Written by cycleguy on August 3rd, 2014

For over 8 years my wife worked as a CSR at the Indiana BMV. It was a thankless job in many ways. Receiving undue criticism from customers. Unwanted “updates” from the state about every day. Being nice even through some nasty people. I could tell you stories which would curl your toes. She spent a lot of nights crying those first few weeks… or is that months? She is now retired. 🙁

I know how important Customer Service is. Good or bad it reflects on the company they represent.

Just over a year ago I went on vacation and a faulty bike rack put the brakes on a bike-riding mecca. 🙂 But Thule, the rack-maker, came through in a big way. You can read about that here. This vacation was going to be different. A day or two riding in Ohio. Some family fun time in Pigeon Forge. Finished up with more riding in Ohio. That was the plan…and it was almost derailed…again.

Back story: About a month ago I had my rear wheel “trued” because it was a tad wobbly but was also making a tick. That tick went away until about 2 weeks or so before vacation. Long story short: I went back to the Trek store in Ohio and asked them to check my spoke tension. Less than 3 minutes later Matt came to me and said, “Bill, we got a bigger problem than tension. Your rim is splitting.” I have has this before. My rim “erupts” where the spoke and nipple meet. I have always been told it is my weight. This time though I weigh less than I have in years (I am 6’5″/203). But my riding days were numbered…like nil. Until Matt offered to switch out rims for the week. All I needed to do was return it the following Sunday.

Are you kidding me? There are still companies that do that kind of stuff? The answer is “Yes” and thanks to Trek in Columbus the riding part of my vacation was able to happen. The three Columbus stores are not corporate stores. They are privately owned by Chris Bishop and I made sure he knew what Matt and Nick did for me.

The application to the church is obvious. It has been said, “We never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Kindness, concern, warmth, helpfulness go a long way to do just that. We need to make sure the church is the warmest and most welcome-iest (I know not a word) place a person finds himself. That goes a long way toward changing ideas about the church.

What are you doing to make your church a warm and welcome place to visit or be a part of?


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    Great story and great application. As for me at church, I try to act aloof and surly to cancel out the overly peppy greeters.

  2. Our church, from the time I walked in the doors, has always seemed inviting. I just try to keep it going by speaking and including people as they come in.

  3. Desert Jim says:

    That’s a very cool story about customer service. He definitely went above what most companies would do to allow you to still ride on your trip.

    Compare that to yesterday when I took my bike to the store to check out my 3 broken spokes and the service tech looked over my bike and started listing off all the things wrong with my bike and asked if I wanted to look at the new bikes they were selling. Don’t think I’ll be going back to that store.

    Regarding churches, our church does a real good job with the first impression. We are told we are the friendliest church. But we don’t do a very good job going to the next level with people.

    • cycleguy says:

      I definitely received the better end of the deal DJ. Like you, I would vacate that store and find another. That problem you tell about your church is common and a whole ‘nother topic. Good to hear from you.

  4. floyd says:

    Ahhhh… the Golden rule. Treating others the way we want to be treated goes a long way and speaks to the condition of our heart, or better yet, Who resides there. I love to hear these kind of stories.

  5. Debbie says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and helping us apply it! First impressions are important!