Saturday, June 13, 2009

The customer's always right

From Tidings Online-

In my consulting work with churches, time and again I see the cumulative impact of poor customer service:

---Uninterested ushers.

---Parishioners who form tight circles.

---More attention paid to setting the table than to greeting guests.

---Fussy liturgy designed for insiders.

---Facilities with poor signage (or Web sites).

---Congregants fighting each other.

---Music that pleases only the trained musician.

---Clergy who don't call --- the list is long.

When I ask former congregants why they worship elsewhere or stay home on Sunday, that's the list they recite, detail by detail. Some were hurt, some were offended. Some said, "Who needs this?"

It wasn't doctrine or change that drove them away. In a world of many choices, the quest for faith simply won't tolerate poor customer service. People stay where they are treated well --- and leave where they aren't.

Pay attention to details, I tell church leaders. Look at how you respond to visitors, for example. Reconsider the maze you impose on anyone asking for care. Watch people's faces sag as they sit through worship. Don't let the prickly long-timer force you to stick with methods that clearly aren't working.

Be customer-driven, not provider-driven, I tell them. Visit a successful church and see lively gathering spaces, helpful signage, friendly greeters, cheerful atmosphere, worship designed to help people worship, leaders who are excited and not dodging bullets --- that list is long, too.

More here-

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