Giving your guests a better experience doesn’t take as much work as you think. Sometimes, all it takes is 18 inches.
A foot and a half. That’s about what it takes for a volunteer to move from the inside of the building to the outside. That’s the difference between standing behind a door and standing in front of a door. That’s the gap between a guest’s scary unknown and a greeter’s friendly face.
When a guest approaches your church for the first time, they don’t know what to expect. They don’t know the kind of greeting they’ll receive. And perhaps the most anxiety-inducing two seconds of their day will come when they pull open the front doors of your building to reveal what’s on the other side.
So why not kill the anxiety? Why not sweeten the experience? Why not give them a healthy dose of what they’re not expecting, which is that you did expect them?
So many times we think about Guest Services from the inside out: I need to have volunteers helping to find seats. I need to have people handing out worship guides in the lobby. I need to have somebody staffing the info table.
But what if we thought outside in? What if we started the guest experience where the guest’s experience actually starts? What if we drew a radius around our building and plan the day from the time their car leaves the main road?
It’s not convenient for our volunteers. Thinking outside in means they have to serve in the cold. And the heat. And the rain and the snow and the humidity. They’re going to have to give up their comfort for the comfort of others.
But when you can buy a guest’s comfort for the cost of 18 inches, I think we’d agree that’s a pretty smart trade.