Benchmarking: Guest Experience
Yesterday we started a conversation about benchmarking. The organizations you are learning from and focusing on set the pace for your team. What if we stopped looking at what the church down the street (or across the country for that matter) and attempted to find other “benchmarks” for our leadership teams to focus on.
So what about your guest experience? When people arrive at your weekend services what sort of environment are they greeted with? We often think that the teaching holds so much weight with people in the experience . . . but, in reality, people are looking for reasons to not come back next weekend from the moment they get out of the car.
The top of the heap in my mind on the whole “guest experience” front is the team at Granger. They are doing an amazing job crafting first impressions that go the distance. They have a bunch of resources that you can access to learn the lessons they’ve learn like seminars, a blog, a book or two, and the list goes on.
Granger is the top of the heap. But are they the right benchmark?
What if we didn’t benchmark against these guys and bench marked our guest experience against Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. (Stay with me . . . I know it seems like an obvious choice.)
WDW is the world’s premier resort destination with millions upon millions of guests visiting every year. They have literally spent billions of dollars on developing environments second to none. (Bigger, brighter and more “irresistible” than anything that a well funded gigachurch will ever be able to build.)
But you know what people write on the thousands of “thank you” notes that they get every week? It’s not about how amazing the latest 100 million dollar ride is . . . it’s about an amazing interaction between a guest and a member of the Disney team. How they helped them find their car at the end of the night . . . or how they made a special accommodation for a child . . . simple human interactions . . .
Don’t miss that. These people craft amazing – once in a lifetime experiences – thousands of times a day – 365 days a year.
Something tells me that a pep talk with the ushering team before they start the shift isn’t going to create those kinds of experiences for your guests – week in and week out . . . What if our host teams stared closely at what the folks in Florida are doing and applied those lessons to this weekend? I don’t mean starting to have large stuffed characters of your teaching pastor walking around the foyer . . . but I mean learning from the hard headed operations behind acquiring, training, and motivating your host team.
Want some resources?
Lee Cockerell is the recently retired grand po-bah of operations and such from Disney and he wrote a book. But if you are don’t want to spend that money he has great insights on his blog too. I also found an interview of Lee that was fairly insightful as well. If you’ve got the big bucks in your training budget why not take in a course in quality service on site at WDW?
What about you? Who do you look at when you consider the guest experience at your church? Who are you benchmarking against? Let know by leaving a comment now!