A Church Secret Shopper Can Help You This Fall

As a church secret shopper or mystery worshiper consultant, Greg Atkinson stays pretty busy year round. A lot of churches get busy with all the Fall promotions and initiatives, which is great, but the Fall is also a crucial time to prepare for guests that will visit your church now that school is back in session.

Greg also helps churches prepare for the Christmas season and Christmas Eve services where so many guests are likely to visit. The pastors and executive pastors that have brought us in in the Fall love the dual purpose of our consultation, which helps you maximize guest retention now and on your big Sundays down the road.

We have some openings this Fall and would like to fill these openings with great churches (of any size) around the country. We take what we do seriously and know how valuable our feedback and suggestions have been and are for churches that hire us.

So, what’s involved? Well, honestly, it’s not very time-consuming and won’t take you away from your Fall programs. Once you reach out to us and we agree this is something that you want to do (and Greg is available), we make travel arrangements. This can be done by you, your admin, or a volunteer.

After the travel arrangements have been made, you just go on about your business. In very large churches, the Executive Pastor usually handles this and doesn’t even both the Senior Pastor with the details. In small to medium-sized churches, we usually deal directly with the Senior Pastor.

After Greg returns home, he’ll work on a report of his findings, which he’ll email the Senior Pastor or Executive Pastor (or the person that hired him) for he or she to look over. Once he or she sees it and doesn’t have any questions for him, we’ll setup a video conference with key leaders.

The video conference takes about an hour. After that, we’re done and you will have a game plan to execute. We do, however, believe in long-term relationships and want you to know you can always reach out to us and ask me follow-up questions.

In the report and during our video conference, Greg will give you action items and next steps. He will point out things that he thinks could be done better and help you increase the percentage of first-time guests that turn into second-time guests.

In the Fall, Greg really focuses on immediate improvements that you can make and instruct your guest services or hospitality team on so that they make these changes before the Christmas season.

We all know how many guests will visit local churches during the holidays. Let us help you welcome them, so you can encourage them to return. Email us today to start the short and easy process.

*** On another note: Greg’s new bestselling book Secrets of a Secret Shopper is available for your and your team! We also encourage you to sign up for Greg’s newsletter here and follow his blog and this website for details on when other resources become available.

 

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Digital Real Estate for Churches to Consider

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You are all very aware of real estate when it comes to selling or buying a home or business. But what about buying things online? Do you own your name on all the social media channels and websites, whether it be your personal name or your church’s?

In 2009, I wrote a blog entitled “Digital Real Estate.” In it, I pointed to people like worship leader Matt Redman and pastor Rick Warren, as well as churches like Life.Church and Willow Creek – that had claimed their name on Twitter, but were not yet tweeting. They just wanted to reserve their name in case Twitter took off. It did and they started to tweet. This, my friends, is what I call Digital Real Estate.

Years ago, I had to wait for another Greg Atkinson to let his domain expire and then I jumped on it. I’ve been blogging at GregAtkinson.com ever since. I have my name (@GregAtkinson) on Twitter and Instagram.

I mentioned in 2009 that when Facebook started offering vanity names I was on vacation and missed grabbing my name by 2 days. On Facebook, my personal web address is www.facebook.com/greg.atkinson1, instead of www.facebook.com/gregatkinson. Another Greg Atkinson beat me to it!

Call me paranoid or egotistical, but I prefer words like intentional and strategic, which are used all throughout my writing.

In this blog post, I want to share with you something that has been on my mind for over two years now. And that is: You need to reserve your church’s name on the .church domain. You can purchase your church’s name here (if it’s still available).

I was consulting with a church in February of this year and told them to buy it and they didn’t. Now their name has been taken. I told another church to buy their church’s name on the .church domain about 2 years ago. They purchased their church’s name, but didn’t quite grasp the concept. Instead of getting Grace.church (I’m making up a name), they purchased GraceChurch.church. The “church” is redundant.

I see smart and wise churches around the country grabbing their church’s name on .church. I strongly suggest you do the same. Follow the example of Life.Church and so many others.

Allow me to tell you what I tell churches that I consult with (and if I’m wrong then I’m wrong, but if I’m right…). I tell church leaders and pastors that in the near future when people think of churches on the web, they will automatically associate the name of the church with the .church domain.

So, for example when I told a local church (Let’s say GraceChurch.org for example) that in the future when someone hears about your church from one of its congregants, they will say something like, “Cool. I’ll check you guys out online. It’s Grace.church, right?” “Right.”

Just trust me: As familiar as we are with .com and .org, it will be just as normal and familiar for .church.

BOTTOMLINE: Go today and grab your church’s name on the .church domain. What do you have to lose?

PLEASE NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with the .church domain, nor do I receive any payment for writing about this. My link for you to buy it goes to GoDaddy.com because that is who I personally use, but I really don’t care who you go through to purchase it.

This is about future-proofing your church, which I talk about a lot in my consulting. 

Here is what Life.Church and Willow Creek’s Twitter account looked like when I first wrote about this in 2009:

lifechurch2009 willowcreek2009

I think they have no regrets in reserving their “digital real estate.” Now go grab yours! Trust me.