. It’s not necessarily linear and often circles back on itself.

It’s great to understand the lifecycle at this high level before moving on to the next step. Lifecycle maps, while important to nurturing the overall customer relationship, are a natural first step to identifying listening needs along the lifecycle; however, to get to the heart of the matter, to really understand when and where to listen and to really design a better customer experience, you must dive deeper into the lifecycle stages, inventory the touchpoints, and map the customer journey, which I’ll discuss further in Step 4.

In my next post, I’ll wrap up the other three steps you can take to ensure that customers are front and center in your organization.

When a brand connects with their customer, that in some ways is the easy part, the hard part is keeping the customer at the center after the success/profits comes flooding in. Success can breed complacency, success can breed arrogance. -Anna Farmery

Read more from Annette.

 


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annette Franz

Annette Franz

Annette Franz is Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer, of course!) of CX Journey Inc. She has 25 years of experience helping companies understand their customers and employees and identifying what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience. She is active in the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), as: an Executive Officer on the Board of Directors, a CX Expert, a CX Mentor, and a SoCal Local Networking Lead. Annette is also a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP).

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Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

1 Key to Serving Your Guests Well

Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think “Guest” where you see the word “customer” – and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.


Some of you may be familiar with the 1970’s and 80’s hit TV show M*A*S*H, based on the novel and movie by the same name. The series premiered in 1972 and played for eleven seasons. While, most refer to the show as a sitcom, some view it more as a “dramedy” than a comedy series because of the heavy dramatic setting, which was a medical unit in the Korean War. Sure, there were a lot of laughs, but the message behind the show was very serious. So, what does all of this have to do with customer service?

One of the characters, Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly, played by Gary Burghoff, set a standard for customer service. He worked for Colonel Potter, who ran the unit. It was always a good laugh when Colonel Potter barked out a request for a file and Radar was walking into his office with the file before the Colonel finished his request. It was as if he could read minds, or as his nickname indicates, as if he had radar.

This reminded me of an interview I had with a potential employee that was applying to be my assistant here at Shepard Presentations. I asked her what her definition of a good assistant would be. She actually didn’t give me the answer I thought I might get. She said, “Radar O’Reilly.” She said, that’s the kind of assistant I want to be – knowing what you want before you even ask for it.

Whether it’s for the job of an assistant to an executive or assisting a customer, one of the attributes of someone who delivers outstanding customer service is the ability to anticipate a customer’s needs – like Radar, knowing what he or she wants before they ask.

It doesn’t take E.S.P., Extra Sensory Perception, which is the ability to read minds. It takes what I call E.A.P., or Extra Awareness Perception, the ability to know more, because you are aware and pay close attention. That’s really all this is; paying close attention to your customers, their behaviors, their habits and more. When you start to study your customers and know them that well, you’ll be able to anticipate or predict, with uncanny accuracy, what they will ask for next – sometimes even before they know they need to ask.

So, as we think about Radar O’Reilly’s uncanny ability to anticipate what Colonel Potter will ask for next time, think about what your customers are going to ask for next. I’ll bet your guess is more accurate than you think. Take the initiative and deliver a standard of customer service that would make Radar proud. The result will be… customer amazement!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

(Copyright © MMXVII, 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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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Getting Ready for Fall: 7 Steps to Success

Yes, it’s currently blazing hot in most parts of the country. But fall will be here before we know it, and with cooler weather comes an attendance surge for most churches. Families are returning from vacation, people are getting back into routines, and church parking lots and pews are fuller than they were during summer. At our church, we typically see a 30-35% attendance bump from the end of July to mid-August (there was one year that it hit 52%!).

So how can you take advantage of the next few weeks in order to be prepared for the influx of guests? Here are seven ways:

Refresh your volunteer training. 

Go back to the basics with your current vols. Remind them why your team exists. Whether you’re meeting with them in person or sending out text / email updates, spend a few minutes over the next few weekends helping them get their heads back in the game. [Related post: Need an Inexpensive Option for Team Training?]

 

Invite new people to serve. 

New guests mean new opportunities for your members to step up their game. Invite all of your current vols to shoulder-tap their friends. If your attendance numbers bump by 1/3 like ours, make it a personal goal to bump your volunteer numbers by the same. [Related post: 20 Ways to Get More Volunteers]

 

Review your systems. 

Sure, you remember last Easter or fall when a lot of people showed up and you had to seat them in the lobby or park them at the business down the street. But now, how will you prepare based on what you know? Now is the time to pull out the playbook and talk to your team about what will happen when (not if) additional space is required (and please, let’s not call it overflow. That’s what toilets do.) [Related post:10 Ways to Make Your Seating Team More Effective]

 

Practice your language.

How will you greet your guests when they arrive? Sure, you may cover this with your volunteers…but what about the people on stage? How will your worship leader encourage people to scoot in once worship has already started? How will your lead pastor greet the throngs, acknowledge the bump, and invite them back? How will your announcement guy give practical next steps? [Related post: Six Times to Talk to Your Guests]

 

Check your supplies. 

Do you have enough first time guest gifts? Worship guides? Information cards? Communion cups? Now is the time to order them. [Related post: First Time Guest Bags: An Intro]

 

Clean it up.

Don’t neglect your facility or your parking lot. Take a minute to walk around this week and spot what needs to be fixed or freshened up: remove those VBS posters. Weed that flower bed. Windex that lobby door. [Related post: Pick Up Your Junk]

 

Pray. 

This isn’t the last resort, but the first. If we believe for a moment that the guest experience rises and falls on a clean facility and well-trained volunteers, we deceive ourselves. No, we must pray for the Holy Spirit to compel people to come, to open their eyes to the gospel, and to woo them into a relationship with Jesus. [Related post: Is Your Guest Service Team in a State of Desperation?]

> Read more from Danny.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danny Franks

Danny Franks

Danny Franks makes his living as a Connections Pastor at the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He also makes a life as the husband of an out-of-his-league hottie and the dad of three cool sons and one sweet princess. His blog, dfranks.com, is a reflection of how he interacts with all of these.

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Does Your Church Accommodate Visitors or Expect Guests?

Beginning today is a new weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders.  SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; and each solution is taken from a different book. As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS provides 26 editions per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

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When it comes to churches, more often than not we accommodate visitors rather than truly expect Guests.

It may be a little thing to you, seeming like mere wordplay, but there is actually a powerful first impression that needs to change if your approach is to accommodate visitors on Sunday rather than to expect to have Guests at your church.

Do you have Visitor parking? Visitor packets? A Visitor’s Center? Do you welcome your visitors during the worship experience? And on and on…

The first step in creating a memorable Guest experience is to remove the word “visitor” from your vocabulary, never to be used again. Think about it, what kind of person is a visitor at your house, as opposed to a Guest?

It’s a small thing to be sure. But often changing one small word in your church’s vernacular can reflect a substantial mental shift, impacting the entire experience of someone new. One word change can draw someone back the next weekend, and one word can begin to close the proverbial back door of your church.

What would it look like to expect Guests this Sunday?

Guests come to your church, looking for a warm greeting, a smiling face, and an experience carefully crafted to welcome them and point them to Christ. This type of expectation does not require anything phony, manipulative, or in-your-face; just leaders who will welcome them as Guests with the most sincere, energizing, and loving experiences they can.

When it comes to understanding and welcoming Guests, the Disney organization has long been the “gold standard” – the best of the best. Instilled by Walt Disney in 1955 at the opening of Disneyland, expanded over the decades since at locations around the world, and refined today as both an art and a science, the Disney approach to Guest experiences provides a wealth of information that can help your church not just “accommodate visitors,” but to expect Guests.

Solution: Think Church-wide in your Guest Experience, not just Sunday morning.

Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Be Our Guest outlines proven Disney best practices and processes for generating customer loyalty. One visit to a Disney park reveals that their Guest Experience extends beyond the front gates, and into the heart and mind of every employee at every level.

Be Our Guest takes you behind the scenes to help you learn new and creative ways to create and deliver a world-class Guest Experience.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

“Be Our Guest” has been the invitation the Disney organization extends to people long before the song from Beauty and the Beast became a box office hit. It underscores an important element in the Disney vocabulary that customers are not referred to as customers or visitors, but rather as Guests. In the Disney nomenclature, the word “Guest” is capitalized and treated as a formal noun. It takes little effort to extend this line of thinking to your church:

What’s the difference between treating someone like a visitor, and treating someone like a Guest?

The obvious analogy is that we do things differently when we bring Guests into our home. We clean up the house. We dress up. We prepare something special to eat. We host them. We take care of their real needs. We even open the front door for them – every time.

Does your church expect Guests, or just accommodate visitors? How does Guest expectation extend beyond the front doors on a Sunday morning, but even into the office suite on a Thursday afternoon?

Realizing that God is bringing Guests to your church has to be the starting point, the foundation on which all else is built. Exceeding Guest expectations is the standard call to duty for every leader at every level and on every day.

At Disney, every leader at every level and on every day is a part of the Guest Services Team.

Exceeding Guest’s expectations is Disney’s service strategy, and paying attention to every detail is the tactic by which it is accomplished.

Disney’s Quality Service Compass encapsulates the organization-wide model that demonstrates Quality Service. It is the production process through which practical magic is created. In its essence, the compass can be used to create a shared vision of service that aligns the major elements that every organization shares – its people, infrastructure, and processes – in a cohesive, comprehensive effort to deliver that vision.

The Quality Service Compass has four main points centered on our service objective: to exceed Guest expectations.

  • Guestology – the art and science of knowing customers.
• Quality Standards – establishing the criteria for actions necessary to accomplish the service strategy, and the measures of Service Quality.
  • Delivery Systems – the systems that deliver service: employees, the setting, and processes.
  • Integration – combining and aligning delivery systems, creating a matrix to troubleshoot problems and benchmark practices.

– Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni, Be Our Guest

 

A NEXT STEP

At your next leadership team meeting, review the four points of Disney’s Quality Service Compass outlined above. Using the introductory questions suggested below, ask, “What is working within our Welcoming Teams?” “What is missing or confused?”

Guestology; Understand your Guest Profile

  • Do you know who your Guests are? Do you collect basic demographic information from Guests? What does a study of the last 12 months of this information reveal about your Guests?
  • Do you collect additional information about your Guests (through a website survey, etc.? Do you know about their attitudes, lifestyles, values, and opinions? What does a study of the last 12 months of this type of information reveal about your Guests?)

Integration: Extend your mission to the Guest Services teams

  • How can you extend your church’s mission so that your Guest Services teams understand how their role is in alignment?
  • How is your mission seen through your Guest Services teams by the Guests they serve?

Standards: Define Guest Service

  • Do you have service quality standards that ensure the consistent delivery of Guest services?
  • Do your Guest Services standards reflect the values of your church?
  • Do your Guest Service teams use the standards as filters through which they prioritize the actions that contribute to a memorable Guest Experience?

Delivery: Establish systems that welcome Guests

  • Your Guest Service Team Members are the first and most important part of your Guest Service delivery system. They are the heart and soul of your Guest Experience. How do you select, train and evaluate your team members? What steps have you taken to create and maintain
a culture of hospitality that nurtures your team members and encourages them to deliver a memorable Guest Experience?
  • How does your Environment (the physical and virtual resources of your organization) contribute to the delivery of a memorable Guest Experience? Do you regularly evaluate your setting?
  • Do you have a Process (the various series of operations used to deliver a memorable Guest Experience) that your Guest Service Teams understand and follow? Is this process regularly evaluated and improved as needed?

Finally, lead everyone in the meeting to identify one next step to take in THEIR ministry area or leadership to welcome Guests.


 

Taken from SUMS Remix 20-1, published August 2015.

>>> You can purchase a subscription to SUMS Remix here >>>

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company.

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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

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4 Lessons Your Hospitality Teams Can Learn from a Hotel Concierge

A remarkable hotel concierge has an insatiable appetite to serve guests with professionalism and to deliver personalization through what can often be perceived as monotonous tasks.

Have you experienced the attentiveness and gracious care from a hotel concierge? They have an intuitive nature to know what you need and how to make things happen while balancing ten other things at the same time.

“It gives me peace to know the people around me have nothing to worry about.”

— Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel in Istanbul

After learning from Julien TanguyHolly Stiel, and Marjorie Silverman, all of whom are concierge phenoms, I identified four lessons applicable to those leading hospitality teams and designing environments for guests. A remarkable concierge possesses:

1. Attributes – They have specific elements that lend toward being remarkable. Some of these elements include:

  • Approachability
  • Calmness
  • Perseverance
  • Creativity
  • Charisma
  • Competence
  • Generosity
  • Confidence
  • Resourcefulness
  • Humility
  • Passion
  • Courteousness
  • Strong memory

2. Commitment – They maintain a positive attitude and take it personally while getting the job done for each guest. They are in it to win whatever it is for the guest.

“Recognize what your guests want and need most and what your organization or church does best. Put concentration on where those two intersect.”

3. Capacity – They wear many hats and still deliver a personal and remarkable experience for each guest. You feel like they are taking care of just you when they are really taking care of a number of people.

4. Intuition – They perform a type of triage for the guest. They are able to sense what is needed, how to respond, and then figure out how to get it done. Quickly.

“If you’re not serving the guest, your job is to be serving someone who is.”

— Jan Carlzon

> Read more from Jason


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Young

Jason Young

I love growing leaders, building volunteer teams, designing guest experiences and being strategic about how they intersect. I am the Director of Guest Services for North Point Ministries. You can also find me helping organizations and churches. I have worked with Ford, LifeChurch.tv, LifeWay, Growing Leaders, PossibleNOW, The Fellowship, WinShape, Loganville Christian Academy, First Baptist Church Woodstock, Chick-fil-A, Catalyst and others. I have fun reading, watching movies, hiking, and visiting Disney World. I live in Atlanta, GA.

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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
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The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

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What Would It Take to Elevate the Dignity of Each Guest in Your Church?

The guest that enters our church should feel welcomed, comfortable, and honored.

I am obsessed with exploring the answer to one question: What would it take to elevate the dignity of each guest in our church? 

I attended a Guest Services Conference this week, and also had the opportunity to speak during a session to the group of influencers. I asked everyone one question, “What would it take to elevate the dignity of each guest in our churches?” To better set the stage, we watched this funny video of Target lady from SNL on how not to elevate the dignity of each guest.

I believe the answer to the above question is discovered when we unearth and respond to eight subsequent questions.

Question 1: Do we allow our interactions with a team member and guest to remain active in front of the backdrop of hospitality?

From a sociological perspective, hospitality was the bedrock of the Middle Eastern culture because only by caring for others could societies, or even individuals, guarantee their survival.The harsh, arid climate, coupled with the nomadic lifestyle of the region’s early residents, made kindness towards guests an imperative. To deny a traveler hospitality – whether it be someone familiar to you or someone completely unknown – was to deny them life. Like any society, a mutual understanding arose that those who were in need could find relief at any house, and would repay the kindness whenever a stranger or guest came knocking at their door. Hospitality found its cultural staying power in the exchange of mutual survival, the willingness to see the value in another life because your life is bound to it, even if not obviously so.

From a theological perspective, the first acts of hospitality were not from human to human – they were from God to man via creation and His grace in the aftermath of the Fall. The specificity of the universe, its fine-tuning and precision, are the first and most excellent examples of creating an environment for guests that makes them feel at home and frees them to interact with God. In the Fall, we see God’s graciousness (which is the root of all hospitality – the extension of grace to the weak) in the fact that he provided clothes to cover their nakedness and a closing off of the Tree of Life to ensure that mankind wouldn’t die in sin. The implications of both of these acts formed a clear through-line for Semitic culture and history: human life is precious, and must be cared for and shown grace. This belief was codified in the Mosaic Law with its statutes on how to treat strangers and sojourners among the Nation of Israel.

Romans 12:13…’practice hospitality’ is included in the list of qualities of a Christ follower. These two words mean one who goes after someone unfamiliar with an environment. You pursue them as if you were pursuing a criminal or enemy. However, you are doing it because you have a love for the stranger.”

Question 2: Are the feelings we have for a guest coming in reflected in how they feel about us when they leave?

“Yes. The Image of God is not selective; it does not appear in some people and disappear in others. All human beings bear the Image and thus have the ability to be moved by displays of the Image in another person. Human beings are wired for goodness—and the best way to draw goodness out is pour goodness in. We see this image most fully in the person of Jesus Christ and in his interactions during his ministry. If you consider how Jesus treated the marginalized, sick, and lost, you see he brought people to faith not by doctrinal savvy but by touch, compassion, and kindness. Jesus brought out the good in people by extending goodness to them—he resurrected the image of God by deliberately appealing to it in his work.”

Question 3: Does our church culture provide freedom for team members to make quick decisions that create a better experience for the guest?

“Is caring for people assigned to a specific team (i.e., Guest Services) or is it the responsibility of everyone regardless of an ‘official’ role – staff and volunteers. The church that has the guest as the priority in its DNA empowers volunteers to make quick decisions to care for the guest. This is seen and felt from the top down.

Think of a something being widespread versus isolated. If something is widespread, everyone in the midst feels it. When something is isolated, only a few are involved and feel the impact.”

Question 4: Do we empathetically prioritize the guest enough to naturally go the second and third mile?

“Do we prioritize the guest so much that it becomes our DNA to never think of going the extra mile as the exception? Rather, we gladly go as many miles as it takes to deliver a feeling of comfort and care. This becomes the expectation and norm.

Our view of three words influence our response to this question:

1. Hospitality – focus is on the guest and the feeling being delivered

2. Service – focus is only on the actions

3. Entertain – focus is on you, the experience provider”

Question 5: Do we break the big picture down into scenes that are more manageable and yield a better guest experience?

“Designing an end-to-end experience can be overwhelming. Writers, directors, and producers, don’t write and shoot everything in one scene. They break it down into manageable and individual scenes and then thread them together. Start small and then thread it together. Your experience will be better!”

Question 6: Do we discipline ourselves and help our team members to be fully present?

“Jesus came into a house. Martha was busy doing and Mary was fully present with the person who mattered. One was caught up in doing everything but hosting the person. Jesus said what Mary was doing was better.

When we choose to be fully present, we are telling the guest that we value them above everything, even all that must get done.”

Question 7: Do we lead in such a way that our team members feel empowered to show care in ways that the guest has a story to tell later?

“Every guest drives on our properties and walks into our buildings with a story that involves a number of characters, mountaintop moments, tragedies, and baggage. Perhaps they have even had a bad church experience in their past. When we posture ourselves to be sensitive to the person driving on our property or walking in our building, we are better prepared to listen and respond.

The main person in the story is not the church. It is not the team member. It is the guest and they should feel that from us. We can influence their experience with us so that they have a story to tell later. We are influencing environments where life change happens.”

Question 8: Do we focus on brokering an experience for the guest in order to protect them?  

“A bodyguard shields the person they are responsible for guarding. We are trusted with protecting each guest from any feeling that might be a distraction in their experience with us. We have the opportunity to replace an insecurity or negative emotion they have with a positive emotion.”

> Read more from Jason.


Want to know more about Guest Experiences in your church? Start a conversation with our team. We’re glad to offer our input. Your vision is at stake, so let’s talk.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Young

Jason Young

I love growing leaders, building volunteer teams, designing guest experiences and being strategic about how they intersect. I am the Director of Guest Services for North Point Ministries. You can also find me helping organizations and churches. I have worked with Ford, LifeChurch.tv, LifeWay, Growing Leaders, PossibleNOW, The Fellowship, WinShape, Loganville Christian Academy, First Baptist Church Woodstock, Chick-fil-A, Catalyst and others. I have fun reading, watching movies, hiking, and visiting Disney World. I live in Atlanta, GA.

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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

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?

> Read more from Chip.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.