'Mystery Guests' rank churches based on first-time visits

Published: Monday, July 23 2012 2:26 p.m. MDT

Our take: Like retailers send out mystery shoppers to rank their customer service or airlines pay frequent flyers to grade their experience, Faith Perceptions partnered with church leaders and dispatched "mystery guests" to rate their first-time visits at churches. They found that churches with average weekly attendance of 300-500 ranked "best in category" in nine out of 15 areas.

First-time visitors to churches across the country say churches with 300 to 500 attendees perform the best when it comes to first impressions, according to a recent report. Their experiences at mega churches and smaller-sized congregations weren't quite as enjoyable.

Faith Perceptions partnered with church leaders and sent out "mystery guests" to rate their first-time visits at churches varying in size from dozens of members to over a thousand. They found that "large" churches with average weekly attendance of 300-500 ranked "best in category" in nine out of 15 areas.

Such churches did particularly well with pre-service greetings, pre-service atmosphere, seating, in-service greetings, friendliness, directions and signage, according to how the visitors rated them. The overall experience was good enough that they gave a 7.48 score (10 point scale) on whether they would return the highest score compared to other churches.

Read more about 'Mystery Guests' rank churches based on first-time visits on The Christian Post.

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