Customer Service: with the attitude of James

Today’s guest post is by Trent Irwin, you can learn more about Trent at the end of this post.
Although this article is aimed at Christian business people, the principles involved apply very well to our daily lives. So I encourage you to read this whether or not you have anything to do with a business or work in a customer service oriented position.

Business is more than offering goods and services. If all you do is offer and do nothing to resolve issues or conflict, then you don’t offer customers much. People want and need goods and services backed with customer service. If something goes wrong, and it will from time to time, they want proof that they will receive help, and you owe that to them as a business.

From a Biblical standpoint, customer service is something us Christian businesspeople should hold dear. It’s a portion of business we can truly echo the teaching of Christ and the heart of our Father. How? Since customer service is all about resolution and providing help, it’s a perfect opportunity to show people what genuine faith looks like, and you do it by treating people with dignity.

An incredible passage I consider when working to resolve an issue is James 1:19-20: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Let’s take this passage and apply it to Christian business and how we provide customer service:

  • Listen—how many of us listen first? If a customer or client complains about our product or service, how quick are we to react? Typically, I’m ready to react right then and there because it’s a personal attack on me. However, James instructs quite the opposite. Be quick to listen, not to react. So listen to what the complaint is and let the customer or client have the floor.
  • Speak—this doesn’t mean listen real quick and then unload your opinion. In fact, James says to be slow to speak. Consider the customer/client’s feedback and consider a possible resolution. Keep tempers down, don’t let emotions run wild, and be calm. If you must speak immediately, offer a message of apology. Offering remorse is necessary and appropriate, so let that be the first thing you say.
  • Anger—don’t let anger enter the scene at any time. Anger will only turn the customer/client away, you will lose reputation and you will damage any witness you had. James hits it on the head—anger doesn’t lead to righteous living. If anger causes that much strife, then avoid it at all costs, especially when dealing with others in business. To be honest, anger isn’t even an issue if you listen well and hold your tong (the first two steps).

I encourage you to adopt the same attitude as James in your work and service to customers. Listen to their concerns and needs first and foremost. Honor their needs and address their issues. When you prepare to speak, allow love to enter your speech and tone, not emotion. And never invite anger in to the situation…it’s best left out of everything.

When you adopt this attitude, you not only become more reputable, but you mirror exactly what Christ taught. People do notice when you handle situations in this manner and don’t lash out. And once people notice and ask why your attitude is different, then you’ve got the best opportunity to share Christ. Remember to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.

Bio: Trent Erwin is a freelance writer/marketer for Genesis Net Development, a passionate follower of Christ and firm believer in glorifying Christ through business.

Website: http://christiancompanies.org/ – link to our new site

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Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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