Guest Experience – Do the Math

What is the value of your Guest Experience?

Go back and read the previous sentence again, this time attaching the mathematical meaning to the word “value.” That’s value, as in a numerical quantity that is assigned or is determined by calculation or measurement.

Dr. Len Berry, Distinguished Professor in Retailing and Marketing at Texas A&M, has developed a form of “experiential math” that was originally designed to focus on the specifics of service delivery. In the ongoing quest to translate customer service practices from the corporate world to Guest Experiences in ChurchWorld, I have modified Dr. Berry’s math just a little.

In order to demonstrate the intricacy and complexity of a Guest Experience in your church, consider the following three variables to be mastered and managed:

  • Guests’ expectations of what is about to happen
  • The outcome that actually does happen
  • Guests’ observations of everything that goes on in-between

The critical part of this formula is in the way you do the math. The three separate variables above don’t add up to a cumulative total. They are multiplied. That difference is crucial.

When you add 6 + 4 + 0, you get 10, no matter which way you arrange the order of the numbers. On the other hand, when you multiply 6 x 4 x 0, you get zero, regardless of the numerical sequence. When you’re adding, the presence of zero doesn’t change the total.

However, the complexity of your Guest Experience is like multiplication, not addition.

When one of the numbers (variables) is zero, it wipes out everything else, regardless of the other numbers involved. All three variables have to be positives for anything significant to be produced.

If you are going to manage the total Guest experience in such a way as to obtain a positive outcome, each variable must be positive in the eyes of your Guests. If just one significant variable leaves the Guest with a “zero,” guess what – the entire value of the experience is a zero.

Take a look around at your Guest Experience variables – and you do the math.

Special acknowledgement to Lewis Carbone’s Clued In for the original direction of Guest Experience Math


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