Most churches have guests...and in the average church most don't come back. Why not? There are many factors...some of which are out of your control. But there is one factor that you can improve...and in fact, it's the most critical one. Let's talk about it.
The latest report says 23% of Millennials...that's the young parents walking through your church doors...will not return to a place if they receive poor customer service. A key takeaway from the report reveals that emotions are a huge key in seeing people return. In other words, how you treat them and make them feel determines if they return or not.
Here's the bottom line. The #1 reason young families don't return to a church is because they didn't have a great first experience. You can follow up as much as you want, but it is basically useless without a great first experience.
Several years ago, I remember asking the pastor of one of the largest, fastest growing churches in the country this question.
"What do you do for follow-up?"
His response surprised me.
"Nothing. We create irresistible environments. Do that and they will come back."
I am thinking about another church that is currently one of the largest, fastest growing churches in the country. They have a "no-hassle guarantee." They tell people up front that they won't aggressively engage with them until the person is ready. Once the person engages (signs up for a class, asks for more information, etc.) then they actively connect with the person. It apparently works... last weekend they had over 40,000 in worship and over 30% of their church serves in some capacity.
Am I saying you shouldn't call people who visit your church, send them a letter, email them or contact them? Obviously not. But what I am saying is this. Focus on providing families with a great first experience and you will see many of them return and engage with your church.
If want ideas on how to improve in this area, these articles can help.