Have You Achieved Enlightenment in Your Church’s Guest Experience?

Part 3 of a 4-part series exploring Beyond Philosophy’s Customer Experience Orientation, as applied to Guest Experiences in Church World

Enlightened Orientation – a church that has recognized the need for a holistic, coordinated, and deliberate approach to the Guest Experience. It is proactive in nature towards the Guest and orchestrates emotionally engaging Guest Experiences. It stimulates planned emotions. Research shows that approximately 22% of organizations exhibit an Enlightened Orientation.

The Enlightened church understands the importance of the Guest Experience and has thus achieved enlightenment. It has converted from being reactive to proactive to Guest demands. It has understood the critical nature of defining the Guest Experience it is trying to deliver. It has spent time discussing it at the senior team level and agreed on a Guest Experience statement which has been communicated to all team members. It realizes that over 50% of every Guest Experience is about emotions and therefore has embedded new processes into its Guest Experience, which are planned to deliberately evoke emotions. Enlightened churches recognize that Guests have emotional expectations, as well as physical expectations, and plan to exceed both.

The Enlightened church has formal methods to ensure that people spend time with the Guest. This applies from the most senior team leaders all the way through the organization. The leadership walks the talk and sets the standards regarding the Guest Experience.

The Enlightened church has taken actions to coordinate and align its Guest Experience. Typically, it has established a high-level leadership position (paid staff or volunteer) along with dedicated team leaders. It also seeks out team members who have an awareness of and demonstrated use of emotional capabilities. The Enlightened church has recognized that an organization’s culture impacts the Guest Experience.

There are a number of key things that change over at the crossover point from Transactional to Enlightened. A number of these are attitudinal, from reactive to proactive, from “inside out” to “outside in,” and from physical to “physical and emotions.”

The Enlightened church knows what emotions it is evoking at each stage of its interaction with a Guest. It has spent time in defining the emotion it wants to evoke, and it has planned these into the design of the Guest Experience.

An Enlightened church has a different attitude to the Guest from the Naïve or Transactional church. The Guest is very much in the lifeblood of the Enlightened church. It does things for the Guest without a second thought. It intuitively knows what to do.

What does an Enlightened church need to do to Revolutionize Their Guest Experience?

  • Consider the senses they are going to use
  • Build senses into the Guest journey mapping
  • Define how they are going to stimulate the senses
  • Look at using theater and entertainment as a method for providing a great Guest Experience
  • Provide training in acting techniques
  • Understand Guest sensory expectations
  • Gain real alignment of the people, the culture, and the Guest Experience
  • Look to create captivating and memorable Guest Experiences
  • Review processes regularly
  • Involve the Guest in designing

Next time: The Natural Orientation


For more information on this subject, check out Revolutionize Your Customer Experience by Colin Shaw, pp. 19-20; 127-147

You can also find more information at Beyond Philosophy’s website.