Internal conflict within an organization can create an unwelcoming, uncomfortable environment for our guests, and unfortunately, we usually don’t even realize it’s happening. We assume that all of our team members are on the same page with the same goal in mind, only to later find out that the culture, values and mission of the organization have not necessarily been communicated and explained to everyone fully. Usually it is those on the front lines that are out of the loop. Below is a story of the same company with many locations, two of which were visited on this day.
I popped into my local cell phone store to get a new battery for my phone. My phone was still new, but the battery wasn’t holding the charge. Much of our communication is via text during our weekend services, and we were stepping into an Easter weekend, so it was vital I get this fixed.
Checking in, I waited to be called and in less than two minutes Keisha came up to me and said, “Hi! I am here to make sure that everyone is taken care of, how can I help you?” I told her I worked at a church and Easter was coming up and I have to have a battery that will last.Keisha went right to work looking up my phone in the system, and said, “no problem” as she went to the back to get me a new battery.
I’m standing there thinking, this is clearly the favor of God! This is almost a mini miracle and I am the recipient! Keisha came back out to tell me that they were out of the battery, but checked and the kiosk at the mall had three.
“Let me call over there and let them know you’re coming, and it isn’t going to cost you a thing!” She said. I could tell by the conversation that the person on the other end was not as excited about helping me as she was. Keisha printed out what I needed to get the battery and I was off, excited that this was going to be easier than I thought.
Less than five minutes later, I arrive at the kiosk in the mall, telling them my name and that I have come to pick up a battery when Tom begins to grill me, asking if they did the four-hour test on it? “They should have done the four hour test…we never do this…I will have to speak to Keisha about this, she should have never authorized this… Let me get my manager…” In an instant, my wow experience became very uncomfortable.
I was shocked! Not only did he make me feel like I was a problem, he undermined his coworker and in doing so, undermined his company. This interaction was with the same company with the locations literally a parking lot away from each other and yet I had two very different experiences.
This encounter caused me to wonder if this happens in our organization, or yours? We are the most amazing church with a phenomenal team of people that serve faithfully every weekend but I have to ask if we fully communicate our goal, our mission, values and culture enough? Do we equip our teams to be able to confidently serve our guests and each other? Have we instilled the right heart that allows them to fully enjoy what they do and who they do it with? I would like to think so.
Communication, even over communication of details, mission, values and the goals every week to the teams is imperative to great guest service. We are known as one of the friendliest churches. I believe this is a reflection of who we are, how we collaborate as a staff and how we download details to our teams. Don’t be afraid to spend the time explaining the very heart and soul of your goals every weekend. Ultimately, it’s about lives being forever changed. We want to create an environment that people desire to be around. And, it all stems from, you guessed it, communication.
Serve your teams well by clearly communicating culture, mission, values, and vision often. Your communication will ultimately translate to lives changed and people thriving and flourishing in the house of God. I will remember Keisha and I will remember Tom. This overall encounter, for me, was a great example of how, no matter how good we are, we have to continually engage in the culture of our organization and the experience we provide to our guests. We need to check in with our teams frequently to assure them and ourselves that people matter too much for us to provide anything less than the ultimate memorable experience every time our doors are open or our phones are being answered. People matter too much.