#40 Use a Secret Shopper – 101 Ways to Attract More Visitors

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Hey Digital Communicators, I’m John Falke from Johnny Flash Productions and Amplified Impact, and this is 101 Ways to Attract More Visitors, a practical guide for churches to amplify their impact and reach their communities. Now let’s amp it up.

Number 40 use a secret visitor. Now businesses have figured out that they can’t just ask their store manager how everything’s going because they’ll say, “oh it’s going great.” Or they’ll say one minor thing they won’t really give a true indicator of what the experience is like if you go to that particular location.

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So businesses that have multiple locations and the owners can’t be everywhere at once, they use a secret shopper. And so in the same way you can do that at your church. You can have someone who doesn’t normally go to your church who people don’t recognize who won’t get special treatment or anything like that. You can have them come and ask them to go to your church and experience it. And then do a debrief afterwards with them either with a written survey or a phone call or a conversation and ask them about different things:

“Hey how many people said ‘hi’ to you are welcomed you when you first came in? Did you know where to go? Was there things that made you feel uncomfortable? Were there things that you didn’t understand? Was it easy to check in your children? Did you have any trouble there ? Was it slow? Was it fast? Were they welcoming? Were your kids comfortable in their classrooms?”

You could give them these questions ahead of time so they can be thinking about them and then when they go and experience it then you can get their feedback, right? And so you could do this with several types of people, you could even have someone from another church come and be a secret visitor. They’ll kind of know how churches are supposed to operate but obviously your church will be a little bit different. Or you could have someone like a neighbor or somebody else who doesn’t normally go to church and ask them to be a secret visitor.

Just say, “Hey I can I ask a huge favor from you? We’re trying to improve things at my church and I need some outside opinions on how it goes in and would you be willing to come and be a visitor and let me know what you think about it? Don’t worry I won’t embarrass you. I won’t tell anyone you’re coming. You can blend right in. Here are some things that I want you to be thinking about when you come visit. And then let me know afterwards you know how these things went.” So real easy but you’ll get some inside information, some insights that you might not have otherwise gotten by having someone from the outside be a secret visitor.

In the next video going to show you how to value people’s time. So they’ll want to come back and they’ll want to invite their friends. Until then amp it up.

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John Falke

John Falke (aka Johnny Flash) is a church communications expert from Washington D.C. He founded Open Resources in 2008, which has been utilized by churches from 150 countries, and the Amplified Impact church communication training program. Over the course of a decade he helped his church grow from 500 to 2500 in weekly attendance. He speaks regularly at conferences, authored the Photoshop For Ministry seminar series and has written articles for several major magazines.

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