Customer Service - Jesus Style
by: Ellene Meece, Workplace Leaders Network Director
We all know how important customer service is! If you have read the popular business parable, Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, you are familiar with the mantra they emphasize: "Just having satisfied customers isn't good enough. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans."
Currently, on staff at my local Chamber of Commerce, I am teaching a series of Business Essential Classes for the community. The second class in my series is on customer service. As, I've prepared for this, the lessons learned from the 'Master in Customer Service,' has captured my attention.
(1) Have a mission statement that is about PEOPLE and meeting their needs.
Early in His career as Savior of the World, Jesus stated His mission statement publicly, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed; to proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord, the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound." [Luke 4:18-19 Amp]
Jesus allowed His mission statement to dictate His daily schedule. He was all about people and meeting their needs in exactly the way He projected from the beginning.
(2) Find out what people need instead of forcing them into your own agenda.
One day Jesus was out doing His daily work (teaching and preaching) when it became apparent that the large group attending His rural seminar needed to eat. The disciples immediately wanted to send them all back to the city to buy food so they could keep to their own agenda. But, Jesus realized the people's need to have a good meal and also keep hearing the good news was more important so He adjusted His schedule. He stopped and took what they had in their hand and asked God (Who has an abundant supply!) to cater the lunch that day. He did! The people's needs were overwhelmingly met both spiritually and physically and Jesus accomplished His original goals. [This account recorded in Matthew 14]
(3) Really CARE! People are our business, our only business.
Someone once said, "People are our business, our only business." Even though it is not recorded in the Bible, I'm sure Jesus could have started this motto with His own associates. By example He showed them that interruptions that involve people's needs are divine insertions into our day.
Once, Jesus and His group were conducting yet another outdoor seminar when parents kept bringing their children up to Jesus for a blessing. Of course, He was in the midst of doing His business of teaching so His associates reproved the parents for the interruption. But, when Jesus noticed what was going on, He was indignant and not only allowed the children to come to Him but took them up one by one into His arms praying a blessing over them. [This account recorded in Mark 10:13-16]
(4) Believe the best of every person
Human nature somehow tends to believe the worst of every person and assume they know why that person acts the way they do. But, to have a successful business with people at the core, one must believe the best of everyone.
In Jesus career, a woman had been 'written up' for breaking the rules and offending the system and the accusers ask Jesus what He thought they should do with her. Normally, a death sentence was involved so this was serious situation. Avoiding their question, He simply stated, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." When they all walked out, Jesus counseled with her and let her know that He did not condemn her either and to go on her way and change her lifestyle. He believed the best in her and knew that her life would never be the same.
Not only look behind the irrational behavior of irate customers and believe there is good in that person but offer the same courtesy to your co-workers and employers.
Customer service pervades every area of our lives. The world is our 'shop' and people are our business. Jesus customer service style is documented and well worth the read. Take these few points as a jumping off place to your own Bible search to learn real customer service...in creating RAVING FANS, for not only your business, but the kingdom as well.
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, http://www.Grandmastreasuresonline.com. Currently, she oversees the marketing for the FMIN Workplace Leaders Network.
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