Friday, May 25, 2012

Start with Wow

I am really enjoying a new book just released by Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers called "Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World."  While the book hasn't made me think "hey, I would never have thought of that," his presentation is clear, simple, and motivating.  It makes me want to redouble my efforts to position both me and my congregation for maximum effectiveness in the online world.

But his very first piece of advice is rooted very firmly in the physical world: "Start with Wow."  He makes a simple point: in order to make an impact we need to 'wow' people.  He then breaks it down very simply.  When someone has an experience of us, that experience can either meet expectations, exceed expectations, or fail to meet expectations.  His point is simple: both failing to meet expectations and meeting expectations are "not wow."  Only exceeding expectations is "wow."

He then gives a mundane example: the lobby experience of someone visiting his company, Thomas Nelson Publishers (Mr. Hyatt is the Chairman of the Board and formerly the CEO).  How can a lobby experience be a wow?  The visitor's name tag could be pre-printed and waiting.  The visitor is called a "guest."  The receptionist offers a choice of water, soda, or freshly-brewed Starbucks coffee.

It made me think: how can we provide "wow" experiences at the church?  How can the greeters create a "wow" experience for a person entering the church?  What would make our coffee hour a "wow" experience for those who stay?  What would give the children "wow" experiences in the Sunday school?

His methodology is so simple: envision it and make a list.  What would it look like to meet a visitor's expectations?  What would it look like to fail to meet expectations?  What would it look like to exceed expectations?  Take that third list and make it happen.

Is it brilliant?  I don't think so.  But it has certainly motivated me.  My next officer meeting will address this simple topic: doing our best to ensure that people who visit our church come away with positive experiences that exceed their expectations.  I'm motivated to start with wow.  And that's just the first section of the book.  I can't wait to get to the rest.