Welcome To The Church of Bad Online Customer Service

church bad serviceI’m on a health kick. No, not just a lose a few pounds by eating less, but a REAL health kick. So I’m getting up at an ungodly hour in the morning of 5:45am to going cycling with a friend. I keep telling (or convincing myself, you decide) that I DO look good in lycra.

At the end of our regular Saturday morning ride we stop at a new café that has recently opened which sells great coffee. Last weekend was a little different. We arrived 15 minutes before it opened at 6:45am, the staff were in the café and could see us but ignored us until 7am.

The waitress came out and said that she was sorry but if she had come out earlier to take our order everyone would come earlier. Wait. Stop. Let me think about that. If she served us they would have more customers (all be it 15 minutes early).

Is something wrong for you as well in that picture of customer service?

Churches and not-for-profits organizations can do the same in their online presence. Often they do the following:

1) If you don’t fit our system then you can’t come in. Fill out this very long and complicated contact form for a simple query.

2) You need to stay within our system if you want your point of need met. We’re sorry but our course started last week and you can’t register online any more.

3) It’s about us, not about you. Church websites are often written in an insider language that an outsider doesn’t understand. Here is one example on a church website for newcomers “discover your call and walk in it”. Now if you’ve been a Christian for most of your life you are thinking what’s wrong with that? But if you have never stepped foot in a church before you would have no idea what that means. Your message targeted towards that newcomer just got lost in translation.

    Churches and not for profits need to understand, we may have a great offering, but if we create too many barriers people just won’t take that next step.

    Have you had a similar experience? What barriers have you seen churches put up? Do you agree or disagree? Get commenting below.

    I'm husband to one, father to 3, Communications guy to a church called Crossway. You can read my blog or follow me on Twitter @SteveFogg

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