Fr. Felix is the Pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Last week (Easter) was exceptionally crowded – people filled the church, the basement, the lobby and were listening to mass outside. In fact, at a time when lots of churches are closing or consolidating, Felix packs in people week after week, mass after mass.
He has a small army of parishioners that help him distribute communion. He uses lots of humor and personal stories in his homilies – which are delivered in the aisle rather than a lectern. After each mass, he hangs out in the lobby to meet and greet anyone that wants to have a chat.
Most importantly, Fr. Felix knows just about EVERYONE’S name that walks through those doors. He asks about family, thanks people for coming, and is a staple at family & community events.
Symeon’s has been one of the most popular restaurants in our area since they opened in 1973. Good food and really friendly staff. But go there on any given day and you’re likely to get a table-side visit from Symeon or Symeon Jr (pictured), who own the restaurant. I’ve gone there since I was a kid and they are always going from table to table, making sure everything is ok, asking about what’s new and asking how they can help make the experience better. They are on the front lines. While they’re in the restaurant business, Symeon and Symeon Jr. are in the customer service and community building business. They just do it with handshakes instead of Friending and Following.
Is it any wonder why Fr. Felix and Symeon have succeeded where others haven’t? Is it because Felix’s message is different from the other Catholic churches? Nope. Is it because Symeon’s Souvlaki Platter is the best on earth? Nope (but it is good). It’s because they both devote lots of energy to letting their community know that they actually care, even after they walk out the door.
They realize the enormous power of How Are You, Thank You and You’re Welcome.
How many people are you friends with on Facebook? Of those people, how many do you interact with on a regular basis. My bet is that it’s a small fraction (I’m guilty of it too). Maybe it’s time we put more focus on those micro-interactions and personal connections with larger parts of our networks. I think you’ll be surprised as to how much you’ll learn about your friends, fans and community and will be surprised at how those connections will produce better business and more importantly better friends.
So, in your networks online and offline – who are the people that do the best job of interacting and caring? What makes them special? Fire away in the comments, please.