Guest Experience #2 – Clarify ‘What Is?’

Define ‘What Is?’ — Self Evaluation

In my last post I started working through “The Strategic Process” by exploring the guest experience. The premise of the strategic process is based on the book “Being Strategic” by Erika Andersen.

The Strategic Process includes Five Steps:

  1. Define the Challenge
  2. Clarify ‘What Is?’
  3. Envision ‘What’s the Hope?’
  4. Face ‘What’s in the Way?’
  5. Determine ‘What’s the Path?’

So far, we have been able to Define the Challenge here.

Now let’s Clarify ‘What is?’  In this step we want to evaluate where we are right now. This is an honest assessment of our current resources. It is also our opportunity to identify what we are doing right now, what we aren’t, what’s working, and what’s not. One tool we can use to do this is to utilize the acronym, S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

Emotionally, this is probably one of the hardest steps. It can be very difficult to be totally honest with ourselves, and it’s easy to feel discouraged when facing what’s not really working well. This is where we can be very tempted to cheat the process by not being fully self disclosed. It’s also a great opportunity to set the stage for true change.

In Clarify ‘What Is?’ we will follow three guiding principles:

  • Become a ‘Fair Witness’   (try to be objective in your evaluations)
  • Pull Back the Camera   (look at the big picture)
  • Sort for Impact   (identify what is most relevant to your problem and it’s potential solution and organize them into groups when possible)

Enough talk. Let’s tackle our hypothetical problem and move to step two in the process: Clarify ‘What Is?”

NOTE: The below ideas are completely hypothetical and do not represent the actual ‘What Is?’ for Elim Gospel Church or any other church that I am aware of. Also, this list is a very basic list and does not fully represent what the list would actually look like if several team members sat down to this discussion in a lengthy brainstorming session.

Define ‘What is?’ S.W.O.T. analysis:


  • We have a welcoming facility with good, clear, signs.
  • We have an awesome worship ministry that is contemporary, professional, and Spirit led.
  • We have a nice welcome center in our lobby.
  • Our ushers greet everyone as they arrive to church every morning in a friendly way.
  • We do not have anyone greeting people at the door or helping visitors when they arrive.
  • Our services are not very visitor-friendly.
  • The messages tend to be full of a lot of christianeze and often presume that everyone is already a believer.
  • We have no way of identifying who our visitors are and getting info from them for the future.
  • We do no follow up with visitors.
  • Signs outside the building are not clear. 
  • We do not have any visitor parking areas.
  • We just purchased several books with great ideas to help us along.
  • Mary Smith recently expressed a strong interest in helping in this area.
  • There are already a number of visitors who have come through our church who may have expressed a negative opinion to their friends/neighbors about us.
  • We don’t have anything allocated in our current budget to develop this important area.
Go To “Guest Experience #3: Envision ‘What’s the Hope?'”

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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