You Got This: An Encouragement for Those in Client Care

As a client care professional, there’s much about the craft left to be discovered and desired.

While I love what I do, where I work, and the people I work with, the challenges of the role have sparked a unique brand of curiosity. 

For instance…

Why do many value customer service but underrate it as a skill? Why is the ability compartmentalized outside expertise in select arenas? Perhaps more egregiously, why is administration, hospitality, and helps viewed as low men on the spiritual gift totem pole?

Is it because we assume anyone can demonstrate them? Or because we think client care is less discipline than choice?

If so, I submit we reorient our perspective and adjust our approach on how we integrate client care specialists into our business models. Granted, I understand the bias potential; however, as one who went from avoiding customer service applications to relishing the call in recent years, there are scriptural confirmations as to why client care is essential in today’s marketplace. As such, I propose organizations and employees embrace the following five passages in their commitment to client service.

1 Corinthians 12:18 (AMP) – “But now [as things really are], God has placed and arranged the parts in the body, each one of them, just as He willed and saw fit [with the best balance of function].” 

For client success managers, the part can feel like a mixed bag. On one hand, they’re the face of the relationship experience; on the other, they can be perceived as dispensable simply on title alone. Yet, while the lack of ‘specialist’ tag can be a disadvantage, the opportunity is still laced with silver linings. For instance, not only can a customer service leader enhance efficiency across multiple processes and procedures but reflect the existential truth concerning our vocational purpose: 

We are all diverse in function, co-equal in value.

As Paul declares, God is intentional and strategic with what He assigns. Although hierarchical structures and parameters for governance are essential, they also do not define our contributions, attitude, and team value. By proxy, client care specialists, being the on-call troubleshooters they are, can take pride knowing their adaptability and problem-solving prowess can improve the balance of corporate load and execution.

Romans 12:3-5 (AMP) – “For by the grace [of God] given to me I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service]. For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other].”

Similar to 1 Corinthians 12:18, Paul applies a physical body analogy to emphasize why our perception of value and function should be rooted in holy dependence. Unlike worldly slants defining the purpose of our ability as prosperity, in God’s eyes, our gifts were intended and are continually renewed for interdependent service; hence, God’s heart for relationship. For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son and apportioned opportunities for faith, hope, and character to mature. Accordingly, may we appreciate the frontline administrators who exemplify work not only as a testament to God’s love but His desire to entrust us as faithful stewards of what He’s provided.

Philippians 2:2-3 (AMP) – “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ]. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves.”

On a pragmatic level, this verse is a beautiful charge to client care specialists given its versatile initiative. While any position can achieve this calling, the level of opportunity for customer service managers to make joy complete is high in most cases. Consequently, anyone who serves as a relationship manager and fosters community through administration should embrace their wiring to influence through compassionate collaboration. Whatever we say, whatever we do, may we coat it in modesty and the good news we carry inside us. May our attitude represent our faith and our faith the believe that through Christ we can inspire humility and unity through timely words, constructive insight, even prophetic encouragement.

1 Peter 4:10 (AMP) – “Just as each one of you has received a special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God], employ it in serving one another as [is appropriate for] good stewards of God’s multi-faceted grace [faithfully using the diverse, varied gifts and abilities granted to Christians by God’s unmerited favor].”

A sum of 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, 1 Peter 4 reiterates the original design of God’s delegation. More specifically, while gifts and quantity of talents may vary, ultimately, we’re all meant to give pleasure to God as we employ them in meekness. While selfless service should be an aim of any organization, it should also recognize favor through stewardship. Remember to be a good steward by faith is to believe in God  and the infallibility of His assignments. As we worship through work with confidence, as we minister as marketplace leaders aware of God’s transcendent grace, let’s not forget our abilities are down payments of God’s continual help and sovereignty. 

Hebrews 10:24-25 (AMP) – “…and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.”

I love how ‘spur’, as seen in other translations, is spelled out in the AMP. Essentially, to spur one another in love is to consider how we’re to encourage our clients to do good. While moments of extemporaneous inspiration are inevitable, the focus of client care should always be to ignite courage and strength of purpose. Practically speaking, this could manifest many ways; however, as an example, consider how client care specialists can affect corporate synergy and voice from creating motivational system alerts/portal template language to incorporating client perspective into platform design. Whatever system you engage, make sure to sustain the intention of positive service with the intentionality of thoughtful encouragement.

Selah.

For those who’ve made it this far, stay tuned next time when I’ll break down another five-pack of client care Scriptures. Until then, I commend you, my fellow swiss-army knives and jack-of-all trades. You may not feel treasured or sense the evidence of appreciation but remember the God you ultimately work for is crazy over you and how He’s wired and appointed your giftings for such a time as this. Therefore, stay strong and courageous and go in peace for your journey has the Lord’s approval. 

~ Cameron

Let It Count: A Word for Client Care Specialists

Shared at the Foundation Group Sales Meeting on 9/9/20

We give our all.
We’re one for all.
But that doesn’t mean we win them all.

For us, it’s a unique reality – a cost of being on the frontlines where we secure commitments, verbal and financial, with intentionality and integrity.

It’s a badge of honor, an appointed duty to which we empty ourselves to pour into a wide array of leads and potentials.

Still, it’s hard when you can sense the beginning of the end with a client. As we can attest, ‘There will be more clients’ isn’t always enough to mitigate disappointment in the moment. In the heat of a ‘closed-won turned loss’, it’s human nature to seek a scapegoat or accept false ownership when we can’t figure out what went wrong.

To be honest, I do this more than I care to admit since I think the emotional component will preserve any lessons learned. But I’m happy to say I’m not going to play that hand anymore. Because at the end of the day, I’d rather have a heart won than a closed won.

Again, the scope of this topic is central to Sales. Sometimes, people will say ‘No, this isn’t a good fit’ upfront and we carry on; however, for the CSM’s (Client Success Manager), the tune can iterate to some form of, ‘Just kidding; I’m a ‘no’ after all’. In those cases, the emotional sting often finds itself between whiplash and good riddance. So says the devil on my shoulder anyway. But says the angel…

How your journey with clients from intake to specialist…from first to last call..it may feel like an awkward audition…you may think you’re the spark behind their doubt…but what matters is treasuring them for the treasure they are and valuing them for the value they’re sowing.

For all of us, this is where our character can shine through. For we know, as the gatekeepers, as the alpha and omega of the client experience: Love loves on the way in and love loves on the way out. By proxy, we can be assured that how we outboard is just as significant as how we onboard. Regardless of service cost, the last taste of Foundation Group we give clients is priceless and worth discussion given that’s the bite they remember most. Accordingly, let’s not discount the client’s personhood by the way they exit stage-left; rather let your servanthood and stewardship be the legacy they take with them. Even if we have to lose the initial transaction, we can take pride knowing we abided within an eternal transaction. Let that count for something.

Bottom line: How you rebound whether or not it’s your fault is near the core of who we are as people and what makes this team worth teaming with. When we lose a client, remember there’s unity in community when things go south. Don’t shrug frustration off at the cost of downplaying the pleasure it was to serve them. Instead, take heart and know more often than not, even the most irritating clients recognize gratitude even when it’s not reciprocated on their end. Again, let that count for something.

Selah.

Photo creds: sleeklens.com

3 Ways to Elevate Others at Work

I don’t know about you, but I find the ironies of Scripture fascinating.

Weakness as strength, the overturning of human wisdom, redemptive reversals…there are many to choose from.

But I suppose the one gripping me most intensely right now is delayed revelation – how one can read the same verse ninety-nine times, but on the hundredth one, the light bulb goes off…as if you’re reading the verse for the first time. Call it God’s faithfulness. Call it maturity meeting an inspired moment. Whatever the reason, I believe it justifies our call to continually renew our minds in the Word. After all, in the space between passage exposure, who says God can’t work new grids and frameworks into the mix?

Prelude aside, I want to share a recent instance during which I was studying Philippians 2 when all of a sudden, I hit an accelerant taking me deeper into new territory. A familiar read, now a profound resonance. Let’s dive into v. 3

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (NIV)

“When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves.” (NCV)

 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (NKJV)

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” (NLT)

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (ESV)

Now, before I continue, permit me to share some context.

A couple of weeks ago, during a Foundation Group team meeting,  a colleague mentioned how we should honor one another by assuming other’s loads as “crazier” than our own – an agreeable notion given our corporate desire to serve. While I couldn’t remember the Scriptural reference offhand, I knew it took residence in one of Paul’s first imprisonment letters (i.e. Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians). Accordingly, I couldn’t help feeling satisfied having found the source a week later.

As I drilled down, it made sense why this colleague would allude to Philippians 2:3. For starters, the verse captures how corporate love looks in a team construct, particularly in vocational settings. To respect colleagues and clients alike, it’s essential we surrender pride, embrace selfless motives, and integrate humility into everything we do. The reasons this constitutes wisdom are many:

  1. It yields no breathing room to arrogance or self-righteousness.

  2. It emphasizes and prioritizes advancing the needs of others.

  3. It inspires a place for the radical middle to thrive. Spiritually, we know this as living in Spirit and Truth, but vocationally, this often manifests as finding common ground to agree upon.

  4. It creates a spirit of safety and enhances camaraderie/team unity.

  5. It converts corporate ladders from vertical hierarchies into horizontal matrices where all roles are equally valuable (though diverse in function).

However, there are deeper layers to be discovered as we consider occupational application.

Case and point: The allegory of the long spoons –  a regarded illustration, but one seldom tied to marketplace principles.

 

For those unaware of this illustration, the allegory of the long spoons is a parable that shows the difference between heaven and hell wherein each location,  inhabitants are given food with oversized utensils incapable of self-service. In hell, the people cannot cooperate and wail in torment. In heaven, the diners use the spoons to serve food across the table where all are satisfied.

This in mind, we can ‘carpe diem’ the application. If our mission is to maximally serve one another, then self-seeking ambitions will fade as humility builds in places they once occupied. As Romans 12:1-2 states, when we present ourselves as living sacrifices, we position ourselves to be transformed by the renewing of our minds to discern the will of God. Yet, to do this, we must also be committed to living securely in our ‘loved by God’ identity.

‘Cause truth is: If we know who we are, not only will compassion be the hallmark of our efforts, but the overflow to how we shepherd relationships. In a sense, we won’t have room to compare or prove our worth because we know we are loved by God; therefore, we have nothing to lose valuing others above ourselves, in pursuing others’ needs ahead of our own.

As for how this looks in the business world, these truths often reflect in collaboration, communication, and correction:

With collaboration, any time a team comes together to fine-tune or streamline a process, the goal is to make critical functions more efficient…for the sake of service. While economical outcomes are practical, it’s the customer bond, not the bottom line, where equity accrues over time. Consequently, if leadership is intentional in anchoring pursuits to critical needs over critical mass, odds are the organization will validate its authenticity and purpose.

Likewise, with communications, a team is reinforced when ideas and individual strengths are integrated into its corporate dynamic. Once in rhythm, a leader can then create environments of safety where those will more experience can speak life into those with less. And though the balance may require calibrating with new hires, as long as space is giving to professional and personal growth, the ‘unity in community’ element will flourish. Again, the goal of workplace communication should be to elevate the ministry of servanthood in advance of performance metrics; however, if verbal success is to be realized, a leader must differentiate their aim and the overflow to come.

Lastly, with correction, a team leader should always employ honesty with understanding and prudence with patience. Here the principle is straightforward: If a leader is to speak discipline effectively, he/she must exercise transparency constructively. For example, if a leader/supervisor rushes to grace without understanding, then cultures of security may be compromised as opposed to strengthened. Granted, this can be a fine line to walk; then again, that’s the beauty of Philippians 2:3 – One doesn’t have to try to be right, but aim to do right in tending the good in others…

…which brings me to my last point…

If we’re to use our spoons to serve others, we must be intentional to clean them regularly.

Think of it this way: You may love pot roast and mashed potatoes, but if the utensils are dirty, you’re going to hesitate to eat them. Most likely you’re going to wash the serving spoon or request a different side item. Unless you’re really, really hungry.

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In theory,  the same concept applies to ministry, work, and all points in between. While what you serve is important, how you serve is all the more. For instance, not only does ‘how you serve’ shape your influence but answers the question as literally considering Jesus.

As such, if you ever wonder how to serve with clean spoons…lock on to Jesus. Specifically, look to Him as your example in selfless humility (v. 5), empty yourselves as servants of all (v. 7; Mark 9:35), and honor each other with enthusiasm (v. 12). Dare to work in a manner worthy of your calling (Ephesians 4:1), in a way that points to Christ’s sovereignty. And from there, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, and actively pursue spiritual maturity (v. 12) in community, in unity…with humility.

You got this, my friend.

Selah.

Cover photo creds: Terryberry.com