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Your Front Door?

Jay Hostetler, June 2, 2015

My wife and I recently spent a day visiting some care facilities for my mother-in-law who recently fell and broke her hip. What an experience!

Site 1—READY, SET, GO!  Impressive facility with hosts who had their eye on the front door. Within minutes we were in the office of a well-versed presenter sharing the values and costs of the facility followed by a tour highlighting the positive, engaging lifestyle and all the benefits that would coax us to consider this place as mom’s new home. It was well scripted and she gave us all of the pertinent materials.

Site 2—JUST GO AWAY!  Upon our entry, a highly perplexed lady at the front desk said, “It figures that you would come at a time when I am by myself with phone responsibilities and assisting with resident’s needs.” We observed as she handled a resident who requested assistance with her non-working room toilet. In her heightened frustration, I was almost ready to offer help! She was then willing to give us a brief tour, but the chance to win us over was minimized.

Site 3—THE OLIVE GARDEN   We were met at the door and welcomed by a pleasant lady. From the start, she spoke of the facility as a happy community (much like Olive Garden’s restaurant motto—“When you’re here, you’re family”) She identified that residents and staff were just that—a family. We soon toured the facility and realized it felt very comfortable. We visited a resident who spoke highly of the staff and the facility.

You can probably guess which facility we are pursuing. Site 3 was priced a little higher but their overall family feeling and positive front door person helped us make the decision.

What kind of first impression does your church’s front door present to guests? Do guests feel welcomed or do they feel like they are interrupting the normal activity of the space?  Are your front door people genuine? Are they busy, distracted or engaged with friends when guests arrive?

You might have the best ministry product to offer but your guests may not be able to overcome a sub-optimal experience at the front door. Have you evaluated your front and back door? Is it time for a secret shopper at your church?  

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