10 Golden Rules for Guest Services

Guest services matters.  Mucho.  In fact, it's one of the most important components of seeing people have a great experience at your church. 

Great guest services doesn't just happen by chance.  It takes intentionality.

Here are 10 Golden Rules for guest services.  Train your guest services' team to live by these and you'll get rave reviews from guests.

Smile.  When you smile, it communicates to people that you are glad they're here and that you're happy to help them.  

I often ask guests for feedback from their experience at our church.  I remember one time, a guest responded that we did a great job helping them register and taking them to their child's classroom.  But they said the lady at the classroom door never smiled at them.  It was a great opportunity to remind our team how important it is to smile. 

Use their name.  The sweetest sound to every person is their own name.  As soon as you find out the person's name, use it in your conversation with them.  When you use a person's name, it helps them feel known and valued.

Walk don't point.  Always walk your guests to their room or destination.  First, this takes away their stress of not knowing where to go (even if you gave them directions, they are dealing with the stress of trying to remember and follow the directions).  Secondly, it gives you a few more minutes to spend with them as you take them to the location.

Make good eye contact.  Look at people, not past people.  When you are with a guest, really be with them.  Focus your time and attention solely on them.

Never say "I don't know."  When you are asked a question that you don't have the answer for, say "That's a great question.  Let me find out the answer and I'll let you know." 

Better yet, equip your team ahead of time with the knowledge they need, so they do have the answer.  Practically, this means giving them a cheat sheet that has information about ministries other than yours, a list of upcoming events, etc.

Don't make people wait.  Everyone hates to wait.  Monitor the wait times for check-in, pick-up, coffee lines, traffic flow out of the property after the service, etc.  Make wait times as short as possible. 

I have often gotten in a pick-up line in the preschool or elementary areas and timed how long it took me to get from the back of the line to the pick-up door.  If it is more than 3 minutes, we look for ways to shorten the wait time.  

Acknowledge the person as quickly as possible.  When you do have someone waiting in line, acknowledge their presence.  This can be as simple as saying, "Hi, glad you're here.  I'll be right with you."  This simple step will drop their stress level of having to wait in line.

Courtesy and respect.  Treat people right.  More than anything else, they will remember how you made them feel.  And the truth is, they will return based on how you made them feel emotionally.

Be positive.  Here's an example.  The check-in computers go down right in the middle of check-in.  You have switch over and write out security tags manually.  The attitude you display during this challenge speaks volumes. 


"I hate when this happens.  What a pain!  Okay.  We're going to have to write out everyone's tags by hand.  It's going to take more time, so everyone hang!"  


"The check-in system is offline for a few minutes.  So let's write out your security tags.  Let's have some fun.  Pick out your favorite color of pen and we'll use that to write down your name.  And look, I even added a smiley face for you on your tag because you've got a great smile."

See the difference?  A positive attitude can turn a stressful situation into a fun situation.

Take time to really listen to what they share.  This helps you learn about them and be able to mention specific details about them as you follow up.  Here's an example.  If you listen and remember that a new family has just moved from...say...Seattle...you can mention that the next time you talk with them.  This will show you are taking a personal interest in them.

I've made an infograph with these 10 Golden Rules that you can share with your guest services' team.  Download it now for free at this link