8 Ways to Exceed the Expectations of First-Time Guests

The first impression is a lasting impression.  And you only get one opportunity to make it.  If families don't have a good experience on their first visit to your church, they probably won't come back...no matter how much you "follow up" with them.

Here are 8 ways to not just meet, but exceed the expectations of your first-time guests.

Have a separate check-in area for guests.  Even though people are used to having to wait in line...they hate it.  Exceed their expectations by taking them out of the normal check-in line and give them an "express line" experience.

Give guests a gift.  They expect to get brochures and "information."  Exceed their expectations and give them a gift.  Want to really exceed their expectations?  Instead of giving them a "church-related gift" like a CD of the sermon, give them a gift that is non-church related like a Starbuck's gift card.

Walk them to their child's classroom.  They are used to being pointed in the general direction.  Exceed their expectations and "walk" them to the classroom.

Walk the parents to the adult service.  Do you want to really exceed their expectations?  Don't just stop at walking them to their child's classroom.  Take the next step and then walk the parents to the adult service.

Show genuine interest in them.  Good Children's Ministries are polite.  Exceptional Children's Ministries are personable.  You will exceed their expectations when you move beyond the "hello" at the door and take time to talk with them and get to know them.

Bend the guidelines to accommodate them.  Many times guests will ask for special accommodations such as allowing two siblings of different ages to be in the same classroom.  Unless their request violates your safety and security procedures, do your best to accommodate them.  When you look for ways to say "yes" instead of saying "no" you will exceed their expectations.

Remember their name and use it.  It makes an exceptional impression on people when you immediately remember their name.  Work on techniques that help you memorize people's names instantly.

Help them after the service.  Most guests aren't expecting you to go the second mile and help them after the service.  Exceed their expectations by being there to help them check out their children, answer questions, thank them for coming, etc.
What are some other ways to exceed guests' expectations?  Share your thoughts, ideas, and input in the comment section below.