Editors note: When Gayle sent me this wonderful article I was reminded of how we ought to serve one another and this article has some very practical advice on how to do that well.
Excel in customer service
Perhaps you have never thought of churches having customers, but the terminology is not such a stretch. The people you serve have chosen your church; they expect certain goods and services; they support the church financially.
Nothing demonstrates your true professionalism more than exceptional customer relations skills. Anyone can learn the fundamental rules of courtesy and thoughtfulness. The irony is that few do. Exercising these basics puts you ahead of the crowd.
• Give full attention to the task at hand.
When a visitor is in your office or on the phone, focus on that person. Avoid chitchat with anyone else. Stick to business.
• Be sensitive to the other person’s needs.
The ability to put yourself in another’s shoes is invaluable. How would like to be treated in a similar situation? What actions would you appreciate? Do what you would like done.
• Use the magic words.
Please and thank you seem to be heard less and less, but their use still identifies the knowledgeable business person, as well as the thoughtful Christian. Keep the basic courtesies as an integral part of how you operate. Set the pace by being unfailingly polite.
Correct communication challenges
When church staff members are asked to identify hindrances to office effectiveness, a lack of communication is always at the top of every list.
The best communicators:
- keep others informed
- share vital information
- reply to communications received
- say what they need and when they need it
- confront problems as they arise
- respect others’ need for information
- keep messages clear and simple
Exercise your communication skills daily.
Establish yourself as the communication hub of the office. Be interested and informed. If someone doesn’t provide the information you need, ask. Maintain your objectivity; never let emotions muddy the waters.
Communicating is more than giving messages; it is receiving them as well. Being a good listener is essential to your goal of being an excellent communicator and providing excellent customer service in any business or church.