An important component to any church management software is its ability to enhance your visitor retention. After all, if you aren’t reaching more people and growing, it doesn’t matter how great your church is managed. To see the full benefits of the software, it helps to walk through a typical follow up process and see all the ways Excellerate improves it.
Step #1: Enter visitor info into your church management software
You can do this by manually entering the information off visitor forms you make available, or through the easier method of collecting data with the Excellerate Church Check-in software. The convenient thing about that option is that when someone checks in as a guest, the program will automatically create a record of that visitor in your database (so you don’t have to mess with entering the data yourself), and the visitor’s child will get a nametag and security receipt.
Even though not everyone will use the church check-in system, you’ll record enough people that way to make entering visitor information much, much easier. Plus, the visitor will have more confidence their child is safe, and it also gives them an incentive to give out their information. Let’s face it, most visitors won’t give you their information, but they will check their kids in. By increasing the percentage who give out their contact info, you make it possible to follow up with more people and retain a larger number of visitors.
Step #2: Assign a follow up sponsor
You have several options for how to do this. You could go through manually and assign each sponsor, or you can make your life easier. Excellerate can be programmed with a script that will automatically assign sponsors based on certain criteria, such as zip code, age, etc. Another option is that you can have the check-in station help you out by setting a sponsor for everyone checking their child in.
Step #3: Your sponsors should follow up within 24-48 hours
This speedy follow-up is critical, but easy to ignore. What we in the church often forget is that most people don’t come because they want to be near God to begin with. They come to church because they get some need met, and in the process they leave a door open for God to touch them. It sounds like a selfish act, and we often ignore this reality out of disgust, but Jesus was willing to use this. He saw a need for redemption, for healing illnesses, for washing his disciple’s feet, and he filled the needs. His willingness to do those things showed us God’s love and changed the world.
Speedy follow-up on your part does the same thing. It gives your visitors confidence that you care about them, and proves you are committed to starting a relationship with them—not when you get around to it, but first thing Monday morning. People crave relationships, and they’ll open their hearts when they find loving people who care about them.
Excellerate makes it easy to achieve this speed. Once you have everyone assigned a sponsor, all you have to do is click a button and each sponsor gets their assignments via email. They’ll have the person’s name, contact information, and everything needed to do the follow up. Your church administrator won’t have to field another call asking for so-and-so’s info.
Sample follow-up sponsor email.
Step #4: Sponsors will report the results online
Not only does Excellerate church management software make it easy to distribute all the information your connection team needs to follow up, but it also gives you the ability to have your team report online, so your church administrator doesn’t have to bother with paper forms and illegible handwriting.
Simply give Excellerate some simple data about your church’s website, and it can load pre-built templates and populate the pages with your church’s information. To update, simply click a button. To download the reports, just click a button. It’s very easy. The data is automatically entered into each person’s record. You got to love a church management software that lets you collect more data with less work.
Submitting reports online makes your life easier
Step #5: Do another round of follow-up
This step will depend heavily on the response you got in the first round. Obviously, if you’re doing more follow up, that response was one that expressed interest in the church, but you still have to respond to questions such as whether the visitor is a Christian looking for a church, versus a non-Christian who’s just trying church out and needs more basic information. You may also want to take this time to switch sponsors if you found out the visitor has something in common (such as job, hobby, etc.) with a sponsor they weren’t assigned to.
Once again, Excellerate church management software makes this easy. If you need to switch sponsors, all you have to do is record the change, and your new sponsor will be able to see the response given in the first round of follow-up.
Excellerate’s powerful reporting features also make it easier to decide on your next step. For instance, you could look through your follow-up history and find out what method of second contact has the best retention rate. Do people who’ve expressed interest prefer to be invited to a small group next, do they prefer coffee one on one with their sponsor, do they prefer being invited to a social event, etc.?
Step #6: Use your church management software to analyze your reports
As helpful as the Excellerate church management system is in all the other steps, this is the one where it really shines. Excellerate is dedicated to providing some of the most advanced reporting features of any church management software. Even if your church has a unique organizational arrangement and you need reports to help you track it, you have the ability to create your own reports, and our support team can also custom build reports for you.
With all these reporting features, it’s easy to examine your past follow-up attempts with a fine-tooth comb and identify the exact points where you’re weak and the exact practices which produce better than expected results. From there, it’s just a matter of acting on the information and watching your church grow.
Step #7: Improve your follow-up
It’s not enough to identify your strengths and weaknesses, you have to then act on that information. If a connector is doing better than the others, be sure to have them share their techniques with the others in the team. If possible, it would also be a good idea to arrange it so the best connectors get more visitors to follow up with than the others.
Since Excellerate church management software offers the ability to automatically assign sponsors, this can be easy to accomplish. Simply edit the assignment criteria so more people get directed toward your most successful sponsors, and you’re good to go.