Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Parable of Toys-R-Us - Meerkats and Penguins

What if the church was like Toys-R-Us? Really.

This what happened to me at Toys-R-Us the past few days. I bought three toys for my 7-year-old. It was a total purchase of less than $30. She had saved her money from helping my wife pet sit. We've been trying to find  these particular items in the store, or online since Christmas day. They have been out of stock both at the local store, and online. Last night she whined so much, I went online and they were in stock at a local store. So I bought them. She gave me her carefully counted dollars and quarters; I stopped when she got to the nickels and dimes.

She was happy, I was happy, life is good.

Then I got an email stating that two of the three items on the order were cancelled. Not happy child = not happy dad. They shipped one toy from out of state - $7.99 toy, $5.34 shipping! Very not happy dad - and it wasn't even my money!

When I got home today, I was thinking about the order and how disappointed she was, and I got mad. So, I called customer service and started by saying that I was disappointed with the service, and that somewhere in the Toys-R-Us galaxy, they must have a freakin' Meerkat Family and Penguin Pool! Then I tried to calmly ask the operator if there was any way she thought she could make a little girl happy (no not me!)?

"I see we do have those in stock"; my mind trailed off to a happy place and didn't hear exactly where they had them in stock. I regained my thoughts... and "we'll ship them for free," the sweet voice said. "Let's see, your other order was shipped today. Wow, that a lot for shipping! Let me refund that and put these others out for overnight shipping."

"Is there anything else I can help you with?" she asked.

"Not unless you can give me the whole order for free." I said. "Thank you so much."

What if church was like that? What if they did everything they could to let you know that Jesus loves you? What if they lavished you praise, and always had a good attitude? All I could think of was that the customer service rep, must have been a Christian.

Would you do business with them again, even though they screwed up the first time?

3 comments:

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

haha great thought - of course I don't like the notion of the church having great customer service we because already focus too much on people being consumers of the church - but I get your question of what if we strove to love with the same devotion (and competition) as retail stores with customer service).

photogr said...

Considering it was close after the Christmas seaon, I would imagine the store and the warehouse had not yet completely restocked their inventory.

Most larger retailers do their year end inventory around Jan 31st thus they want to keep their inventory low till after inventory time in order to save on taxes.

It sounds like they went out of their way to make you a happy camper.

However, I do like the idea of churches having a similar great customer service to their members and new attendees as long as it is faithfully following the scriptures.

Tony C said...

Great analogy!

In making you (the customer)happy, the customer service rep made her employer (Toys R Us) happy too. She was obviuosly working within defined parameters in order to convey to you (the customer) how important you are to the company.

That works for me in your analogy of the church. We (church)are charged with reflecting God's love through defined parameters (the Bible). Do it right...it's a win-win situation.

Of course, God always wins. :)

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