Themes

Sustainable Leadership

Customer Service—What’s your Brand?

“Be Kindly Affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another”. Romans 12:10

The Bible puts customer service and the customer experience squarely at the top of the list of all Christian quality traits. Customer service occurs when you are kindly disposed in actionable service toward another person, with with love and care. Yet customer service goes beyond what you do to a customer. It has to do with the customer’s experience and memory of your communication—Christian demeanor, respect, patience, attentiveness, listening, the tone of voice, the actual service, and attitude are qualities not always easy to come by. It’s these elements of customer service that lead to a customer experience that denotes your brand, that perceptive impression persons have of you and your and organization. Each of us then has a brand.  So what’s your Christian brand? For what are you known?

Happy couple being attended by office worker at officeEvery neighbor is a potential customer or brother. A neighbor is a customer who comes searching for a solution to a problem. The Pharisees were correct about the minutiae of the law, but they were poor customer servers, burdening the people with many regulations and rules and missing the point of the gospel. So what’s your brand?  For what are you known?

It is not merely what and how we act that counts for customer service but it is how the customer feels. A feeling of satisfaction can only be transferred if you feel positive about yourself and your brand. The root of the customer experience lies in your own love and devotion to God, for God is the origin of all love and goodness. As God has “put Himself in our place”, to have become man, to die for us, so are we to put ourselves in the place of our customers, our neighbors, and our friends, to empathize and connect emotionally with them. It is only then that we are able to give service from a heart of gold. So what’s your brand? For what are you known?

Dan Cathy the president of Chick-fil-A, the second largest quick service restaurant in the country, has as its motto, “glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A”.  It is reported that “Chick-fil-A sells more food in six days than McDonald does in seven days and has the lowest turnover rates among their 61,000 employees”. Cathy’s biblical text is Matthew 5:41, “if anyone forces you to walk a mile with them, go a second mile”. What’s their brand?  For what they known?  

I believe our schools and organizations can be like that and we too can be the same, ‘in honor preferring one another with brotherly love”, going the second mile in Christian charity, affirming each other, and caring for each other as Christ Himself would have done. I believe that we have a specific brand identity and each of us is a brand conveyor from teachers to students to parents. Do people want to see you again, talk to you again, return to your front desk, come to your church or do business with you again? “What’s your brand”?

Sylvan A. Lashley

Sylvan A. Lashley

Ed.D., J.D., Principal, Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy/Berean Christian Junior Academy. Served four college presidencies over 33 years in 3 countries; high school principal in two countries and US conference superintendent. www.gaaaschool.org
Sylvan A. Lashley

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