Actually two! Russ Monroe and Ike Newingham are both getting a free copy of Going Social by Terrace Crawford from me. The book actually has a great story of a customer support interaction Terrace had that turned out well.
I ordered an item on line (before Cyber Monday) that they claimed would be shipped within 2 days, and I paid for 2 day shipping. By my astute calculations that adds up to 4 days. Well, of course it has been more than 4 days. So, I sent an inquiry and received this brilliant response:
Thank you for contacting us. I understand that you want to know the status of your order.
I would like to inform you that, we are taking orders based on available inventory and are quoting time frames based on when your order will ship. Also, I will only know the scheduled delivery date, when you receive an email notification that your order has shipped.
If there is anything further we can assist you with, please feel free to reply directly to this email or visit our help center here.
The Google Play Support Team
So many thoughts are circling around in my head. Like:
- Your company claimed it was in stock
- Your company made a promise that it couldn’t keep
- Your response makes absolutely no sense
- Your response doesn’t answer my problem
- I won’t need you to tell me the shipping delivery date after I have received that email from the shipping company – because that email will tell me the delivery date
- My real problem is that there is obviously a delay in getting the product to the shipping company, but your company has not communicated that to me.
In conclusion, Google is making a big play to compete in the hardware world. They’ve got a decent product at a decent price. The problem seems to be, this whole delivering products thing is new to them and they got caught unprepared for their first big holiday shipping crunch. Their target is to take on Apple in the hardware (and software) world. What they didn’t seem to get is that in the process, they are also up against Amazon in the shipping world. The table stakes are pretty high here. Amazon does an amazing job of getting stuff to our doors.
Then, of course, I make the big transition to the church world (you knew it was coming). We’ve got a great “product” but like Google, we are lagging way behind in “delivery”. To “compete” in today’s world we need to make sure our delivery system is great. (Most churches are still printing brochures in a digital/social media/connected world.)
There’s so much I could say about this. But let me at least offer a few suggestions:
- Let’s not make Google’s mistake and promise something we can’t deliver. How many churches claim in their mission statement to have a “heart for the city”, yet don’t spend $1 or one ounce of energy on changing the city?
- Let’s stop bickering over minor theological points and focus on getting the simple message of the gospel into the heads of the people who need it.
- Let’s focus on “customer service” that is focused on the needs of the “customer” and not on the policies of the company. Interpretation: let’s focus more on the needs of the people we are trying to reach than on the needs of our church.
- And finally, go buy and read “Going Social” by my friend Terrace Crawford. It will help you to think differently about our “delivery system”.
In fact, I’ll give a free copy of this book to the first person who responds to this post with a comment.
I’ve had to exercise a lot of discipline in recent weeks, in the form of resisting the urge to reply to comments and opinions of others found on Facebook and other editorial sources. I am one of those people that feel an almost uncontrollable urge to reply to stupid, uninformed comments. I say “almost” because usually I am able to resist. I have found that responding to something I don’t agree with on social media never ends well. No one ever says “Thank you, I never thought of that. I believe I’ll change my mind.” Or “My, your argument is so compelling I think I’ll switch my vote to the other candidate.” It just never happens.
When it comes to responses to editorials in any form, the feeling of satisfaction that comes with firing off a response is quickly erased by a response to your response which just fuels the fire. This leads to a seemingly never ending cycle. It just isn’t worth it!
Perhaps the most damaging form of this is when two or more Christians spar over some issue in a public forum. Christian friends, we have a bad enough reputation with those outside of the church without needing to give them more fuel. Jesus said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13.35). Sure we are going to disagree. But that should be done face to face in the proper forum, not all over the internet!
So let’s heed the immortal words of that great philosopher Thumper of Bambi fame: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”