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10 Ways to Add the "Wow Factor" for First-Time Families

Have you ever had a customer service experience that left you saying, “Wow…that was awesome!”  Maybe it was someone who went outside of their “job description” to take care of you.  Maybe it was someone making a special event in your life memorable through their thoughtfulness.  Maybe it was someone giving you a perk that you didn’t qualify for, but they gave it to you anyways.

The result. You walked away feeling valued, cared for, and special.  You also walked away a loyal customer and word-of-mouth, walking billboard for them.

Each time a first-time family walks in the door of your church, you have an opportunity to add the “wow factor” for them.  Churches that add the “wow factor” for guest families will see them come back. Churches that add the “wow factor” for guest families will grow.  Churches that add the “wow” factor for guest families will become known as a place that cares for families.

So how can you add the “wow factor” for guest families?  You might think it has to be something big and grandiose, but actually it’s simply doing the small things really, really well and adding some sugar on top.  Here are ten ways to add the “wow factor” for first-time families.

1. Guest families have to park.
    Add the “wow factor” –  Reserve the best parking for guests. 

2. Guest families have to check their children in.
    Add the “wow factor” – Have a clearly marked, separate check-in area for guests so they do 
    not have to wait in line.

3. Elementary children of guest families are sometimes apprehensive about a new place.
    Add the “wow factor” – Develop a kid’s greeter team.  A kid greeter will meet the guest child 
    when the enter the classroom and stay with them for the entire service.

4. Preschool children of guest families sometimes have separation anxiety and start crying when they
    are dropped off. 
    Add the “wow factor” – Give the parents a pager.  Ask them how long they want their child to 
    cry before you page them.  This small step lets parents know you really care and are there 
    to partner with them.

5. Guest families don’t know where to go.
    Add the “wow factor” – Always walk guests to their destination instead of just pointing.

6. Guest families are used to getting a “thank you for coming” email or printed letter.
    Add the “wow factor” – Send a hand-written, personal note.

7. Guest families expect to be welcomed by greeters on their way into the building.
    Add the “wow factor” – Have greeters greet guests as they are leaving the building as well 
    and thank them for coming.

8. Children of guest families like exciting, engaging services geared for their age level.
    Add the “wow factor” – Don’t wait until they get to the service.  Create fun puppet shows in 
    the hallway as well that kids can interact with as they are walking toward the service.

9. Children of guest families will have the opportunity to go into your children’s environments.
    Add the “wow factor” – Make your children’s environments kid-friendly using fun colors, 
    props, pictures, backdrops, etc.

10. Guest families want to know that you value their opinion.
      Add the “wow factor” – Send them a guest survey and ask them to share insight about their 
      experience and invite them to give you feedback on how to improve.  Give them a free gift 
      for turning it back in.

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Dale Hudson has been serving in children's ministry for over 30 years. He is an author, speaker and ministry leader.  He is the founder and director of Building Children's Ministry. BCM helps churches build strong leaders, teams and children's ministries.  (www.buildingchildrensministry.com)