I’ve not yet had the privilege of staying in the famous Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. However, it is on my bucket-list to experience this hotel’s legendary reputation for customer service. Recently I had a businessman in our church return from the Broadmoor and give me a copy of the Broadmoor’s 16 Service Standards. Though not all of them are transferable to local church ministry, 10 of them spoke loudly to me. So, I thought I would make a few minor adjustments and teach them to the Southern Hills Team and Southern Hills Volunteers.
Make eye contact, smile, and greet the person immediately.
Imagine what it’s like walking into your church for the very first time. “You’re an outsider in this land of churchy, god-people.” Something has been telling them all morning, “you just don’t belong with these people. It’s a BIG mistake to even walk into that building.” Then they pull into your church parking lot and see the beautiful welcoming smile of a parking lot attendee. “Hello! Welcome back to Southern Hills. We are so glad to see you.”
Use the person’s name.
After the guest parks their car they head over to main entrance. Standing there is a trained greeter with the gift of face recognition and name recall. “Hey there! Good morning and welcome to Southern Hills. How long have you been attending the church?” “This is my first time,” responds the guest a bit tentatively. “Alright! You’re going to love it here. My name is Jenna. What’s your name?” “Oh, my name is Austin.” “Welcome Austin! Let me show you around.” After the guest finds his seat Jenna strategically jots down the name “Austin” on her notes app. She is now ready to call him by name as he leaves that morning and every time he returns in subsequent weeks.
Escort the person to their requested location when possible.
I am so very comfortable at Disneyland. Even when it is extremely crowded. Primarily because I have been there so many times I know the place like the back of my hand. I get nervous when I walk into an amusement park that I’ve never before visited. I grab the park map and stick to it like its inspired scripture. This is why Walmart has a similar layout regardless if you go shopping in Birmingham or Portland. It feels so comfortable to know where you are going. So, how can you create a sense of comfortability when someone has never experienced your church (or any church)? Provide them a friend who can show them around. This is why we have trained guest hosts who are assigned to look for “newbies” and offer to help them check in their children to Kidopolis, find the restrooms, and find seats in the auditorium.
Immediately approach a person who seems to be lost and offer help.
An observant team member will not simply look for those who are regular attenders but will strategically look for the person who appears lost or confused. No one likes to feel confused. But there are people who come to our church every week who are genuinely confused about where they are going and what is happening next. Be the person who brings comfort to the lost sheep.
Take “ownership” of a person’s problem. Ensure the matter is resolved and that the person is satisfied with your solution.
Throughout the week every team member on our staff, every deacon on our board, and every small group leader in our ranks are approached with problems from those they lead. The temptation is to hear the problem and pass it on to someone else to fix. DON’T DO THIS! Once you hear of the problem it is your problem to solve. It may be that you are not the perfect person to give the solution but you are the perfect person to get them to the solution. If someone has a question about a Teen activity, don’t simply tell them to call the Youth Pastor. Follow up the next day to make sure they have actually spoken with the Youth Pastor and feel completely satisfied.
Follow up on questions, even when it is not a duty of your department.
Similar to the rule #5, it is important to follow up on the questions that are asked even if they don’t fall in your area of responsibility. If someone asks about church membership, don’t simply give their phone number to the Connections Director. Walk them through the registration process yourself, make a note to call them seven days later, and then follow up later to see if they are excited about the upcoming class.
Never say “I don’t know” always say “I’ll find out”.
The awkward feeling that accompanies unpreparedness is embarrassment. We all hate to look uninformed and unorganized. Therefore, the most natural response to a question in which you don’t know the answer is to declare, “I don’t know.” This answer shifts the embarrassment from your shoulders to the organization. You don’t look bad, the organization does. However, the unselfish teammate will help the organization and the questioner by helping them find the information they seek.
Avoid negative expressions like: “That’s against our policy.” Or “That’s not my job.”
These are lazy statements. They indicate that the team member is more interested in policies than people, more concerned with personal entitlement than guest experience. The church team member should continually project a spirit of positivity and a servant’s spirit that reflects the heart of the Lord Jesus.
Never appear hurried, even if you are very busy.
People are not impressed by how busy you look. People are impressed by how much time you are willing to invest in tier concerns and needs. We are all very busy. (If you are not busy, please see Pastor Fred immediately for new assignments). To appear hurried gives the impression that you are too busy to help someone in need. This is a great mistake for there are continually lost souls whom the Lord will bring across our paths. We must always be ready to reach out with love and compassion. Here we must follow the lead of our Lord who had plenty of time for Zacchaeus, Nichodemus, the Rich Young Ruler, and the Woman at the Well.
Keep the church spotless! If you see something that’s out of place, pick it up!
A piece of trash, an empty water bottle, or an overflowing toilet just became your #1 responsibility. When you see something out of place – take care of it immediately. This is not a time to declare your position on the organizational chart. This is a time to lead by example and clean the facility the Lord has given to us. If there is a continual problem in one specific area, a report should be filed with Pastor Jason.
I believe our church can learn a few lessons from this world-class hotel. We have the privilege of representing the Kingdom of Christ to a lost and needy world. Is our calling any less significant than those who serve at the Broadmoor? I think not. If we are able to enhance the guest experience of each person who walks into our church we will then be on better footing to give the Gospel of Christ and watch souls receive the grace of God. A person is much more likely to return to our church if they feel welcomed, informed, comfortable, valued, and important. The more they return to our church the more they will learn of the Gospel. The more they learn of the Gospel the more opportunities they have of receiving Christ as Savior.
What are your thoughts? What have I missed? What else can church do to make people feel loved, valued, and welcome? Please comment in the thread below and I will attempt to answer each.
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