GroupLife Philosophy: Defining Your Customer

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Yesterday we began talking about developing an understanding about who you are designing your small group ministry to connect.  The great Peter Drucker question, “Who is your customer?” has had a profound impact in the corporate world.  It absolutely has a key role to play in helping all of us think more skillfully about what it is we’re trying to do and who we’re really designing on our ministry to connect.


If you missed yesterday, I want to encourage you to go back and read GroupLife Philosophy: Who Is Your Customer? It really is the foundation for today’s thinking.


Today, I want to add a little more to the mix…so that you can begin to use the idea right away.  Here are three additional points:

  1. When choosing which customer to focus on, you are also choosing which potential customer you will not be prioritizing.  For example, the host strategy coupled with a well-timed church-wide campaign on a topic that interests a very broad range of people (i.e., 40 Days of Purpose or Love at Last Sight) will connect the largest number of unconnected people.  Will there be some people that won’t like anything that isn’t a straight through a book of the Bible study?  Absolutely.  If you want to connect the largest number, they will not be your primary customer.
  2. Don’t feel like you need to provide equal opportunities for passionate customers of other market segments.  In my view, this is one of the major issues in many floundering small group ministries.  Think about the most successful restaurant chains.  If McDonald’s added a $39 Filet Mignon to their menu…you would know right away they were headed for serious trouble.  They know who their customer is and they plan their menu accordingly.
  3. Look for ways to creatively meet the needs of other customer segments.  For instance, if you know that you have a segment that really craves a more intensive Bible study approach, why not connect them with BSF?  Concerned about the development of last year’s new groups?  Why not provide an approved curriculum list that includes a variety of application oriented options?

Understanding who your customer is will sharpen your thinking about strategy and allow you to laser focus on the target.

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