6 Essential Guest Experience Disciplines

All organizations routinely perform a set of sound, standard practices that result in a high-quality outcome. It’s true for your church just like any other organization. You don’t get up on Sunday morning and wonder how you will have a sermon that morning – or take care of children, or lead in worship. It’s a part of what your organization is, and does.

Organizations that want to produce a high-quality Guest experience also need to perform a set of sound, standard practices. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, in their book Outside In, have developed six high-level disciplines which can be translated into the Guest experience: strategy, Guest understanding, design, measurement, governance, and culture.

These disciplines represent the areas where organizations that are constantly great at Guest experience excel. If you want to deliver a great Guest experience, they are where you need to focus.

12DaysGE1

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

6 Essential Guest Experience Disciplines

Strategy – this is your game plan. It’s a set of practices for crafting a Guest experience strategy, aligning it with the organization’s overall attributes and brand attributes, and then sharing that strategy with team members to guide decision-making and prioritization across the organization. The strategy discipline is critical because it provides the blueprint for the experience you design, deliver, manage, and measure.

Guest Understanding – a set of practices that create a consistent shared understanding of who Guests are, what they want and need, and how they perceive the interactions they’re having with your organization today. This discipline includes research practices, analyzing the information you’ve collected, and documenting your findings. Guest Understanding provides a foundational level of insight that guides the rest of the disciplines.

Design – a set of practices that help organizations envision and then implement Guest interactions that meet or exceed Guest needs. Design weeds out bad ideas early and focuses your Guest experience efforts on changes that really matter to Guests.

Measurement – a set of practices that lets organizations quantify Guest experience quality in a consistent manner across the organization, and deliver actionable insights to team members. This discipline is key because it lets organizations understand the current state of the Guest experience they provide, uncover opportunities for improvement, and tract progress over time.

Governance – a set of practices that helps organizations manage Guest experiences in a proactive and disciplined way. This practice is essential because it holds the entire team accountable for their role in the Guest experience ecosystem. These practices range from  leader oversight to day-to-day coaching of frontline team members.

Culture – a set of practices that create a system of shared values and behaviors that focuses the team members on delivering a WOW! Guest experience. These practices include volunteer enlistment, socialization activities, and rewards. This discipline is perhaps the most powerful of all the disciplines because it embeds practices from the other five disciplines into team DNA.

Mastering the six essential disciplines of Guest experience takes time and effort but it’s something that you have to do if you want to succeed in connecting with and developing relationships with your Guests.

 

If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.

General Eric Shinseki, former Chief of Staff, US Army

inspired by and adapted from Outside In, by Harley Manning & Kerry Bodine

Outside In

 

The 6th Discipline of Guest Experiences: Culture

Organizations that want to produce a high-quality Guest experience need to perform a set of sound, standard practices. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, in their book Outside In, have developed six high-level disciplines which can be translated into Guest experiences: strategy, Guest understanding, design, measurement, governance, and culture.

An overview of all six Disciplines can be found here. These disciplines represent the areas where organizations that are consistently great at Guest experiences excel.

If you want to deliver a great Guest Experience, these disciplines are where you need to focus, too.  

Culture 

Now matter how solid your strategy is or how carefully you design your Guest Experience, it’s simply impossible to plan for every single Guest interaction at every last touchpoint. At some point, you need to put your trust in your organization’s most valuable resource – your team members – to do the right thing for Guests.

Building a Guest-centric culture is critical to your success.

How exactly to you get to this level of a Guest-centric culture? First, you overhaul your recruiting practices so that you get Guest-obsessed people on the front lines. Second, you need to socialize the importance of Guest-centricity through storytelling, rituals, and training. Third, you’ve got to reinforce new values and behaviors through informal and formal rewards. Finally, tie it all together with a steady cadence of communication that never lets team members forget why they’re doing all of this in the first place.

Measurement Practices

  • Screen candidates for Guest-centric values as a part of the recruitment process
  • Screen candidates for the specific skills needed to deliver on the organization’s Guest Experience strategy as a part of the recruitment process
  • Provide training to help new and existing team members build and maintain the skills they need to deliver on their part of the organization’s Guest Experience strategy
  • Communicate the importance of Guest Experiences to all team members and partners
  • Collect and share stories of Guest Experience best practices with all team members
  • Perform rituals and routines that reinforce the importance of Guest Experience and what it takes to deliver it
  • Use informal rewards and celebrations to highlight exemplary Guest-centric behavior
  • Connect formal reward structures to performance on Guest Experience metrics

Guest-centric values are the building blocks for reprogramming your organizational DNA. Behaviors are how you turn all of the other practices form the other five disciplines – strategy, Guest understanding, design, measurement, and governance – into habits that your organization just can’t kick.

Application to ChurchWorld

  1. You need to build a Guest-centric culture that pervades your church from bottom to top
  2. Recruit leaders of your hospitality teams for Guest passion and cultural fit
  3. Socialize the key behaviors required to deliver a great experience throughout your organization
  4. Reward team members to reinforce Guest-centric behaviors
  5. Solidify your Guest Experience efforts with constant communication about the “why”

Series Concluding Thought – Mastering these six essential disciplines of Guest Experience takes time and effort but it’s something that you have to do. If you want to succeed at connecting with Guests coming to your campus, you have to decide – right here, right now – to roll up your sleeves and do the work of building competence in these six disciplines. That may scare you – but what should scare you more is the thought of becoming irrelevant to your Guests – which is what will happen if you don’t take action.

To read an overview of the Six Disciplines of Guest Experiences, go here. To begin reading an in-depth review of each of the six, go here.

If you haven’t already, order your personal copy of Outside In right now. This is an excellent guide to developing a Guest Experience ministry in your church – one that you will refer to time and again. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine have done an amazing job of writing a business text that has immediate and far-reaching implications for your church. Go ahead and gift it to yourself for Christmas this year!

 

Want to know more about the Guest Experience in your church?

  • Learn why the Guest Experience matters here
  • Contact me here
  • Read up a little here

 

The 5th Discipline of Guest Experiences: Governance

Organizations that want to produce a high-quality Guest experience need to perform a set of sound, standard practices. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, in their book Outside In, have developed six high-level disciplines which can be translated into Guest experiences: strategy, Guest understanding, design, measurement, governance, and culture.

An overview of all six Disciplines can be found here. These disciplines represent the areas where organizations that are consistently great at Guest experiences excel.

If you want to deliver a great Guest Experience, these disciplines are where you need to focus, too.  

Governance

The word governance may bring to mind images of executives in closed-door meetings talking about compliance. Senior decision makers are important part of governance at many organizations, but governance isn’t about a committee that hands out edicts from the top floor.

In reality, governance models are as varied as the organizations they support.  Governance practices will help you drive accountability by assigning specific Guest Experience management tasks to specific people within your organization.

You need to use your insights and metrics to identify Guest Experience improvement opportunities and, as you put new programs into place, keep tabs on the progress of those initiatives.

Measurement Practices

  • Define a consistent set of Guest Experience standards across the organization
  • Include alignment with the Guest Experience strategy as a criterion for evaluating project funding and prioritization decisions
  • Include impact to Guest Experience as a criterion for organizational decisions about policies, processes, technology, and communications
  • Maintain a dedicated queue of Guest Experience improvement projects
  • Review Guest Experience program status and metrics regularly to monitor progress toward organizational goals, adjusting tactics or resource allocations if needed
  • Assign role-specific Guest Experience management tasks to team members as a requirement of their positions
  • Evaluate team member performance against role-specific Guest Experience metrics
  • Facilitate the necessary coordination across groups that share responsibility for a given experience
  • Whenever a change is approved to a policy, organizational process, or other system that affects the Guest Experience, proactively redesign that experience to reflect the change

The Guest Experience governance discipline is designed to help you adhere to practices that will consistently deliver a great Guest Experience. Your job is to decide the rules of your own game – the right Guest Experience governance model and policies for your organization.

Application to ChurchWorld

  1. Make Guest Experience Governance part of basic job responsibilities
  2. Find and fix Guest Experience problems
  3. Keep Guest Experience problems from happening in the first place
  4. Define a consistent set of Guest Experience standards

The governance discipline is all about intentional management and oversight.

I will be happy to discuss Guest Experience initiatives for your church and partner with you to design a WOW! Guest Experience.

Next: To help reinforce the rationale behind your governance practices and make sure team members actually adopt them, you’ll need to develop a Guest-centric culture.

Want to know more about the Guest Experience in your church?

  • Learn why the Guest Experience matters here
  • Contact me here
  • Read up a little here

The 4th Discipline of Guest Experiences: Measurement

Organizations that want to produce a high-quality Guest experience need to perform a set of sound, standard practices. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, in their book Outside In, have developed six high-level disciplines which can be translated into Guest experiences: strategy, Guest understanding, design, measurement, governance, and culture.

An overview of all six Disciplines can be found here. These disciplines represent the areas where organizations that are consistently great at Guest experiences excel.

If you want to deliver a great Guest Experience, these disciplines are where you need to focus, too. 

Measurement 

As the saying goes, “What gets measured matters.” Measurement practices take the guesswork out of managing your Guest Experience. It does this by capturing what actually happens in a Guest Experience, how the Guest felt during the interaction, and whether the Guest is willing to recommend your organization to others afterward. Measurements tell your team what’s going right (or wrong), what, if anything to do about it, and what impact your organization can expect as a result.

Measurement Practices

  • Define a Guest Experience quality framework that aligns with how Guests judge and experience and is consistent across the organization
  • Define the subsets of Guest Experience metrics that show how each group, role, and individual contributes to Guest Experience quality
  • Measure how Guests perceive their experiences with the organization based on the criteria in the Guest Experience quality framework
  • Collect descriptive metrics about each experience that provide context for Guest perceptions
  • Analyze Guest Experience metrics to determine differences in experience quality among key Guest segments, tasks,  or aspects of the experience
  • Model the relationship between drivers of Guest Experience quality, Guest perceptions of their experiences, and desired outcomes
  • Share Guest Experience metrics and models with all team members

The foundation of your measurements is creating a Guest Experience Framework. This framework strings together cause, effect, and outcomes into a coherent story for your organization. It’s a tool that helps you decide what to measure, how to measure it, and what your findings mean to your organization.

Your framework is structured around two tiers. The first tier will give you the big picture, a broad view of your overall Guest Experience. The second tier will capture perceptions of discrete, end-to-end Guest journeys – giving you details about the Guest’s specific experiences with individual touch points they encounter along the way.

Picking the Guest Experiences that you want to measure is half the battle. The second half of the battle is deciding how to measure those experiences. There are three types of metrics to use:

  1. Perception metrics measure Guest perceptions that exist only in the minds of your Guests
  2. Descriptive metrics consist of operational data about your Guests’ interactions
  3. Outcome metrics tell you what Guests intend to do – or actually did – after interacting with your organization

All effective measurement programs model the relationships between Guest Experience quality, the factors that drive it, and results.

The measurement discipline isn’t as glamorous as strategy or design, but it’s like rocket fuel for all your Guest Experience initiatives.

  • It drives interest in your programs by demonstrating results
  • It keeps people on track by connecting them to hard data about their effectiveness
  • It provides a reality check for the other Guest Experience disciplines

By identifying the things that matter most from the perspective of your Guests – and then identifying them systematically over time – you’ll know whether your strategy is on track, whether your Guest understanding is accurate, and how well the experience you designed is resonating with Guests.

Application to ChurchWorld

  • Measurement keeps Guest Experiences on track
  • Connect the dots across your measurement framework
  • Let measurement power your Guest Experience efforts

Want to know more? I will be happy to discuss Guest Experience initiatives for your church and partner with you to design a WOW! Guest Experience.

Next: How can your organization act on the insights you gained through measurement? The answer to that question is governance.

 

Want to know more about the Guest Experience in your church?

  • Learn why the Guest Experience matters here
  • Contact me here
  • Read up a little here

The 3rd Discipline of Guest Experiences: Design

Organizations that want to produce a high-quality Guest experience need to perform a set of sound, standard practices. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, in their book Outside In, have developed six high-level disciplines which can be translated into Guest experiences: strategy, Guest understanding, design, measurement, governance, and culture.

An overview of all six Disciplines can be found here. These disciplines represent the areas where organizations that are consistently great at Guest experiences excel.

If you want to deliver a great Guest Experience, these disciplines are where you need to focus, too. 

Design

Design isn’t just choosing the right images and fonts for your next website revision. It’s a problem-solving process that incorporates the needs of Guests, team members, and partners in your mission. It’s a way of working that creates and refines real-world situations.

Design is the secret weapon of organizations that gives them a strategic advantage in figuring out what services their Guests need and in defining the exact characteristics of every Guest interaction. Design helps you understand how a Guest accesses your website, what a Guest is likely to do as they approach your campus, and gives you clues about creating a welcoming environment.

Design is the most important discipline that you’ve probably never heard of.

The human-centered design process starts with research to understand Guest needs and motivations. It’s all those activities in the discipline of Guest Understanding. Analysis is next – synthesizing the data into useful forms. The next phase is ideation, which is just what it sounds like – coming up with ideas. After that, it’s time to prototype – ranging from a simple redesigned Guest survey to a full-scale mock-up of your typical Guest experience on the weekend. Next, these prototypes are put into action with real people while you observe the results. Finally, you must document the features of the resulting product or service that has evolved.

Design Practices

  • Follow a defined Guest Experience design process any time a new experience is introduced or an existing experience is changed in some way
  • Use Guest understanding deliverables and insights to focus and define requirements for projects that affect Guest Experiences
  • Engage Guests, team members, and partners as part of the experience design process
  • Use iterative ideation, prototyping, and evaluation as part of the experience design process
  • Identify the set of complex interdependencies among people, processes, and technologies that shape interactions with Guests (the Guest Experience Ecosystem)

The right Guest Experience changes, implemented the right way, won’t just fall into your lap. You must actively design them. This requires learning – and then sticking to – the steps in a human-centered design process.

I will be happy to discuss Guest Experience initiatives for your church and partner with you to design a WOW! Guest Experience.

Application to ChurchWorld

  1. Guest interactions need to be designed, not left to chance
  2. Design is an activity best done with people, not to them
  3. Prototyping can help keep ideas alive while you create buy-in

Design will stretch your skills and challenge your old ways of working.

Next: How do you know when your design work is having the effects you intended? That’s where the measurement discipline comes in.

Want to know more about the Guest Experience in your church?

  • Learn why the Guest Experience matters here
  • Contact me here
  • Read up a little here

The 2nd Discipline of Guest Experiences: Guest Understanding

Organizations that want to produce a high-quality Guest experience need to perform a set of sound, standard practices. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, in their book Outside In, have developed six high-level disciplines which can be translated into Guest experiences: strategy, Guest understanding, design, measurement, governance, and culture.

An overview of all six Disciplines can be found here. These disciplines represent the areas where organizations that are consistently great at Guest experiences excel.

If you want to deliver a great Guest Experience, these disciplines are where you need to focus, too. 

Guest Understanding

You need a set of practices that create a consistent shared understanding of who Guests are, what they want and need, and how they perceive the interactions they’re having with your organization today. This discipline includes research practices, analyzing the information you’ve collected, and documenting your findings. Guest Understanding provides a foundational level of insight that guides the rest of the disciplines.

Guest Understanding Practices

  • Solicit feedback from Guests about their experiences with your organization (through surveys or interviews)
  • Collect unsolicited feedback from Guests about their experiences with your organization (through mining calls, email, or social media posts)
  • Gather input from team members about their experiences with Guests and their role in delivering the Guest Experience
  • Conduct observational research studies in Guests’ natural environments
  • Analyze Guest insight drawn from across research techniques and organizational boundaries to identify key Guest pain points and opportunities
  • Document Guest Understanding in a way that is easy for team members to understand and use (through the use of personas, Guest Journey maps, etc.)
  • Share Guest understanding with all team members

Thinking you know what Guests want is risky. Knowing what they want leads to Guest Experience improvements that matter.

Guest Survey from Pearland Vineyard, Pearland, TX

Most organizations neglect to build a foundation of Guest understanding before they develop their service and experience strategies – and then proceed with costly initiatives. Where do most organizations miss the boat on understanding their guests?

  1. Team members often fall into the seductive trap of assuming that what they want is what Guests want
  2. Many organizations view Guests only through a numerical lens
  3. Many Guests use qualitative research methods inappropriately

The good news is that you can avoid these pitfalls by using techniques that will help you to understand who your Guests are, how they perceive the interactions they are having with you today, and what they want and need from you tomorrow.

If you want to harness the power of delivering a WOW! Guest Experience, you have to start with a complete picture of who they are and what they want from you. This picture will come into focus as you begin to analyze Guest data that spans multiple research techniques and organizational boundaries.

While you may have the in-house know-how to do some of these activities, you will likely need to partner with outside experts. They will be able to help you set up studies, ask the right questions, collect the right data, and synthesize the results into meaningful insights.

I would be happy to talk with you about how you can begin the journey to understanding and delivering  a WOW! Guest Experience every week at your church.

If you try to skimp on this part of the process – by continuing with assumptions about what you think Guests need and want – you’ll not only fail to create true Guest understanding, you will also put the rest of your Guest Experience practices at risk.

Guest insights ultimately drive your Guest Experience strategies.

Application to ChurchWorld

  1. What you think you know about your Guests is probably wrong
  2. You won’t find all your answers in a survey
  3. Document your findings in easy to understand formats
  4. Share your Guest insights early and often

Guest Understanding should become the foundation of all your Guest Experience efforts.

Next in the series: How understanding your Guests becomes the primary input into your Guest Experience design process.

 

Want to know more about the Guest Experience in your church?

  • Learn why the Guest Experience matters here
  • Contact me here
  • Read up a little here

The 1st Discipline of Guest Experiences: Strategy

Organizations that want to produce a high-quality Guest experience need to perform a set of sound, standard practices. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, in their book Outside In, have developed six high-level disciplines which can be translated into Guest experiences: strategy, Guest understanding, design, measurement, governance, and culture.

An overview of all six Disciplines can be found here. These disciplines represent the areas where organizations that are consistently great at Guest experiences excel.

If you want to deliver a great Guest Experience, these disciplines are where you need to focus, too.

Strategy

This is your game plan. It’s a set of practices for crafting a Guest experience strategy, aligning it with the organization’s overall attributes and brand attributes, and then sharing that strategy with team members to guide decision-making and prioritization across the organization. The strategy discipline is critical because it provides the blueprint for the experience you design, deliver, manage, and measure.

Strategy Practices

  • Define a guest experience strategy that describes the intended Guest experience.
  • Align the strategy with overall organization strategy.
  • Align the strategy with the organization’s brand strategy.
  • Share the strategy with all team members (distribute documentation, conduct training sessions, review and evaluate practices).

Great Guest experiences don’t happen by accident. They’re the result of countless deliberate decisions made by every single person in your Guest Experience teams on a daily basis. To align those decisions, team members and partners need a shared vision: a Guest Experience strategy.

Without that vision, team members are forced to set out on a random journey, and their decisions and actions will inevitably be at odds with each other despite all the best intentions.

You have a choice.

You can continue to let your team members wonder what they should do to improve the Guest Experience and flounder as they try to coordinate their own activities with those of other teams.

But the better path is to guide them toward a common vision and facilitate concerted efforts by crafting a Guest Experience strategy that clearly defines the intended experience.

Application to ChurchWorld

  1. Your Guest Experience must support your overall organizational strategy
  2. Your Guest Experience must align with your brand
  3. Your Guest Experience must be specific, clear, and memorable

Tomorrow: How to differentiate your Guest Experience in the minds of those you are trying to reach and impact.

Want to know more about the Guest Experience in your church?

  • Learn why the Guest Experience matters here
  • Contact me here
  • Read up a little here

Guest Experiences Focus on People

No matter how you look at Guest Experiences in a church setting, the people element is first and foremost.

A person or persons come to your place because they were invited, or just curious, or they are in a crisis in their own lives.

This person or persons encounter people at your place who extend to them a genuine, warm welcome.

Everything in the previous nine posts of this series is important, but in a true “saving the best for last,” people hold the key to Guest Experiences.

>> Your Guests

Creating personas and taking them through your Guest journey map is an important part of creating a WOW! Guest Experience, but never forget that the Guest who comes to your church is a real person with real feelings and emotions. Their perceptions are their reality. The Guest Experience you are creating will be their first impression of your church. It will also be a lasting impression.

>> Your Leaders

WOW! Guest Experiences will be achieved best when a compassionate leader with a passion for creating an extraordinary experience is tasked with leading all Guest experience efforts across the entire organization. The Guest Experience leader is a catalyst who will ignite the various components (people, place, and process) into a unified whole that will strive for consistent delivery of a WOW! Guest experience. The Guest Experience Leader is a 360-degree individual, exerting influence above, around, and below.

>> Your Teams

What kind of person serves on a Guest Services team?

Danny Meyer, founder and co-owner of eleven successful restaurants in New York City, writes the following about his staff:

The idea of someone giving 110 percent is about as realistic as working to achieve the twenty-six hour day. At our restaurants, we are hoping to develop 100 percent employees whose skills are divided 51-49 between emotional hospitality and technical excellence. These are 51 percenters.

A 51 percenter has five core emotional skills. If your team has these skills, you can be champions at the team sport of Guest Experiences. They are:

  • Optimistic warmth – genuine kindness, thoughtfulness, and a sense that the glass is always at least half full
  • Intelligence – not just “smarts”, but rather an insatiable curiosity to learn for the sake of learning
  • Work ethic – a natural tendency to do something as well as it can possibly be done
  • Empathy – an awareness of, care for, and connection to how others feel and how your actions make others feel
  • Self-awareness and integrity – an understanding of what makes you tick and a natural inclination to be accountable for doing the right thing with honesty and superb judgment

Your Guest Experience team members may not operate under the same pressures as the staff in a highly regarded restaurant. But if the CEO of a restaurant recognizes that the human beings who animate his restaurants have far more impact on whether they succeed than the food, the decor, or the location, I would say that is a lesson worth learning – and applying – at your church.

That’s a quick review of the People part of the Guest Experience at your church.

Bottom line: when in doubt, always default to people.

Outside In has been a great source of inspiration for my personal passion of Guest Experiences in ChurchWorld. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine and the great team at Forrester Research are to be commended for their ongoing excellence in the world of customer experience.

However, this series has just been an introduction to their concepts as translated to ChurchWorld. I plan to revisit the 6 Disciplines of Guest Experiences in depth very soon!

 

Part 10 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.

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

The 4 Adoption Levels of Guest Experience Disciplines

To proceed up the levels of Guest Experience maturity without mishaps, you need to understand your starting point. Specifically, you need a realistic assessment of your current adoption level of reach of the Guest experience disciplines.

You can think of adoption levels this way: the phases of maturity (Improve, Transform, Sustain, Reinvent) are like grade levels in school. Guest experience disciplines are like the courses you have to master in order to advance to the next grade, and adoption levels are like the marks you get for each of those courses.

It’s a rough analogy because your adoption level is a measure of how consistently you perform each discipline, not necessarily how well you perform it. To gauge how consistently your organization performs each practice on a continuum from not at all to all of the time, you’ll need to determine whether each discipline is Missing, Ad Hoc, Repeatable, or Systematic.

  • Missing – your organization doesn’t perform this discipline at all. If a practice is at this level it’s either because not enough people considered it important enough to do or no one thought of doing it in the first place. Regardless – it’s just not happening.
  • Ad Hoc – your organization performs this discipline sporadically. There is no defined process that specifies when it should be performed, how, or by whom. If you see the discipline performed, it’s because some people realize that it’s important enough to do at least some of the time.
  • Repeatable – your organization has a defined process that specifies when this discipline should be performed, how, and by whom. Your organization even follows the process most of the time. That means that people in your organization could perform the discipline consistently all of the time – they just don’t.
  • Systematic – your organization has a defined process that specifies when this practice should be performed, how, and by whom. The organization follows that process all of the time. There are some things that organizations do the same way every time to produce consistently high-quality results – just not very often in the realm of Guest experiences. You can get to this level with your Guest experience disciplines – you just have to want it badly enough.

Once you understand the four levels above, you need to establish your baseline level of adoption for each of the six disciplines. You’ve got two options for determining your adoption levels. You can take a top-down approach by conducting interviews and fact-finding workshops with the people who should be performing the disciplines. Or you can take a bottom-up approach by surveying your organization and asking their opinions on adoption levels. The top-down approach will give you more actionable results, but will also cost you more in time and money (assuming you use outside help – which you should).

Ultimately you want your entire organization to perform the same disciplines, the same way, every time. But when you first “grade” your adoption level you should do it by function – and when you get the results, expect to find that different areas of your organization will be at different levels of maturity.

Whatever you find when you determine your baseline levels of adoption, you’ll be able to set your priorities for moving forward – which is what the next post is all about.

Part 8 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 7