Friday, July 07, 2006

Customer service in the church

While Laura and I were away in Maine recently, we stayed at the Summit Hotel located in the mountain town of Bethel. I was very impressed with the outstanding level of customer service that this resort offered. It made me realize how seriously we each need to take the idea of customer service here at Grace Church as well. For example…

After unloading our luggage cart into our room, I loaded up some empty boxes on it and headed toward the elevator to take it back down to the lobby and to find a place to dispose of the boxes. As I waited for the elevator, one of the hotel security members came around the corner and saw me. He asked if he could save me the trip by taking the cart down to the lobby for me. I was delighted to not have to make another trip down the elevator. I asked him where I could dispose of the empty boxes. He quickly offered to handle that for me as well. I was impressed. He’s a security guard. I doubt that moving luggage carts and throwing away trash is part of his job description. But he cheerfully offered to do it in order to help me, the customer. So, when was the last time you offered to help a visitor or newcomer at our church in order to make their visit more enjoyable?

Here is another example. We went down to the front desk to ask a question about a local attraction. What we did not know is that right around the corner there was an extensive brochure rack with more information than we could possibly use. The gal behind the counter could have easily just pointed us that direction. However, she went the extra mile. She didn’t just point. She came out from behind the front desk and led us around the corner to the rack and helped us locate the very brochures we needed. She then offered very helpful advice and answered all of our questions. It made me wonder if we do that at Grace Church. When a visitor asks you where a certain classroom is or where the restrooms are, do you just point them a direction or do you take the time to lead them to where they need to be and be sure that all of their questions are answered?

Here is one more example. I was walking to the floor above to get some ice to fill our cooler that we were taking that day with our picnic lunch in it. On the way back, I was juggling two containers of ice and my half-filled coffee cup. I passed one of the hotel managers who was walking down the stairs as I was walking up. She noticed my juggling act and asked if she could help me carry something to my room. Imagine that. She was willing to go completely the opposite direction she was headed to help ensure that I didn’t drop what I was carrying. So, when was the last time you saw someone at church that you didn’t know whose hands were filled with Bibles, purses, and baby bags while trying to hold the hand of their small child? Did you just smile at them or did you offer to change the direction you were heading and help carry their load to their car or wherever they were headed at the time?

Customer service is important in the world of resorts. Shouldn’t it be important in the church as well? I think the answer is a definite “YES”! Jesus always noticed people’s need and had compassion on them. Shouldn’t we? Let’s do so this Sunday!

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