Are You Providing a Naive Orientation in Your Church’s Guest Experience?

Part 1 of a 4-part series exploring Beyond Philosophy’s Customer Experience Orientation, as applied to Guest Experiences in ChurchWorld. 

Naïve Orientation – a church that focuses on itself to the detriment of the Guest. It is “inside-out” either through choice or because it doesn’t know what it should be doing. Research indicates approximately 9% of organizations exhibit a Naïve orientation.

Naïve churches focus on themselves rather than the Guest Experience. They are reactive to Guest demands. They believe their programs or processes are more important than the Guest. Their attitude with the Guest is one of “Take it or leave it.” Their processes are totally focused “inside out,” doing things for the benefit of members, rather than “outside in,” which is changing the church to meet Guests’ requirements.

The Naïve oriented church is typically a siloed organization and struggles between the silos is rife.

Churches are in this orientation either because they are:

  • Unaware what they should be doing to build a great Guest Experience. They are not deliberately trying to cause a poor Guest Experience; it is simply that they do not know what they do not know. They are unaware of the impact their actions have on their Guest Experience. By definition they have not spent time thinking through the implications of what they are doing. This typically indicates they believe something else is more important than Guest Experience. Typically, this is taking care of members’ needs first and foremost.
  • Aware of their orientation but simply don’t care as Guests are a nuisance, and seen as a means to an end.
  • In this orientation “by default.” This means the church knows is should be focused on the experience it gives its Guests but something else always gets in the way. Something else is deemed more important.

If a Guest Experience is provided at all by Naïve churches, it is entirely physical. They have either failed to realize that they are evoking emotions (usually negative) or don’t care that they are.

Naïve churches do not consider the Guest. Nearly all of their processes are designed on the basis of what is good and convenient for the church. This means the Guest has to fit around them.  This “inside out” behavior shows apathy at best towards Guests and disdain at worst.

In Naïve churches almost 100% of all measurement is around the internal functioning of the church, with almost no Guest measures. Only the physical aspects of the Guest Experience are measured by many Naïve churches, leaving emotions and senses unrecognized.

If you were to look at a Naïve church’s organizational structure, it would be focused around program or ministry groups. Meeting agendas typically have no mention of the Guest on the agenda.

What does a Naïve church need to do to Revolutionize Their Guest Experience?

  • Change their attitude to Guests
  • Put themselves in the Guest’s shoes and see what it feels like
  • Realize that emotions account for over half the Guest Experience
  • Define the Guest Experience they want to deliver
  • Move from reactive to proactive
  • Understand all the elements that ultimately affect the Guest Experience
  • Define a plan on how to move forward
  • Look at all Guest Touch Points and define where the biggest problems are
  • Treat your team members well

Next time: The Transactional Orientation

For more information on this subject, check out Revolutionize Your Customer Experience by Colin Shaw, pp. 18-19; 91-107.

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