Monday, February 9, 2009

Church 2.0: Part 1

Originally, I was going to share some of the Web 2.0 and social media tools used effectively by my church, Eastlake Community Church, but then I realized they were also doing some other great things . . . marketing the church. Marketing is not quite the right word for it, but that's how I can relate it to how companies can take a lesson from them.

First Impressions
When you first arrive, you are warmly greeted, offered a hot drink and maybe even a snack. If you have kids there are programs for them to attend. If you have a baby, there's a private area where you can view services from and not worry about any crying. That's all you need to know until you enter the service area. Sometimes we make things too complicated by trying to accomplish too much in that first contact and end up confusing and losing customers.

Even the program adheres to the K.I.S.S rule:

Set Expectations
Making sure you let people know what to expect, regardless of what it is, often leads to better satisfaction. No surprises means less chance for disappointment or misunderstandings. If you're going to stick a six-inch needle into my hip as part of a medical procedure, I'd like to know that ahead of time so I don't freak out minutes before you do it. If a particular dish on the menu is going to take 45 minutes, tell me ahead of time so I don't get annoyed waiting for it.

Collect Information
In each program, there's a CONNECTIONcard that the pastor asks you to fill out and drop off in the collection bucket after the service. They want to know who you are, how you heard about the church, and what you're interested in. In order to make improvements and determine what your needs are, you need to collect data on your customers. I think it's a brilliant idea to combine the tithes and offerings with the collection of the CONNECTIONcards. There's a bit of peer pressure to drop something into the collection buckets, so if not an offering, why not some data about who you are?

Make it easy to share

I'm already at church, so why give me several postcards about the new series? So I can share it with friends and others, of course. Again, so simple: What, When, Where and Why. Once you have a customer, make it easy for them to spread the word.

Part 2: Focus on the Web 2.0 and social media tools the church uses effectively.


Anonymous said...

I recently attended the membership class at Eastlake and one of the other cool things about the Connection cards is they encourage all of their to fill out the card every week (though you can just do name, email, and check Member) so that new people don't feel like they're being singled out... but rather they feel like the odd one of they aren't filling it out encouraging them to do so.

Also, my wife and I invited her sister Julia to service a couple of weeks ago and I guess she listed us under Name of Person who invited you, because we got a Thank You postcard in the mail later thanking us for inviting Julia. Simple, but great encouragement to invite people.

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