Monday, April 25, 2016

Customer Service and Lutheran Services Carolinas

I'm traveling for Lutheran Services Carolinas this week and last. Traveling to different cities and staying in hotels highlights the broad variety of customer service experiences.

In the last few days, I have had hotel staff to not be helpful and not look me in the eye, and an airline employee tell me to wait, then 5 minutes later to say she was going on break and that another person would be manning that station for my flight in an hour. Thank you very much. Email me if you'd like know the airline.

But now I am in Minneapolis at the Hilton, where everyone is helpful and seems to genuinely want to be helpful. They remind me of LSC! Part of our secret sauce is people who are passionate about their ministry, and it shows.

By and large, LSC teammates speak to everyone they see because they want to help; phone calls and emails are returned; people are treated with dignity and respect; and we have fun! Life's too short for otherwise.

We always have room to improve. Occasionally we hire a Gloomy Gus or Gussie, but they can't last long in the face of all that passion.

We've also discovered another side effect of being friendly. Security! Security is a growing concern across our society. To protect our clients and residents and our teammates and our buildings, we have to be on guard - with a smile. When we smile, make eye contact, and speak to a visitor, whether it be in the yard of a group home or hall of a nursing home, or in the parking lot at an office, we are letting that person know they have been identified. That alone may stop their ill intended actions.

Security is a byproduct, but remember when we smile, we mean it!