I love my church. I love the worship, our pastors, and the message of the truth, the Word, and how it is taught each week. I became a Christian attending this church, so please don’t take this the wrong way but . . . they say something EVERY week that just grates on my nerves. At the end of each service the Pastor says: “You’re Dismissed.” Wait . . . what? What do you mean I’m “Dismissed”? I choose to be at church. I choose to be at THIS church—not out of obligation or because I’m required to . . . but because I choose to. Every moment of my church experience is about a growing relationship between me and God and between my church and myself . . . until those two little words are spoken. As someone who researches customer relations for a living, it’s all I can do to bite my tongue. I mean, what would be the point of letting two little words upset me at the end of a beautiful and meaningful service?
I looked up the meaning of the word “Dismissed:” to discard or reject; to put away. This can’t really be what the pastor intends but the word “dismissed” is what I hear every time. Clearly his intention and my perception aren’t matching . . .and whose fault is that? In church, I’m willing to take ownership as an attender to “get over it.” But in business, I can guarantee your customers will not take it upon themselves to “get over it” if they feel dismissed by you, your staff or the experience you provide. In fact, our biggest struggles in customer service are reflected when our intentions don’t match what the customers actually experience. When customers choose to do business with you—whether you had to work hard for their business or not—they are volunteering to spend their money with you. Their decision to do business with you is a gift. How do you treat the “Gifts” of business that comes through your door? Do you treat your customers like treasure or do you treat them as a something that can be dismissed?
Daily, we embrace opportunities to be humbled before the Lord in our business. We honor God when we treat our customers with authentic care–this is an act of Servant Leadership and shows that we are responsible with our resources. The business consultant in me wants to provide the countless examples of how this can and will impact your bottom line (and it will!). But what I want you to consider is how this approach honors the opportunities to bless and serve God gives us daily in our work.
Reflect: Thoroughly examine each step of the customer experience from greeting to follow up.
- Based on a typical interaction, would my customer know that I am excited to help them?
- Do I have enough information from my customer to truly deliver an exceptional experience?
- Are there more opportunities to bless and serve my customers during a typical interaction?
- What impression do I leave my customers with? Do they feel “Dismissed”?
- Pray over your customers before meetings or at the beginning of each day. Ask God to use you to bless those you come into contact with today.
- Find ONE way to express your excitement or care to your customers and start doing it today. It might be as simple as an extra smile or as direct as telling them “Thank you for your business!”
- Discuss opportunities to improve the customer experience with your colleagues and brainstorm ideas to improve.
Verse: Luke 16:10-15
What a great article with practical “Next Steps” for us, Tara! Thank you for reminding us how much customer loyalty and the experience means…in doing for-profit and non-profit business!