Seven Strategic Questions Critical to Improving Your Church’s Guest Experience

Closing out the week with some great strategic questions developed by Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s foremost experts in the Customer Experience. As has been the case all week, I have adapted these for Guest Experiences in ChurchWorld.

1. What Guest experience do you want to deliver?

Ask yourself this question. In most cases, churches cannot provide a clear answer. Everyone has an opinion, but nobody can identify what it is. This causes overlaps, gaps, lost opportunities and cost. Most Guest experiences are accidental. They “just happen.” Guest experiences – both good and bad – frequently occur because a church makes decisions without considering the consequences. The main challenge is to identify the ideal experience you want to offer your Guest; a Guest Experience Statement (GES) is the first step. A GES puts the ideal Guest experience into words.

2. What are the emotions you are trying to evoke?

More than half of a typical Guest experience is rooted in emotion. Guests are people, and people are driven by emotions. Emotions are the bedrock of existence, yet most churches miss this fact, allowing for half of their experience to be left to chance.

3. What drives and destroys value for your organization?

What drives or destroys Guest retention and Guest loyalty? Which parts of the Guest experience drive or destroy the most value for your organization? The Emotional Signature technique (from Beyond Philosophy) aids this process because it determines the most efficient way to allocate resources.

4. What do Guests really want?

What Guests say they want can be vastly different from what they value. Other Guests don’t even know what they want. To understand this you must get into the head of the Guest. The subconscious mind is the key that unlocks the real drivers of value to the Guest. Most Guest desires reside below the surface of conscious experience. Paradoxically, while Guests often struggle to articulate their desires, the cost of misjudging Guest desire is extremely high. An accurate gauge of Guest desire is of paramount importance. Once this is discovered you will be able to determine where to put your resources.

5. How Guest-centric is your organization?

Guest experience is a manifestation of your organization. If your church is program-centric, then you will offer a functional Guest experience. If your church is Guest-centric, then you will offer an interactive Guest experience. Changing the Guest experience means reorienting your church’s ministry strategy in a way that translates to Guest loyalty and retention gains.

6. What is your subconscious experience?

The subconscious experience incorporates all the elements of the Guest experience that are seen, felt, heard and processed by your subconscious mind. Do you know what kind of unintentional signals your church sends to your Guests? The subconscious experience is every bit as important as the rational experience and the emotional experience.

7. Is your Guest experience deliberate?

Have you deliberated over the experience you are providing to your Guests? Most experiences “just happen.” They are a consequence of many different decisions the church has made without understanding the impact or implications to the Guest. Your experience should be deliberate.

The way you answer these seven questions will determine the future direction of your Guest Experience.

Read more about Beyond Philosophy on their website here.

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