Understanding Your Guest Experience Ecosystem

One of our favorite vacation spots is at the beach – not the glitzy, 24/7 world of neon lights, endless traffic, and crowds, but instead a quiet, sparsely populated beach where the beauty of sand and sea oats takes center stage.

The beach we stayed at was located right next to a large state park containing hundreds of acres of salt marsh. I took a little time to explore the park and was reminded that what looked like a soggy wasteland was actually a critically important ecosystem. The marsh is located between land and salt water and contains dense stands of salt-tolerant plants that support animal life and are essential to the nutrient supply of coastal waters.


It would be a simplistic and tragic mistake to assume that what was not really habitable or useful to one species (mankind) was actually an important link in the whole food chain – including man.

The natural ecosystem of the salt marsh is an instructive example of a parallel system: the Guest Experience ecosystem.

A Guest experience ecosystem is complex set of relationships among an organization’s team members, partners, and guests that determines the quality of all Guest interactions. It is the single most powerful framework of diagnosing and then fixing guest experience problems in ways that make the fixes stick over time.

The simple truth is that if you have Guests, you have a Guest experience ecosystem. And if you are struggling in small or big ways with Guest experience problems, something has gone wrong with the complex and interdependent relationships that comprise your Guest experience ecosystem.

Solutions to Guest experience problems that aren’t clear from the inside-out perspective of most team members can become obvious once you look at the problem from the Guest’s perspective – from the outside in.

If you take that perspective, you will take the time to understand the complex, interdependent relationships that make up your Guest experience. You will begin to understand what needs to change and who has to be involved in the change. You will even begin to understand how to bring disconnected parties in your Guest experience ecosystem together and fix problems that previously looked unsolvable.

Are you trying to solve Guest experience problems without understanding your Guest experience ecosystem?

It’s time for you to understand your Guest experience ecosystem by understanding the disciplines of Guest Experiences.

Part 5 of a multi-part series based on the book Outside In

Outside In

These posts “translate” the world of customer experience to the language and setting of Guest Experiences in the church.

>> Part 4


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