by: Pastor Jason Watford
When I first came to Spring Creek Baptist Church, I realized that we handled visitor cards the same way that every church does; mailed them a letter and called them. I decided that we could text each visitor a short survey, and mail them a $5 Starbucks gift card for filling it out. Most people under the age of 30 would prefer a text over a phone call, and most everyone has a smart phone with internet access.
To create a free survey, go to google.com/forms and log into your Gmail or Google account. Select the “Blank” option at the top of the screen. This will allow you to create a new form/survey. Click on “untitled form” and retitle it, “visitor survey.” Click on “Untitled question” and retitle it, “Name?” There is an option in the bottom righthand corner that says, “required.” You will want to click that so that no one fills out the survey twice. In that same box where it says, “Multiple Choice” select “short answer.” To the right, click on the plus sign. This will give you the option to add a second question. You should now have a second box. Write whatever question that you wish to ask, but for this example, we will use, “How would you rate the cleanliness of the church?” Where it says, “linear scale” change it to “multiple choice.” Click on “option 1” and write, “excellent.” Click “add option” where it will automatically change to “option 2,” and change it to “very good.” Repeat the process until you have options for good, fair, and poor. There is no reason to make this question required unless you simply want to. Click on the plus button to the right to add your next question. If you want to change the order of your question, click on the box of the question that you want to move. In the top center of that box, there are 6 dots all together. Click and drag that box anywhere that you want.
To add a short message that they will see after they fill out the survey, click on the gear icon in the top righthand corner of the page. Select “presentation” at the top of the pop-up box, and type in your confirmation message.
If you want to change the purple colored bar at the top, click on the white icon of a paint palette at the top righthand corner of the page. Either select a different color or click the image at the bottom right. To select an image that you already have, select “upload photos” and click “select a photo from your computer.” The image does need to be at least 800 pixels wide and 200 pixels tall.
To send the survey out, select “send” in the top right corner. Be sure to check the box in the bottom left that says, “include form in email.” Where it says, “to,” write your own email. From here, open up that email on your phone. Click “fill out in google forms.” You will be redirected to that survey on your phones internet. Click on the pencil image in the top right corner. Next click on the paper airplane icon in the top right corner. Click on the icon that looks like a paper clip. Check the box next to “shorten URL.” Select “copy” and open your phone’s text messaging app. Type in any number that you want, and where you normally would type a message, paste what you just copied. I also send out a short greeting that basically just thanks them for coming, but it is a separate text message.
To view the responses, open up the survey that you created at google.com/forms and click on the survey. At the center top, there is an option that says, “responses.” Click on it and you will see a pie chart for each question that you created. There is a green square with a white cross at the top right of your screen. Click on it. You will get a pop up with “create new spreadsheet” checked. Leave that checked and select “create.” You will only see that pop up when you do new surveys. After you click “create,” you will be redirected to an online excel sheet. With that sheet, I compare the names to the address on the visitor cards and mail them a welcome letter with the gift card or I open my Starbucks app, and send it to them that way.
In your Starbucks app, there is a “gift” option in the drop-down menu. Select any gift card that you want, and follow the directions to put in their email, the amount for the gift card, a short message thanking them for coming, and select the credit card that you want to use. Select the green arrow to send it, and you are done.
The following is the list of questions and the answers that I have for my visitor survey:
How would you rate the cleanliness of the church?
How would you rate the friendliness of the people?
How would you best describe the music?
Not my style
How would you rate your overall visit to our church?
What was your opinion of Sunday School?
Did not attend
Will not be back
Would you like a home visit?
No (Most people under 25 do not want a home visit, but would be fine with meeting up at a local coffee shop or anywhere that feels less invasive.)
What best summarizes the purpose of your visit?
Looking for a church
Invited by a friend / have a home church
Just a 1-time visit
How was your children’s experience?
Child stayed in the parent’s class
Would you like your Starbucks gift card to be sent to your home or emailed to your Starbucks app?
(We have this set as a short answer)
Any suggestions or comments on how to improve your overall experience?
(We have this set as a paragraph)
I hope you find this suggestion helpful and useful to contacting your visitors.
Spring Creek Baptist Church
Seven Springs, NC