Give a boy a horse, he’ll ride for a day; teach a boy to horse around, he’ll have friends for life – An old proverb I just made up.
My wife and I were at a megastore one day for a bit of shopping. There was one small item we needed, but weren’t quite sure where to find it, so we located a Customer Service Representative (CSR) to help us. You could tell she worked there by the apron she wore.
I asked her where I might find what we were looking for. She scrunched her eyes together for a moment and concluded that was a good question.
She seemed equally baffled by what it was exactly we were looking for, so we gave her the name of the product, the brand, and added the “as seen on TV” prompt the advertisement on television had used to direct us here to this establishment in the first place.
At that point her eyes widened a bit in near-recognition of what we were seeking, then went back into a deep-dive scrunch before concluding, as before, that it was a good question for which she had no answer.
Good soldier that she was, though, she stood her post and did not move. She suggested we try a spot in the exact opposite corner of the store from which she was located, and wished us well on our journey.
We departed for the far reaches of Wally’s World (name changed to protect the identity of the store; any similarities to establishments real or imagined is purely coincidental), but never did we find the gizmo that would have made our lives much more meaningful and complete. Sigh.
That’s quite different from what I experience when visiting a local establishment where I’m able to find true and genuine value in the world of, oh, let’s say “hardware” just for the sake of the story.
Whenever I drop in like “Tim ‘the Tool Man’ Taylor,” I am greeted by black-shirted CSRs who know me both by sight and (often) by name.
Knowing the skills and expertise with which I carry out life as a human being on planet earth, they immediately go into full blown blue-light-special-compassion mode and enquire as to how they might help me.
I generally assure them that all sorts of specialists and professionals have been trying to find the answer to that question for a number of years now, and yet the CSRs insist that this time things might just be different.
Having filled me with a sense of hope, I will confess what it is I’m looking for, and they will walk with me, and together we will look for what it is I seek. Not only that, but they will answer questions I have regarding the project I’m working on, and if that particular CSR doesn’t have the answer, they will find an in-house specialist who will pick up where they left off. That’s true customer service.
The best thing about that store is that being helpful seems to be a part of their culture. It doesn’t appear to be an affect or something they’re regurgitating out of a training manual or online course. When you pop into the store, they’re glad to see you and they want to help you find what you’re looking for.
Whether at home or out and about, I think it is important to be of service – to be ready to help. I think it is important to see a person – not a customer; to see a person and not a purse.
That’s something Jesus taught. “I came … to serve” and his followers suggest we “have this (same) attitude in us.”
He’s given each of us an apron - our smile - and any way you slice it, we are Christ’s Service Representative; we are expected to actively seek the face of Christ in everyone we meet.
Every person is walking around with a list of needs tucked away in a pocket, and as God’s CSRs, we have the privilege of asking them, “May I help?”