Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guest Follow-Up Database

I was recently talking to some minister friends about church management software. We were comparing experiences and talking about what we have used. At ROL, we would very much like to use a web-based church management package. This has many benefits including allowing people performing various tasks in the database to work from home. However, we do not currently have broadband Internet access at the church (long story - it was not available until recently and will require expensive utility work). Therefore, we still use an "old-school" locally installed church management software solution. The software we are using has many nice features. But is not accessible to everyone who could benefit from using it and it is not very customizable.

We desperately needed something to help track the status of our guest follow-up procedures. I looked around for software options. We didn't need another entire church management package. Simpler solutions didn't seem to fit our needs well. So, I decided to hammer out a simple database in Microsoft Access that was specific to our needs.

While the ROL Guest Services Database will likely not win any Cnet Editor's Choice Awards, it has been very helpful to us. The database is able to tell us exactly what needs to be done in terms of following-up with each guest. Some of the features include: viewing or printing reports, searchability, merging data into MS Word for mailing labels and letters, sorting or selecting records by various criteria, and so forth. Our Guest Services team finds it to be a very useful tool. We currently have it installed on a laptop which can travel with members of the Guest Services team who need to use it.

The ROL Guest Services database is customized to our own guest follow-up strategy (see post on "The Game Plan"), so it may be of limited use to others. However, some with similar guest follow-up procedures may be able to benefit from it greatly. Others can at least get some ideas on how they can create one of their own. If you are interested in checking out the ROL Guest Services Database, click here to download it.

1 comment:

smoonen said...

Hi Kirk! We corresponded recently over email. I wanted to leave a brief note here for others who might be interested.

I'm working with a team of software developers to create software to aid in church administration. One of our existing services is a web-based guest follow-up database called GuestView. Anyone who is interested is welcome to review our brief tour of GuestView, here: http://www.gospelsoftware.com/guestview.

Thanks, and God's blessings on your family and ministry,

-- Scott Moonen