There’s a grocery chain with stores near my house and work that I’ve boycotted on and off for the last several years. It has nothing to do with their politics, prices or selection. Instead it all comes down to customer service.
I’m reminded of a concept I first learned about from Phil Cooke. Basically anyone in your organization can be your brand at any moment.
Sometimes the brand at the moment for the grocery chain is the customer service worker who’s more focused on a conversation with another employee about the terrible upcoming work schedule than helping me as a customer. Other times, it’s the friendly employee stocking the shelves that helps me find something. Both experiences factor in to how I perceive this brand. And because it’s mixed, and the bad stands out in my mind more than the good, I often take my shopping dollars elsewhere even if it’s less convenient.
In a church setting, that means the way greeters act, volunteers help or preachers teach have an impact on how people perceive your church at that moment. It’s shaping their opinion of who you are.
As churches, it’s important for us to think about how we’re interacting with guests, and members, across all the touch points they encounter when spending time with us. How does your administrative assistant handle a phone call? Are your greeters actually greeting people or talking with their friends? Do volunteers at the welcome desk know what’s actually going on this weekend to help direct people to the right place? Are you being unnecessarily polarizing in the things you’re saying?
Everything you do as a church communicates something so why not be intentional about it? People are making impressions about your church based on their interactions with you whether you’re thinking about this stuff or not. So isn’t it better to do things with a reason? Wouldn’t you rather put your best impression forward for a guest? Don’t you want members to go to a church they’re proud to share with people?