4 Guest Experience Core Competencies

Last year the Temkin Group published an update to one of their reports defining one of their fundamental frameworks, The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies. This report lays out the building blocks for customer experience success. This topic is so important that they are giving this report away for free – download it here.

Research by leading customer experience consultant Bruce Temkin shows that customer experience is highly correlated with loyalty. While any company can improve portions of its customer experience, it takes more than a few superficial changes to create lasting differentiation.

Organizations that want to become customer experience leaders need to master four customer experience competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Employee Engagement, Compelling Brand Values, and Customer Connectedness. To gauge your progress, actively use Temkin Group’s Customer Experience Competency and Maturity Assessment found in the free download here.

ChurchWorld leaders may not think of the term “loyalty” in relation to their Guests, but it is a very relevant concept.


On the fourth day of Christmas Guest Experiences, your Guest Experience peers give to you:

4 Guest Experience Core Competencies

  1. Purposeful Leadership: Operate consistently with a clear set of values.
  2. Employee Engagement: Align employees with the goals of the organization.
  3. Compelling Brand Values: Deliver on your brand promises to customers.
  4. Customer Connectedness: Infuse customer insight across the organization.

Here are some tidbits about each of these competencies, adapted slightly to apply to Guest Experiences in ChurchWorld. Be sure to download the entire report – free!

Purposeful Leadership

Just about every church has vision and mission statements floating around their hallways, website, and print materials. But when it comes to making decisions on a day-to-day basis, these documents are nowhere to be found. They play no role in how the organization is actually run.

Instead, organizations make decisions based on individual goals and objectives, a handful of hard metrics, and by making compromises across conflicting team agendas. And that’s the best case scenario! Usually decisions aren’t coordinated at all. That’s why churches need to (re)introduce a clear purpose for their organization that speaks to why they exist and what sets them apart from 10,000 other churches.

Employee Engagement

Engaged team members (both paid staff and volunteers) are valuable assets. They trigger a “virtuous cycle” driving good Guest experience and superior overall results. Temkin’s research shows that engaged employees try harder, engage Guests, and drive positive results. The essence of this connection can be seen in this quote by Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines:

I never had control, and I never wanted it. If you create an environment where the people truly participate, you don’t need control.

Compelling Brand Values

True brands are more than just marketing slogans—they’re the fabric that aligns all team members with Guests in the pursuit of a common cause. They’re what you believe about your organization. As Howard Shultz, president and CEO of Starbucks, once said:

Customers must recognize that you stand for something.

Customer Connectedness

In most companies, decisions are made with woefully little Guest insight. People often rely on their “gut feel” or outdated anecdotes about Guest needs, desires, and feedback. But any organization that wants to improve its Guest experience needs to embed deep Guest insight in every aspect of its operations.

Interested in measuring your organization’s progress,? Temkin Group created its Customer Experience Competency and Maturity Assessment. You can download a free copy of Temkin’s complete report, including the assessment, here.

How do you measure up?

inspired by and adapted from The Temkin Group, Bruce Temkin

The Temkin Group


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