The Do's and Don'ts of Guest Services

Don’t say “I don’t know” and leave a guest hanging.

Do say “That’s a great question. Let me find out for you.”


Don’t say “She can’t talk right now.”

Do Say “She’s currently teaching the kids. I’d be happy to let her know you stopped by and give her a message for you.”


Don’t say “No problem.”

Do say “It’s my pleasure.”


Don’t say “It's over there.”

Do say “I’d be happy to show you. Follow me.”


Don’t point or tell them where to do.

Do walk them to their class.


Don’t ignore them when they step into the line.

Do acknowledge them and say “I’ll be with you in just a minute.”


Don’t frown.

Do smile.


Don’t make guests wait in a long line.

Do have a separate area for guests to check in.


Don’t stay in your huddle of friends and ignore guests.

Do get out of your clique and talk to guests.


Don’t make them feel like they are a bother.

Do show genuine interest in them and answer their questions.


Don’t talk at them.

Do talk with them.


Don’t make them worry about their child being safe in your care.

Do explain your safety and security measures.


Don’t bend any rules for them.

Do make exceptions for guests (except for safety and security rules). If their two children of different ages want to stay together on their first visit, then allow it. 


Don’t ask first-time guests to join your volunteer team.  You will appear desperate and needy.

Do get to know them and down the road invite them to join the team.


Don’t be negative.


"The check-in stations aren’t working.  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 in there!"  

Do be positive.

"The check-in system is offline.  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."


Don’t put their child in an overcrowded room.

Do keep good ratios.


Don’t return their child with an unchanged diaper.  

Do change the diaper and put a sticker on it that says “I was changed.”


Don’t point guests out in front of a room or crowd. 

Do have key people approach them and make them feel welcome.


Don’t act like you are listening when really your mind is a 1,000 miles away. People can tell when you are “enduring” the conversation with them.

Do practice active listening and take a personal interest in what they are saying.


Don’t offend people by being short or abrupt with them.

Do treat people with courtesy and respect.

This is an excerpt from my new book - Be Our Church Guest. It will be available for purchase later in a couple of months.  Stay tuned.