If you are the person responsible to implement the “church welcome” strategy for new visitors, or maybe you’re in charge of church administration, then you probably have some sort of system in place to collect names, telephone numbers and other information from first-time visitors each week…
Maybe, during the announcements, you ask if anyone is visiting for the first time. If you’re really well organised, you probably have a team of people ready to distribute welcome packs to those who raise their hands. And maybe you invite the newcomers to get a free ‘Cappuccino-and-Love-Bomb-Cupcake-Combo’ at the church coffee shop after the service.
However it’s done, it’s vitally important to get to know these people a little and exchange names and contact details. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and if you don’t make a personal connection, you may never see them again!
Let’s assume you’ve secured the names and phone numbers of every first-time visitor. That’s excellent — well done! No doubt you and your welcoming team learned some things about them at the coffee shop: some of them have young children; others were recently widowed or divorced; several of them commented on the sermon or the music and more than a couple expressed interest in becoming a member of the church! Most of them promised they’d be back next week, but from experience you know that you’ll probably only see half of them again. You also find that many of the details escape you when you’re trying to complete the feedback reports that the church office needs on Tuesday morning at the latest…
This is where a ‘workflow’ from Kotive could come in really handy! Over that cappuccino, you direct each visitor to the church’s website and/or social media page. You ask them to spend just a couple of minutes of their time to complete a quick ‘Church visitor’ survey. They click on the link which guides them through the survey. (A spare tablet could come in handy for any older folk who may be standing their ground against the march of technology.)
The first page of the survey asks them for their contact details. It also asks a small handful of other quick questions including the date of their visit, who or what prompted them to visit the church, whether they’ll visit again and whether they’re new to the area. Once the form is complete, they hit ‘Save’.
With that information saved, they’re immediately given the second stage of the survey which asks how satisfied they were with various aspects of the church service. They’ll get an opportunity to say what they think could be done better, they’re asked whether they felt accepted and if they’d like someone from the church to visit them at home.
Again they’ll hit ‘Save’ before getting the third and final part of the survey which collects information about their family situation and asks whether they’re interested in becoming a member of the church.
You’ll have prepared an email beforehand that informs the visitor all about church membership and application procedures. Visitors who tick the ‘Church membership’ box are automatically emailed that information.
Each person’s fully completed survey triggers an email to notify the church admin. A link in that email takes you online where you’re asked to choose what to do with the information that’s been collected.
If the visitor has a house full of kids, you’ll probably want to notify the youth minister or the Sunday school principal (or both) so they can get in touch with the visitor to talk about what the church is doing for the younger generation. The minister may want to pay them a home visit, so he should be informed too. And in case of inappropriate submissions, you also have the option to ‘Send it to the trash can’. Once you’ve made your selection, you hit ‘Save’ and the workflow takes care of the rest.
All the information is saved securely and you can access it by logging into your Kotive account. If you want to, you can quickly and easily set up the workflow to update your Google contacts automatically, add them to a MailChimp database and a variety of other services.
- The visitor is more likely to respond, being free to complete the survey either at the church or in the comfort of their own home.
- The Welcoming Team’s responsibilities are simplified, allowing them to relax with the visitor more and make them feel more welcome.
- Visitors’ details are captured more accurately and immediately made available to the church office. As a result, fewer visitors ‘fall through the cracks’.
If you’d like to spend more time getting to know new visitors, and less time worrying about the little details, then you can copy this workflow solution directly into your Kotive account for free.
The workflow is automatically copied into your account when you select it. Want to make one or two changes to fit your situation better? No problem!
Written by Stephen Bankart
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A tool to help your church welcome new visitors with efficiency and a personal touch #church #visitors #feedback