X Marks the Spot – Lessons from a Pirate about Guest eXperience

When you hear the word “pirate,” several mental images will come to mind. Surely one of them has to be a treasure map marked with an “X.”


As referenced in last week’s post, Walt Disney’s 1950 movie Treasure Island had an enormous influence on popular perceptions of pirates – including the treasure map marked with a X.

No pirates tale is complete without a map indicating buried treasure; a map that contains many references and clues to the treasure. A treasure map can contain many elements – trees, beaches, mountains, rivers and maybe a skull or two, but the most important feature on a treasure map is a very simple mark. Everyone knows what it is and what it signifies and most people recognize it when they see it.

Because treasure maps are a very important part of pirate lore, a future post will take a look at them. But for now, remember that…

X Marks the spot

To pirates, that phrase undoubtedly caused excitement and anticipation, because it meant treasure could be found in that location.

But when it comes to Guest Experiences, the phrase takes on a whole new meaning.

X doesn’t mark the spot; it is your total Guest eXperience.

Many churches refer to their ministry to Guests as “Guest Services.” This week’s lesson from pirates will help you see that it is more than Guest Services – it’s all about the Guest Experience.

The Difference Between Guest Service and Guest Experience

Annette Franz, a Certified Customer Experience Professional and noted customer experience expert, made these points when talking about the difference between Guest Services and Guest Experiences:

  • Guest Experiences are the sum of all interactions along the guest’s journey with your organization; Guest Services are just one of those interactions.
  • Guest Experience is proactive, intentionally building or designing the experience we want our Guests to have, while Guest Service is reactive, constantly responding to issues and needs as they arise.
  • Guest Experiences are what the Guest feels; Guest Services are what the organization does for the Guest.
  • Guest Experiences are a disciplined way of thinking, permeating the entire organization; Guest Services is a department.
  • Guest Experiences are a journey, involving the total experience; Guest Services focus on a single point in time.

Guest Experience is about much more than just Guest Service. It is about fostering team engagement. It is about truly understanding your Guest, architecting a plan for delivering exceptional Guest Experiences, and then empowering team members to deliver them. It is about training leaders to reinforce the right behaviors that support exceptional Guest experience.

Learn from the pirates – X really does mark the spot!

Does your organization have a treasure trove of Experiences?

Previous post: That time a pirate changed the way we talk

This post is the second in a series of twelve, making the powerful connection between Guest Experiences and all things Pirates. It may seem a little strange, but I guarantee you won’t see a pirate flag, hear the word “ahoy,” or encounter any like number of references to “pirates” without connecting them to Guest Experiences!

inspired by Walt Disney and his amazing ability to bring a story to life on the screen and in person

brought to life by the Pirate Navigator

Now booking “voyages” to churches like yours! Contact me for more information.

2 thoughts on “X Marks the Spot – Lessons from a Pirate about Guest eXperience

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *