Customer service is a matter of perspective. What one person may deem acceptable may not be to another person.
I think it is easier for folks to agree on what is bad customer service.
I went into a popular fast food restaurant recently to buy some ice cream (for my granddaughter, not for me). I was the only person standing at the cash register. I waited and waited and waited some more.
Now, if I see employees who are busy and working hard, I don’t have a problem. In this particular instance, there were about six or seven employees milling around. None were what I would define as so busy that they couldn’t have come and taken my order.
In fact, all one of them had to do was acknowledge that I was there and simply say, “Sir, we will be with you as soon as we can.” I wouldn’t necessarily have liked that response but I could have accepted it.
Instead, I continued to be ignored. Finally, I turned around and left the store. Fortunately, my granddaughter was not with me so she didn’t know I was planning to bring her ice cream.
The customer service was lousy. I imagine they didn’t even know I had left. Apparently, they were unable to see me.
Customer service is important. I have yet to go back into that particular store. I still visit other stores in the chain, but my experience in that one store is still fresh in my memory.
As Christians and Tennessee Baptists, we need to remember that we are “customer service representatives” for our Lord.
You might be thinking, “We don’t sell a product or service. We’re in church. We’re not customer service reps.”
Wrong. We aren’t selling anything, but we are providing opportunities for people to hear the greatest story ever told — how Jesus Christ took our sins upon His shoulders and died a painful death on the cross so that we might have eternal life if we confess our sins and invite Him to be our Lord and Savior.
If we, as Christians, treat those who enter our doors with the same kind of treatment I received at that fast food restaurant, they may turn around and leave. Even, if they stay, they will be more focused on the reception they received than paying attention to the pastor’s message.
Ask yourself this question, “Do I want to be the person who may be an obstacle to someone hearing about and making a decision for Christ? Of course, everyone would say no, but sometimes we do it without even realizing it.
Throughout my life I have been in hundreds upon hundreds of churches, not only in Tennessee but around the nation. I have seen the best examples of “customer service” where people greet you in the parking lot with a smile (and an umbrella if it is raining).
I have seen people greet you as soon as you walk in the doors and make you feel welcome. I have seen people lead families with young children to the nursery or children’s Sunday School class (notice I said lead them, not tell them where to go). In some churches that can be a huge difference.
I have also seen the worst examples of customer service. My family and I went to a church once and started to sit down in a pew when someone in the pew ahead of us, turned around and informed us they were “saving” that pew for someone else.
My wife and I have sat through a service with a church member glowering at us like we were hardened criminals. I later learned that our “crime” was that we sat in “her” seat.
To this day, if we visit a church and the pastor is nearby, Joyce will ask if we are sitting “in someone’s seat.”
Let me be clear. Especially in our state, I have seen many more examples of churches who provide great customer service as opposed to those that don’t. But, keep in mind that it only takes one bad experience to give someone an excuse to not go back.
So how can we avoid bad customer service?
Follow the admonition offered by none other than Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. To sum it up, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
If we follow what Jesus not only taught but did by example, then all of us will be the best customer service representatives ever.
Why would we expect our Lord to accept anything less? B&R