Language Engineering 101 for Your Guest Experience

Every. Word. Counts.

Language underlies all other components in creating powerful Guest Experiences. Yeah, words are that important. Consider:Every Word Counts

  • Your efforts to have everything “just so” won’t be experienced as perfect unless you also use the right language in engaging your Guests
  • Even the most well-intentioned and well-trained team members can alienate Guests if they use the wrong language
  • When things don’t go like they were planned, the right words can be your best ally

If you haven’t given much thought to choosing and using your church’s language – what your staff, volunteers, signage, emails, texts, tweets, voice mails, and website should say (and never say) to your Guests, don’t you think it’s time?

  • Establish a Consistent Style of Speech – identify and implement an appropriate style of speaking throughout your organization
  • Create a Lexicon of Preferred Language and Phrasing – study the language that works best with your Guests, and identify harmful phrases that should be avoided
  • Choose Language to Put Guests at Ease, Not Confuse Them – make it your mission to avoid and condescending or coercive language
  • Concentrate your Language Efforts on the Key Guest Moments – focus your language efforts on moments that are known to remain vivid in memory: hellos (make yours unusually warm and personal) and good-byes (make them wonderful)
  • Sometimes No Words are Best – align your team to the value of listening
  • Words Have Their Limits – remember that verbal and physical cues speak louder than words
  • Show, Don’t Tell (and Don’t Ever Just Point) – don’t give Guests verbal directions; physically lead them where they need to go
  • Phone and Web Language and Communication Pointers – go out of your way to be as human, friendly, and personal as you can

Remember that the first impressions of your Guests are being made in the every day, day-to-day conversations with your Guest Experience Team – before they are exposed to the highly scripted worship service music and sermon. They are the first impressions, and those are the impressions they tell others about. It bears repeating:

Every. Word. Counts.

 

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