Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Rant About Christian Companies

Our church has been a customer of Group Publishing for quite some time.  I have been at KCC for 9 years and I know we have been using Group material for our children's programs for at least that long.  So it really urks me when a company that you have been with for a long time won't budge a little.  In my opinion, it just makes sense to work with your customers especially during times such as these.

My experience with different companies has led to the opinion that many non-Christian companies provide better business experiences than a lot Christan companies.  I have/our church has had some bad experiences with Christian companies such as Group Publishing, Bluefish TV (of which I wrote a little rant about awhile ago), Faith Highway (bankruptcy) and Servant Keeper (bad customer support).

I know that when you go into business it is to make a buck.  I don't fault non-Christian or Christian companies for this mentality.  It's a given.  I expect it, but what I don't understand is that with all the research that has been done concerning how to make a business thrive why aren't Christian businesses leading the way in customer relations, customer support, technical support, sound/ethical business practices, etc...?  It seems to me that a business/company that calls themselves Christian should strive to be the best.  There is no reason for a Christian business to have bad customer service, bad technical support, bad financial practices leading to bankruptcy, bad business practices!!!

Christianity calls those who follow Christ to love.  It is the principal/principle of love that dictates how we do anything including business.  It is a shame when non-Christian businesses out-love Christian businesses.

What does this look like in business?  A Christian company should have superior customer support that includes customer support technicians who know what they are doing and who have great customer skills.  They don't just come across as caring but really do care about the customer.  The same goes for technical support.  A Christian business should have sound and ethical business practices.  Many Christian businesses are willing to do what most secular businesses won't by sending their product without notification relying on their customer's "conscience" to send it back if they do not want it.   To me this is unbelievable and in a Christian sense unethical.  Christian companies should not participate in high pressure solicitation.  They should be completely up front about their product and give customers a chance to indicate whether they are interested or not before giving the "pitch."  Etc...

I call this approach the bend-over-backward approach.  A Christian company should do whatever it takes to retain happy and satisfied customers with the realization that even though business is being conducted it is being conducted with a child of God.  I am not saying that a company needs to allow itself to be taken advantage of.  Being in ministry has given me plenty of experience with people.  There are many who would take advantage of kindness and generosity.  After so long one begins to recognize certain signs that tell whether a person is being sincere or just trying to work the system.  A company who invests in employees and helps them to be satisfied with their jobs will find that they will retain their employees longer and with such retention will come experience in how to identify those who are not being honest.  Even so, I truly believe the number of dishonest is far less then the number of honest customers.

God calls Christians to shine in a world filled with darkness.  It doesn't matter where a Christian finds himself. He has the responsibility to shine.  A Christian should never fall into the trap that the only place to shine is when the world is looking at him/her and not when they are with other like minded people.  One of the ways the world will identify followers of Christ is by how they treat each other.  Christian businesses are not exempt.

If you are a Christian business owner then my appeal to you is to do what is right.  Lead the way in business.  Bend over backwards to show the love of Christ.  God will honor such practice.

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