Secret Shopper

This past Sunday at Church of the Suncoast we had not one but two secret shoppers. We didn't plan on having two on one week, but we had two people who were from "outside" come and give us their gut honest feedback. The reason this is so important is after about 3 - 6 months you become blind to a lot of the things at your church. You don't notice things like someone with fresh eyes. The feedback from a secret shopper is also great because they are not emotionally tied to anything. They haven't spent hours working on something so they are free to critique without feeling the weight of that.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you have a secret shopper come to your church:
  • Make sure they "get it" whatever "it" is for your style of church. If they are used to traditional church and hate rock music then they would not have made a good secret shopper for us. So make sure they at least fit the style church you are.
  • Find someone who has never been to your church. Remember it is about fresh eyes!
  • DON'T tell people you have a secret shopper coming that Sunday or else everyone will be on their best behavior. You want their regular behavior.
  • Have them break down the experience into different categories like walk in, hospitality, visual, service...
  • Share the feedback with your staff or key volunteers even if it hurts a little. Don't try to sugar coat the truth. This is not God's opinion, this is one persons opinion, so realize that, but let all the feedback be seen and discussed.
  • Find out what things you can change easily and do them first. Then maybe take one of the big changes and work on it over a few months time. You can't "fix" everything at one time and you don't need to. Find the big ideas in the feedback.
  • Don't get your feelings hurt. This is about the Kingdom, not ours!!!

Hope that helps... would love to hear what you think. Leave a comment.

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