Did you know?
- Disney Imagineers have gone as far as wearing padding on their knees to crawl in and around the parks at Disney World. Why would they do that? They did that just to see and experience the parks through a child’s perspective.
- I know a few people that work for Disney and they explained to me that every employee is trained in “guestology”. To Disney, the guest experience is an art form. They learn who the guests are and what they expect when they visit. It’s a standard part of each cast member's job description.
- The guest services team set up incognito “listening posts” all around the parks to capture candid feedback about guest impressions.
The church should do more of this. Maybe not to the extent of crawling around the auditorium on kneepads but at least care about what guests say about us. We need to become guestology experts!
According to Disney Institute’s book “Be Our Guest”, “Guestology is the work of learning who your customers are and understanding what they expect when they come to you. Guestology techniques include surveys, listening post, focus groups utilization studies, and most important, the feedback Guests give to employees.”
Your audience will always keep changing. Why? Because people change. You’ll never be able to learn enough about them and its ok! We want to encourage you to be consumed in finding new ways to adjust your perspective to see through the eyes of not only first time guests but everyone that sets foot in your church. We want to share with you a few practical tips to apply to your study on the art of guestology at your church.
Research - Use Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social sites that are out there. Look up your church’s name, pastor’s name and hashtags and see what you find. Researching through these outlets will help you discover what people are saying about you when they are not in the building.
Enlist - In the telecommunications industry, this is called “secret shopping”. You basically go into a retail location as a ‘customer’ to gain perspective on how your company and its competitors run the show. How can the church do this? Invite people to you church who don’t usually attend, to visit a service or event. Also, you can even have them look through your bulletin and have them give their opinion. (Note: We all have opinions that we want to show, especially when there are no strings attached.)
Surveys - The infamous survey. Surveys are effective and can help you get honest feedback about what works and what doesn’t. There are different ways you can survey – online forms, connection cards, blogs and even polls on social media.
Join in – One of the greatest leadership principles we strive towards is – Walking Slowly Through the Crowd. This is probably the easiest thing you could do to gain perspective into your church’s ever changing audience. It’s about people and when you go where the people are you will definitely gain a greater perspective of the people you are serving. (Note: Watch the shows they are talking about, eat at the places where they eat – this can also help you understand their life and connect with them.)
How have you promoted the Art of Guestology within your ministry?
Share with us what has worked and what hasn’t worked for your ministry.