Customer Experience Lessons – Part 2 of 3

Last week I shared the first of three unique customer service experiences that can offer lessons to help you better prepare for the first-time guests God will send you.

Today, I’ll share my second experience.

Customer Experience #2
“Sorry, we can’t ship that.”

The Scenario:
After leaving the Nashville airport, my wife and I had a very enjoyable breakfast at a Southern biscuit place. The owner recommended we visit his other place, a gift shop offering homemade jams and jellies that they could ship anywhere in the world. My dad happens to love homemade jelly so we went in search of a gift, and found what I thought was the perfect gift basket that we could easily ship to North Carolina.

Or so we thought. The lady in the shop told me,  “Sorry, we can’t ship that.” They only shipped in certain small FedEx flat rate boxes and it was not possible to ship the gift basket. This was shocking — to my knowledge, FedEx doesn’t have a limit on the size of the box you can ship!

At the moment the lady in the shop refused to ship our gift, she represented everything about the business. It didn’t matter that I had met the owner at the restaurant. All the good will the owner had built up, it was torn down because of this one negative experience.

The Application:
Think about these folks who interact with your congregation: the person who answers the phone at your church office, the person who first greets your guests on Sunday morning, the person out doing a community service project. Whomever your guests meet for the first time, they represent EVERYTHING about your church.

The Bottom Line Lesson:
Remember that every person represents your church if they’re operating in an official capacity. Make sure they are properly trained.

Tune in next week for the final installment of this three-part blog series.

Your partner in ministry,


P.S. – To learn more about assimilation, click here for my resource The New Assimilation Seminar.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 80 church growth resources and 15+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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