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How To Know If You've Accomplished Excellence


Just because there is a Starbucks in every place known to exist, you might think that because of their monopoly they wouldn't have to care about the customer.

But I had a very interesting thing happen. I had ordered a Venti Americano and I went to sit down with a friend of mine for our meeting in the corner of the coffee shop. Just when I thought my drink might be ready, I went up to see if it was at the bar, and the barista was just finishing a big order and said that my drink would be right up. I was ok with that. I didn't complain or even make a sour face, I just went back to sit down. A couple of minutes later, my Americano arrived delivered to the table with a special note, apologizing for the inconvenience and welcoming me to a free drink during my next visit.

Wow, what a surprise! Starbucks cares so much about their customers experience that they are willing to do anything to make it right. This was the case even though myself, their customer, wasn't too put out. That didn't matter. They were put out. They measure their excellence not merely by the customer's reaction but rather by their own standards. They are the ultimate gauge of whether they have accomplished excellence -and they care.

As you think about your guest service and first impressions teams on Sunday morning, what are you measuring yourself with? What are your standards of excellence? Chances are you are not going to hear back from your guests whether or not you did a poor job. Therefore you need to establish certain success criteria so you know how you're doing.

Here are some sample criteria:

1. Volunteers - are they motivated? Do they arrive to their stations/responsibilities on Sunday morning on time?

2. You can ask your guests. We have a follow up website where we ask about their experience. We invite our guest's input. (http://bigcreekvisitor.blogspot.com/) If your guests will be honest with you, then you can certainly benefit from their input.

3. Cleanliness - construct a check list for your exterior cleanliness (i.e. trash in the parking lot) and interior (i.e. clean glass doors and windows, swept carpet)

4. Returning guests - as you track your guests, how many return? Of course people return or don't return to your church due to a lot of different reasons, some of them may not have anything to do with their experience. But if you have a low return rate, it should cause you to ask yourself some hard questions, why? What are we doing to contribute to their decision not to come back.

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