Building on what we learned in Making the Most of Every Ministry Contact: Part 1 now we will see how to improve the paper only process that many churches currently employ to reach out to people who have asked for information from the church.
For the sake of this example, I want to introduce you to Mary the receptionist and Pastor Ricardo the executive pastor. Both are sold out believers doing all they can to grow the Kingdom. They have recently transitioned from a paper only process to one that involves a data management system. And since this is my example, they are using FellowshipOne.
Guest Registry Card Process with FellowshipOne:
- Collect the cards either in the offering plates or at a guest registry desk
- Cards are turned into the member services department at the church (or in this case, Mary the receptionist)
- Mary then processes the cards
- Mary never assumes that the person really is a first time visitor, she always searches for that person in the database.
- After searching for that person and not finding them, then she adds them to the database.
- Mary then checks off the same check boxes in FellowshipOne that are represented on the card. (There can be some variations of this that will be discussed in the First Time Visitor section below.)
- The paper cards are then shredded after a week or two to make sure there were no mistakes in the data entry.
Because this church uses FellowshipOne and they took the time to set-up the workflows in their database, when Mary checks those boxes, the database automatically routes the contact to the right person on staff to handle the follow up. So while Mary’s work is done, Pastor Ricardo is just getting his Contact assignments for the week.
Process for Connecting with First Time Visitors:
Our example church has decided that every first time visitor will receive a letter from the church office as well as a phone call from Pastor Ricardo.
The letter varies throughout the year and by the family based on demographic information and what church events are coming up. If the summer is just beginning, vacation bible school is just around the corner, and the family has kids that are the right age, a first time visitor letter would include information about VBS and how to register online.
The family dynamics can easily be tracked even if they didn’t mention their kids on the Guest Registry Card in FellowshipOne to check-in the kids in for Sunday school or Children’s Church. Keeping the contact items together on one contact is essential to proper routing of the contact item.
Even though “My age group is X – Y” seems like a bad data element to track because it is quickly obsolete, it is key to making the best possible connection between that visitor and the proper staff member.
Churches should step their game up when it comes to first time visitors. Just because Pastor Ricardo has always made the first time visitor calls doesn’t mean he should always make every first time visitor call. For instance, if “My age group is 18 – 25” was checked on the Guest Registry Card, Pastor Ricardo (who is 67 years old and thinks youth is wasted on the young) may not be the best person call. Age, marital status, ages of children, could all be better indicators of how to route this contact to improve the connection experience for the first time visitor.
With the ability to track family dynamics in FellowshipOne and the functionality to transfer a contact from one staff person to another, Pastor Ricardo begins to manage the first time visitor contacts in a whole new way.
To learn more about FellowshipOne, click here.