It’s hard to meet people “where they are” …


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Giving the customer what the customer wantsthe customer is kingthe customer is never wrong

Every organisation thinks “it” gives great customer service.

The problem is that “great customer service” is not just one thing.  Great customer service is what the “individual customer” thinks is “individually great”.  And that changes day-to-day, and – on top of that – the “customer service deliverer” that individual day might be one small cog … might be having a bad day … might be a learner … a veteran (jaded or not) … might “work” within an organisation who sees “customer service” as a measurable unnecessary expense …  Customer Service – like Religion – is a great concept.

And like all great concepts …  isn’t.

Once people and process and organisation-institution get involved … once it becomes “it”.  And  “Church” (or “religion” as we know “it”) is no different.   Apart from one small important detail … Religion’s “great concept” is that it IS different …

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That Church is God and God is Love through Salvation of blood shed for me and Grace freely given so that I might be Saved and have Eternal Life.  That kind of “different”.

And then people get involved.

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Righteous people.  God-Qualified people.  Judged people.  Gay and Homeless.  Rude and Arrogant.  Coloured and Young.  Old and Rich.  Right wing and Poor.  Ignorant and Radicals and Terrorists.  Hippies and Do-Gooders and Hawks and doves.  Career Climbers and Abusers and Vocationals and Victims.

And – because the bible says so – each knows what God really wants.  Who God really is (and is not).  How God wants us to behave (and not).  How we should worship (never “not”).  How we should serve (ditto).  And just like any great concept … once right and wrong and being correct and transactions people get involved…

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I don’t believe in great customer service.

I believe in relationship.

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I don’t believe I can process you through a problem or query or a suggestion (you try and give me).  I don’t even believe I can do that to the same standard time after time all day and every day.  Because that makes YOU a label – makes ME a label – and makes the whole thing an “outcome” – a measurable and quantifiable product of process.

That’s what we “people” default do to each other.  We make our interactions a measurable and quantifiable product of process.  Something we can count and report.  Something we can measure as a performance indicator.  We do it with our romancing “customer service” and we do it with our “professional” customer service.

We measure transaction.

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I had some great “customer service” the other day. 

I had a short-lived but perfect relationship with a chap employed by a blue-chip world-renowned company.  He met me where I was – I met him where he was.

That relationship lasted 43 minutes over the phone.  That’s all it took.  

Or from “a product of process stance” …

It took how long … ??

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I give great “relationship”.  Very often with “difficult people”.  People who have a reputation for being demanding and unreasonable – another label we give people who take up too much time without gratitude for our giving “it”.

Because it’s hard to meet people “where they are” when you are someplace else. 

A place of pressure – not enough time – of performance and product – of a different agenda entirely (to that of the “difficult person”).

I just meet people where they are. 

I have a relationship of a few minutes – half an hour – sometimes more.  I have been given a job that allows me that time.  I have a company that champions giving that time.  That believes relationship is great customer service.  Believes people are people and not labels of a process or a product.

My “difficult people” are always just like me.

Not unreasonable, not demanding, not difficult.  Just some”one” who wants to be heard.  Who does not want to be a product of my assumed process.

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And I have yet to meet a CEO who does not care.  One who thinks people are a process to be processed.  Who will not step outside the box to meet someone where they are.  Not when a “person” is presented.  I have seen CEO’s override their own polices time after time to “meet someone where they are”.

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I think we should stop guessing what God wants.

I think we should stop saving people (as taught). I believe we should live relationships in minutes, seconds AND lifetimes (even eternal lifetimes).  I believe we should meet people where they are.  Because …

God Soft Hands Jesus ALWAYS meets me where I am.

(thank God)

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1 thought on “It’s hard to meet people “where they are” …

  1. Pingback: Meeting me where I am | Church Set Free

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