Great Catholic Reads: Marketing God

Remember that time I told you I was going to read a book a month and let you know my thoughts? I haven’t stopped reading, but I did stop telling you about it! I’ve actually read over 150 books this year so far … and my latest read was so good, I asked if I could share a whole chapter with you here!

Marketing God by Donna A. Heckler was a delight. She packs some serious truths into less than 100 pages about communication, marketing, brand development, and customer service that can be applied to Church Work. The book is divided into 40 short chapters, perfect for reading as a staff and discussing the questions at the end. It would take about 20 minutes or so. One of my favorites was Truth 27 … all about customer service.

Here’s Truth 27 all for you:

Customer Services is the Touchpoint of your Brand

“Through love be servants of one another.”
— Galatians 5:13

Every interaction that your consumer or customer has with your brand is considered a touchpoint. In this day and age, there are millions of touchpoints for each brand, from social media interactions, to advertisements, to packaging, to customer service. Yet the most meaningful touchpoints are those in service of your customer, and often the littlest interactions have the biggest impact.

Consider your faith-based organization. How do you interact with people? Are you present to them and their needs, or do you shuffle them through as another item on your to-do list? How do you answer the phone? How do you welcome people to your organization? How do you handle a financial contribution? Every little interaction conveys to them how you value them as a parishioner, a member, a volunteer, or, perhaps, a partner.

Some organizations are simply brilliant in their interactions with customers and consumers. It should come as no surprise that consumers love them right back. Disney is a great example. Disney World strives to be the “most magical place on earth,” and its employees are trained to create magical moments at every turn. That happens in large part because they evaluate the processes for their guests, which allows them to improve each and every step. For instance, keeping track of where a guest parks in the morning allows them to help get the guest right to their car at night.

True, Disney uses lots of technology in service of the customer. Technology can help shorten ride lines or keep the sound consistent throughout the park. But more than that, the company does not assign just a few people to customer service; rather, everyone is part of the customer experience. Disney understands that interactions occur in all sorts of ways, and each one can serve as a touchpoint for the brand.

Now let’s consider a faith-based organization that does this well. Have you ever visited a Pauline Books and Media store? Run by the Daughters of St. Paul, these stores are such a treat. When customers walk in, a sister is sure to welcome them and ask whether they are looking for anything in particular. The music is soft and inspirational. There is a reading corner, if you want to stay and thumb through something. Of course, there is a place for children to read and play. It is not uncommon to hear someone confide in a sister about a family member, a faith experience, or an illness; this bookstore is a safe place for those discussions. Each touchpoint helps to create a faith-filled experience when a customer visits a Pauline store.

Think about your organization and consider your customer service. What are the touchpoints you can provide? Recall Our Lord’s words in the Gospel: “Through love be servants of one another.” What does it look like for you to walk one mile with your customer? How do you serve with love? You are there to serve, serve well, and serve further as you lead your customers to God.

For Reflection

  • How do you welcome new people to your organization or to your parish? What steps do you take to make sure they feel valued and respected?
  • Make a list of three new touchpoints you might add to make your customer’s experience even richer.

Such good information, right? If you want to order many copies for your team, give customer service a call and tell them Katie Herzing sent you! It’s (800) 348-2440 or buy it online (p.s. we have free shipping too!).

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