In Moving Assimilation From Virtual To Reality, we traced a couple's journey through a completely online process of identifying with a ministry designed to help people in distressed marriages. We got them to the point of coming to a meeting the first time.
They show up, a bit timid at first, but the friend who called them meets them, shows them around (unless meeting online) and introduces them to a few others.
In our business, we intentionally blur the line between sales and on-boarding. For instance while doing a 30 day free trial (sales process), we will upload data, set up a text-to-church phone number, and make webinar training available (all on-boarding elements). This gives prospective clients the opportunity to better experience our software enabling them to make a more confident choice.
But once, they subscribe / commit to Churchteams, we are even more intentional about helping them on-board. We'll upload the rest of their data including attendance and giving history. We'll do custom one-on-one sessions to customize the software to the church's culture and structure. We'll get online giving set up. We'll encourage them to call or email for support. And much more. We do all this because we know that the first three to six months of using our software are critical for effectively realizing its potential.
We want to do the same thing with our couple from Re-engage. Now that they've attended once, it's unlikely that they are committed and ready to dive in to do the work necessary to improve their marriage. The process is more involved than that. We want to give them some of the relationships and content so that they gain confidence to make a commitment to the process. This is part assimilation (sales) and part connection (on-boarding).
In Churchteams, the couple is moved from the "Web Re-engage Interest" group to something like a "Re-engage Open" group. Like in any workflow, the ministry team has developed a goal and pathway for this part of the process. It might look like this:
Goal: Move Re-engage open group couples to a closed group (commitment / connected).
Path: 6-7 touches over the next 3 months built around these decisions:
- These people were nice.
- A commitment is needed to go the next step.
- This information could really help us.
- We understand the expectations and will commit.
Here's what a workflow to get this couple connected might look like.
- Remove them from the "Web Re-engage Interest" workflow. (That goal is met.)
- Follow-up note for the ministry director to call them 2 days later. (S/he seemed nice.)
- Email 3 days later. Welcome and outline of expectations. (Commitment is needed.)
- Text inviting them back. Day before the next meeting.
- Email 3 days later introducing step 1. (Information is helpful.)
- Mix of 5 more weekly emails / texts sharing important key ideas and verses.
- Last 2 of these emails / texts provide an opportunity to register for a closed group. (Opportunity to commit.)
After attending the group four more times, having two phone conversations with another couple, and working on three of the ideas emailed to them, our couple is ready to make the commitment to a closed Re-engage group. They are now connected to a group of people and a process that will move them closer to Christ, each other, and the church that showed them where life is found.
Remember. The goal of this series has been to demonstrate how to make a process that historically has been based on real, face to face interactions, no longer dependent on a building or actually meeting in a building. The idea is to help us think of virtual ministry as reality by using innovations like website integration, registration, and workflows.
You guys, we really can do this! And for sake of those far from God who need to know His love and way to live, we must.