I enjoy starting my day with a fresh cup of Starbucks coffee – Grande vanilla latte, low fat, half caff, thank you very much. Not only do I enjoy the coffee, I’m blown away by their level of customer service. When I walk in the door of our local Starbucks, I’m still surprised that the barrister knows what I like to drink, what size cup I typically order, and even how hot to brew it for my taste – before I order!
Now that’s what I call first-class service. I’ve been so impressed by the company, I recently purchased a book entitled, The Starbucks Experience. Here, Joseph Michelli, a Colorado Springs resident and aquaintance, presents what he calls “five principles for turning ordinary into extraordinary.”
You see, as an ex-businessman I take real interest in the way businesses treat their customers. I’m constantly on the lookout how we, at Focus on the Family, might improve our level of service to those who come to us for marriage and family resources.
One of the things I admire about Dr. Dobson is his commitment to provide world-class service and hospitality to our constituents, whether they get in touch via phone, web, mail, or at an event. Likewise, when folks come to visit and tour our headquarters, as more than 214,000 did last year from around the world, our goal is to make each and every one feel welcomed. In my view, this pursuit of “excellence in service” is as much of a priority as is creating excellent resources.
Which is why I was thrilled to hear the following story.
Not long ago, a husband and wife stopped by the Focus on the Family Welcome Center. As they lingered in the G. Harvey Gallery, a Guest Relations Representative approached and welcomed them to Focus. For some reason, the man was initially a bit stand-offish. Still, the greeter continued to engage them in a conversation about where they had traveled from, what brought them to Focus, and their apparent interest in G. Harvey’s art.
Within several minutes, the man’s countenance softened especially after the greeter offered them a complimentary copy of G. Harvey’s book. With tears in his eyes, the man accepted the gift. As it turned out, they stopped because his wife insisted on a quick visit. He, however, was convinced that a ministry of our size would be impersonal and cold. He was convinced nobody would even take the time to speak with them.
In fact, he only agreed to drop in to prove to his wife that we’d be nothing more than a giant, impersonal organization! As he received the gift book, his wife gently squeezed his hand as if to say, “I told you they would be nice.” But that wasn’t all. The couple left the Welcome Center and, while they didn’t have time for the full tour, proceeded to our Jim Dalyistration Building for a quick look.
Unaware of the previous encounter in the Welcome Center, the tour host offered to take them on an abbreviated tour before the regular tour began. Surprised by this kind offer, they asked, “Are you sure?” With a smile, they were assured it would be a pleasure. As the tour host showed them around she noticed they both became teary eyed. They were clearly touched by the warm reception they had received.
To me, that’s what our team is all about.
As Dr. Dobson often reminds us, this isn’t his ministry. It isn’t our ministry. It’s God’s. We’re an extension of His love which means treating everyone who comes through our doors with individual kindness, respect, and excellent service.
If you have an opportunity to come see us this summer (or anytime, for that matter), we’d love to show you around. While we don’t serve Starbucks coffee, I trust that you’ll be delighted by what you experience.