I’ve been working with churches for almost twenty five years to help them reach people more effectively. But sometimes I wonder if my efforts are making any kind of a dent at all.
A good friend of mine doesn’t go to church. He’s not a fan and believes people who go to church are all just hypocrites. And he feels those who lead churches are the biggest offenders.
He runs a company that does commercial electrical work for large and small organizations, and recently told me of a large, multi-site church in a metropolitan city he did work for six months ago that still hasn’t paid him. Every time he asks about the outstanding invoice he gets another excuse, even when connecting with senior leadership.
“The check is sitting on the Executive Pastor’s desk– he just hasn’t had time to sign it…”
“We’re just so busy, but we’re planning to mail it soon… “
“It didn’t go out yet? Really? Um, I’ll have to check…”
Every time he asked over the course of six months, another excuse was given that eroded their credibility. He finally said he gave up trying to talk to anyone. “It’s not like they don’t have the money,” he said. “They’re opening up a third campus”
It doesn’t matter how much you spend on marketing, branding, promotions, or buildings to reach people if you can’t walk the talk.
This includes people who do work for you.
The whole idea of branding can be confusing for a lot of smart people. And it’s easy to see why with all of the different definitions floating around—is it what other people say you are? Is it your logo? Or the website & other promotional channels?
The simplest way to wrap our minds around this is to think of it as a promise we’re making of what to expect, and how well we consistently deliver on that promise.
This all comes down to the EXPERIENCE we’re offering. Are we who we say we are?
When we think of it as a promise, we’re in control—we manage the expectations and experience of that promise. If we allow others to define who we are, we’re constantly in a reaction mode.
This goes beyond what we say in bulletins, brochures, & billboards to what we actually do.
Everything else is just a channel for delivering on that promise.
Recently, I read an article about how United Airlines plan to improve its connection to passengers through technology… primarily mobile.
United has been my go-to airline for the past 13 years. The vast majority of my work has been here in the states, so to achieve Gold status—living in the middle of the country, no less—is no easy feat. I’ve had A LOT of experience with gate agents, customer service reps, & flight attendants. Some were good, most weren’t.
Technology isn’t going to help in the way they’re hoping. People are.
People who act like they care. That my problem matters to them & they’re willing to do whatever is within their power to help.
Technology (at best) is just an extension of the customer experience. Not the foundation of it.
Instead of investing in tech, invest in service training. Or better yet, in hiring & recruiting strategies that attract people who actually do care in the first place.
Whether in the marketplace or in ministry, the very people we’re hoping to serve get shortchanged when we elevate tools over training. Every. Time.