Guest Experience Transformation Priorities

In the prior 8 posts of this series, I have been “translating” the work of Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine’s book “Outside In” from the business world of customer experience to the church world of Guest Experiences.

Along the way, I hope you have seen that this is not a one-shot quick-fix deal, but a journey to excellence. The key element – the 6 disciplines of Guest Experiences – must be embedded in all your Guest experience practices.

The decision you face next is what to tackle first, second, or third, not what to do or not to do.trash can

Transformation of any type is not as simple as a one-size-fits-all prescription. I’ve found that the only place one-size-fits-all is the trashcan!

Instead, here are two overarching approaches for setting priorities. The first is to build out one or more disciplines where you’re already strong, and the second is to shore up the disciplines where you’re weakest.

Build on Strengths

When deciding to build on strengths, realize that “strengths” is a relative term. Because each of the 6 disciplines consists of multiple practices, it’s unlikely that you’re systematic or even repeatable (remember the 4 adoption levels?) at every practice in any discipline. But if you see that you are systematic – or close to it – for most of the practices in a discipline, you have an opportunity: Press into that discipline and master it, and then use it as a lever to move your organization toward adoption of the other disciplines.

Shore Up Weaknesses

Instead of capitalizing on one or two relatively mature disciplines, you may choose to develop one or two exceptionally week ( or non-existent) disciplines that hold back your other efforts.

Even a single weak discipline can hold you back because there are natural dependencies among the disciplines. For example, Guest experience strategy sets the overall direction for everything else you do. If you’re at the Missing or Ad Hoc levels for the four practices in the strategy discipline, you’re just wasting effort everywhere else.

Transforming your organization from its current level to one of WOW! Guest Experiences is a major undertaking. It will take a long time to reach the Sustain phase – and even then, you’re not “finished”. As shown in the Reinvent phase, improving Guest experiences is a constant journey, not a project. The people you are trying to reach – your Guests – are a work in process, and they are constantly changing as well.

Moving to WOW! Guest Experiences at your church is a journey that has a beginning but not an end.

That journey is made possible by the last post of this series – the people you have serving on your teams.


Part 9 of a 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 8


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