customer service

It’s in You. And Your Team. Let’s Access It.

You know it’s good - your leadership, your team, your work, your life - but, there’s a gnawing sense that it could be better. More focused. More replenishing. More you.

I only have a few spots left

10 Reasons You're Not Ready to Welcome New Guests

You don’t intend to not be ready. You really want everyone to feel welcome. You even have some greeters at the front door. People are shaking hands, and they appear to be friendly. 

However, every weekend people walk into churches across America and feel less than welcome. They don't know what to do or where to go. They feel like strangers.

Here are 10 reasons you and your church may not be ready to welcome new guests to your weekend service: 

  1. Your culture is developed for “family” and every weekend is a reunion. Unfortunately, guests can sense when they aren’t treated as family.
  2. You have a “friendly” church. Unfortunately,...

Can the Script. Netflix Did.

You can always tell when the script is being used. You know what I mean. You're engaged in lively conversation over a meal and your server interrupts with the scripted dessert monologue. Or your talking with customer service on the phone and you don't feel heard at all, because the same script is repeated over and over regardless what you say. 

I hate the script. It's annoying and sad. Annoying, because

To Tag or Not to Tag

I just received a question from Kyle - a friend who serves at a neighboring church in our area. 

Do our greeters wear name tags or only those serving at our Guest Services center? 

I've had dozens of conversations with churches asking a similar question, but much to my own surprise, I don't think I've addressed it in writing 'til now. Thanks for the prompt, Kyle! 

To Tag or Not to Tag

At Granger Community we want to remove all the barriers we can

Convenient for Whom?

This is an ink pen. Its base is wrapped with a hair tie. Can you see what's bound in the hair tie? Yes. That's human hair. Hair that was held by the tie before it was wound around this pen. 

Convenient, I suppose. When you're finished with the tie in your hair, just wrap it around the pen you're using until you need it in your hair again. To each his - or her - own. 

I suppose that's fine - unless

Customer Service Training Starts at Home

Don't you sometimes wish you had the silver bullet for finding great volunteers or staff for your team? Whether it's guest service peeps on your volunteer church team or your sales staff at your retail store, a silver bullet for finding "stars" would be awesome.  

In his book, A Week at the Airport, Alain de Botton notes the following about British Airways:

Show Up Late. I Did.

If you lead in any way at your church, you likely go in before the crowd arrives (maybe I'm assuming too much...). If that's true for you, it means you arrive on your church campus before...

  • the heaviest traffic time and the potential scramble for a parking space
  • any lines form at your children's center for kid check-in
  • knowing whether every necessary greeter role is filled
  • the cafe or coffee area is backed up by caffeine junkies

So, I'm suggesting you go to church late. That's right, choose a weekend and go late. Intentionally.

Show up and experience

The Power of a Satisfied Customer

  • From the archives...

As I read the Scriptures, I tend to latch onto a few verses at a time and gnaw on them for a while. Sometimes days at a time. I don't think it has anything to do with "maturity" or godliness; I'm just slow, thick headed. 

So, I'm reading through Matthew's account of the story of Jesus again. In chapter 8 Matthew tells the story of this untouchable, ostracized leper who approaches Jesus for healing.

Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, "Master, if you want to, you can heal my body." Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, "I want to. Be clean." Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. (verses 1-3, MSG)

If I've heard one discussion about this request, I've heard dozens. "If Jesus was willing to heal this man, why isn't he willing to heal me?" It seems to me that our "take away" from this story stops right there. Some end up thinking, "He just doesn't want to help me." while others conclude "I found favor with God - he was willing."

We tend to talk about this story from a consumer mindset. "I'm the consumer, I'm the customer. I have a need. You've made a promise. You should deliver." Right...

But there's more to this passage. Jesus gives this man some instruction. Precise instruction.

Jesus said, "Don't talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done." (verse 4, MSG)

I've not heard nearly as many conversations about Jesus instructions to this man. There are plenty of speculations about why Jesus asked this man to keep it under wraps.

  • Jesus wasn't ready for wide-spread popularity yet.
  • He didn't want conflict with the Jewish high priest or Pharisees.
  • He was a Jewish Rabbi - of course, he'd honor the ceremonial expectations regarding an "unclean" condition like leprosy.

But, maybe there's something more here. Maybe as Eugene Peterson infers, Jesus was challenging this man to live life with gratitude. Maybe Jesus was reading the human heart and wanted to guide him away from our tendency:

  • expect more
  • give others the "formula" we followed for our answered prayer
  • turn our God moment into a universal doctrine to "prove" - not God's holiness, but our proper steps - to figure out God
  • talk about a well-understood experience from 6 months ago, 16 years ago... rather than live out gratitude inside an on-going relationship of wonder and mystery

Satisfied customers. Hardly the language we want to use to describe those whose lives were touched by the risen Christ. And yet, maybe, just maybe there's something here for us to consider.

You see, some time ago when I was on the search for the "right" cell phone and the "right" carrier with the "right" plan, I wanted "proof" from satisfied customers - people who are happy and grateful for the service/phone plan they use. I really didn't care about what process they used to secure their contract. I didn't care about what language they used to negotiate their deal. I wasn't looking for what they did "right". I was looking for satisfied people.

Maybe the bigger point of this story in Matthew 8 isn't how, when or who Jesus chooses to heal. Maybe the bigger point is that Jesus invites us to live our lives gratefully. Let people see our joy, our gratitude... our satisfaction. Maybe, too often, when we open our mouths to state the truth, argue our case or validate our choice to follow Jesus, we end up talking too much about us. About me.

Maybe Jesus knows that if people see us live our lives grateful for Him, grateful for his grace, that people will look at us and know it's not about us... There must be something, Someone else at work in our lives.

We Respect You, So We'll Let You Pay

We’ve done some informal surveys and discovered that when people decide to go to church for the first time, or they decide to go to church again after years of not attending anywhere, they often do so with a fair amount of fear. They have not-so-fond memories, or they’ve heard stuff through pop media, and they enter our church—or any church—with a fair amount of hesitation, even fear.

People I Want on My Guest Services Team | #10 - Missional People

Alas, the end of this list: People I Want on My Guest Services Team. I'm sure this list could be longer than a Top 10; maybe 20, 30 or even 100. But you see the period of time just ten characteristics took to post.

However, we have arrived. Number 10:

  • Missional People: people who reach out to those who are seeking God

People I Want on My Guest Services Team | #8 - Servant-hearted People

You've heard it - "It's not my job."; "I'm not doin' that!"; "I've already put in my time". You've heard it from the clerk at the service station, a customer service rep on the phone... maybe even at church. This list isn't rank-ordered, otherwise this characteristic may have appeared in the top three or so of this list.

#8 on my list is:

People I Want on My Guest Services Team | #7 - Optimists

If you've been muttering under your breath, "Waltz is never going to finish this list" or "I hope this list gets better; I'd like to use some of this if it's any good", you probably don't qualify to be on my Guest Services team. That is, if the complaining is reflective of a life-lens you use to view people and events around you.

#7 on my list of most-wanted is:

  • Optimists: people who see the glass

People I Want on My Guest Services Team | #6 - Excellence-Champions

This is #6 in a list of 10 People I Want on My Guest Services Team:

  • Excellence-Champions: people who see, hear, and feel what's excellent and take initiative to fix what's not

When I experience an appetite-suppressing, nauseating restroom at a restaurant, I consider the entire staff to be negligent. I don't really care who's job it is to

People I Want on My Guest Services Team | #5 - Disciplined Conversationalists

In a continuing list of the kinds of people I want serving on our guest services (or first impressions) teams at Granger Community Church, I offer characteristic #5:

  • Disciplined Conversationalists: people who intuitively know how to carry on a conversation with others without feeling like the conversation has to be all about them

You've met this person. Maybe you're married to one (I hope not). These folks really are great conversationalists. That is, they're not afraid to start a conversation

People I Want on My Guest Services Team | #4 - Image Savvy People

Here's another characteristic I want in those who are part of our guest services (or first impressions) teams at Granger Community Church:

  • Image Savvy PeoplePeople who look in the mirror before they leave the house

Perhaps at first glance this sounds shallow or externally focused. Well, externally focused it is, shallow it is not. There is this constant tension

People I Want on My Guest Services Team | #3 - Marketplace Customers

In this series of posts I'm offering a quick glance at some of the key characteristics we look for in people who are part of creating our weekend guest experience. The third type of people I want on our team are:

  • Marketplace CustomersPeople who remember their own guest service experiences – both desirable and undesirable

I want people who are innately sensitiv

People I Want on My Guest Services Team | #1 - Aligned People

In this series of posts I want to offer some profile snapshots of the people I most want on the teams we call First Impressions at Granger Community Church. I'll not necessarily name people, but rather talk about characteristics I look for in people. I'll number these posts, but in no particular order of importance. They all matter.

  • Aligned People. That is, people who embrace and own