How to serve your internal customers with excellence
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
The church administration role involves serving those within your congregation, the community and fellow staff members. From processing purchase requests to maintaining the event calendar, your efforts directly impact the ability of other staff members to complete their projects.
One challenge church administrators face is that your internal customers may not understand why you need them to fill out certain forms or follow specific processes. You need those details to do your job, but if they aren't familiar with the "why" or aren't detail-oriented by nature, they may get frustrated with your requests.
Here are a few tips on how to provide excellent customer service without compromising the policies you need to maintain:
Tip 1: Don't ask for more than you need
It's easy for a form to become 2-3 pages long. While it may be helpful to have all of that information, it's probably not absolutely necessary.
Put yourself in the shoes of the small groups coordinator who is trying to communicate with 20 small group leaders, develop discussion questions based on this week's sermon and place 30 new people into a group this week. She isn't going to be excited about filling out a two-page purchase request for office supplies.
Keep forms short and simple. Provide options with checkboxes, put forms online whenever possible and make the review process easy to understand.
Tip 2: Explain why
No one likes to be told, "because I said so." Help new staff members understand why they must go through certain procedures to obtain approval for vacation days, make purchases or update information in the church management system.
Walk them through the process and explain why it’s necessary.
Tip 3: Follow up quickly
Let staff members know when they can expect to receive a response from you on various approvals (purchase requests, vacations, etc.) and meet those deadlines. Try to make the turnaround time within 1-2 business days whenever possible.
Tip 4: Be proactive
Check the event calendar periodically and talk with the individual responsible for an event coming up within the next 8-12 weeks. Find out if he needs to purchase items for the event, discuss whether you need to take out special liability insurance, and how he plans to handle event registrations (especially if you'll sell tickets).
Ministry leaders sometimes forget to involve the church administrator as they plan events, so it's helpful to get in front of them before they're too far along in the planning process.
Help your fellow staff members understand why you insist on certain processes, follow up with them quickly and encourage them to plan ahead. By serving your internal customers well, you're supporting them as they work to serve in their specific ministry areas.
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