Satisfied customers tell three friends…angry customers tell 3,000.
The title of the book by Pete Blackshaw captured my attention and I wondered: Is this true for churches as well?
Blackshaw’s work documents how the balance of power for today’s businesses has shifted – the consumer is now in control. In the world of Consumer Generated Media (CGM) via Instagram, blogs, YouTube, social networking sites, etc. a single disgruntled customer can broadcast his opinion to millions and derail a company or undermine a global brand. Companies can’t ignore CGM, and have nowhere to hide. According to Blackshaw, the only response is creating 100 percent credibility by establishing:
- Active Listening
- Positive Affirmation
I know this is a business book, but the more I get into it, the more I find application for churches. Here are a few questions I have:
- Are churches impacted by consumer-to-consumer communication?
- Do churches have reason to be concerned about what people are “saying” about them?
- How can churches find out if CGM is going on?
- How can churches make positive use of CGM?
What do you think? What can you add to the conversation?
Does the word “consumer” bother you when used in the context of ChurchWorld?
If you view a consumer strictly in the language of business, it can be offensive when used in the context of church. Who wants to be a part of consumer mentality where the object is to satisfy the wants (both stated and unstated) of individuals? Who wants to focus on telling people what they want to hear? Who really enjoys enabling a selfish, me-first attitude. Not you, right?
Go look in the mirror.
Standing before you is a consumer – whether you like it or not. You are a consumer: you have daily or weekly food needs that are satisfied by the grocery store or a restaurant. You need clothing – provided by a variety of stores. You have cash coming in and going out, so you need the financial services of a bank. The house or apartment you live in requires maintenance and upkeep, so it’s off to the local home improvement store. When you have leisure time, it’s off to the movie theaters, or downloading the latest movie, or maybe taking in a concert. For birthdays and certain holidays, there are gifts to buy for your loved ones. Parents with kids in school have multiple occasions to buy this book or that resource in order to meet the requirements. And on and on and on… The fact is, we consume. (too much, but that’s another story altogether)
Guess what? The people coming to your church – for the first time or the fifteenth time – are consumers too.
Ignore that fact, and your guests will come once – and never return.
Recognize that fact, take appropriate actions, and you will soon have guests who become regular attenders who become involved members.
Are you ready for the journey to WOW?