What is great service? In the last few days I had some unexpected projects pop up around the house. That means stuff broke. We have a local hardware store about a mile from the house and that’s about as convenient as you can get! But... since they are small they are also very limited in what they can keep in stock. Lots of times I have checked there first only to discover they didn’t have what I needed. Yesterday when I needed some things. I jumped in the truck and made the short drive. Success! They had everything I needed! I reached for my wallet.......... There was an empty pocket where my wallet was supposed to be. The clerk recognized my shock and embarrassment even before I tried to explain that I was going to have to go back home. That’s when the reason for this story happened.
He had already placed the several items into a bag as I was reaching for my wallet and then he handed me the bag anyway and said “Just pay me when you come back this way some time.” He didn’t know my name. He didn’t even have a list of the items in the bag! He didn’t ask for my cell number, my tag number or anything.
When I came in later, a shocked young man looked at me as I handed him the bag, with all of the items still in it, and said “I need to pay for these. I forgot my wallet yesterday.” His reply was, “That must’ve been the owner.” And perhaps unspoken was the thought “I certainly wouldn’t have done that!”
Great customer service is rare. When it happens it is noticeable... and memorable. That’s not an action I’m going to soon forget. In fact, whenever possible I will stop at the corner store and see if they have what I need, even when I still need to drive into town. Stores with service like that you want to stay around!
Choosing to serve is a mental decision about how we see ourselves and how we see others. Jesus came to serve not to be served (Mk 10:45). In washing the disciples’ feet He showed them what it means to serve and then He gave them the lesson. "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (Jn 13:14-17) Blessed are we if we know and do service because that was the Lord’s way.
- Tim Orbison