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Thursday, October 9, 2008

After a long break, I'm back to blogging. This past month I've packed for my trip to England with my husband, make plans for a small army of helpers to manage my kids and their activities, then spent 12 wonderful days being just a wife in the land of my dreams, then spent the next two weeks trying to recover from those 12 days. I find trying to get back to normal takes longer and longer as I get older. Maybe it's because I left "normal" so many years ago, I don't know what it looks like.

My youngest son Robbie and I were talking about that just yesterday. We ran an errand together, and noticed two people walking three dogs. If you haven't read about our Husky, you may be surprised to discover that we can't even walk that one dog with three people! She's a runner and it takes someone on a bike to take her for a walk. Anyway, I commented that it's been so long since we had a "normal" walk, and he said, "Mom, nothing's normal in our house."

He's right. With two parents working from home, five active kids, and two crazy dogs, no day is "normal." But that's not really the point I wanted to make today. I digress before I even get started. (grin) If that doesn't tell you about my state of mind, nothing will.

Yesterday I read a comment from one of our customers. Just so you know, my husband and I run an online store. (I would put a link to it on my blog if I knew how). In case you are interested in cottage-style home accent piece - especially pretty home office stuff - see http://www.roselanecottage.com/.

This customer purchased a white wire bathroom shelf. When she opened it, apparently a small section had been damaged. We must not have noticed it here, otherwise we would never had shipped it. Anyway, she called me and asked what she should do about it. I told her we'd ship a second one out to her immediately and not to worry about returning that one. If we didn't have another one in stock, I would credit her account.

The very next morning she called and left a message saying the damage was so small that her husband was able to fix it and touch up the paint. Now that's going above and beyond what she should have done, in my book. But she did it.

We then sent her an email asking for feedback on our service. We send this to everyone. She responded giving us "excellent" ratings for everything. Then proceeded to comment on the story of how we handled her problem.

This is not uncommon. We can run our business smoothly, get everything out in a timely manner, ship product that's in perfect condition, and everyone is pleased, but not terribly surprised. But when we handle a problem in a manner that's respectful, prompt and shows we take responsibility, people sit up and take notice.

Making a mistake isn't the end of the world. In fact, I've noticed it's actually an opportunity to make a statement about character. People notice how you handle mistakes much more than how you manage success. People are always watching.

I'm so relieved I don't have to do everything right. I tried that life for many years, and ended up being discouraged. This incident reminded me once again, that even in my weakness, God can still use me to touch another person's life, and bring a spot of hope to her day.

I will probably never meet this customer who purchased a wire bathroom shelf, but I pray she knows there is a God who stands for truth, honesty and justice, and people who are trying to follow Him, who stumble, who get back up and keep going.

Have a great day!



Lysa TerKeurst said...

This is a FANTASTIC post. I love this. Can you turn it into a devo? I think it would make an great devo.

Just my two cents.

I've missed you in the bloggy world.

You are one of my FAVS!

Now I'm off to go call you.


Joyful said...

Welcome Home! Glad you had such a wonderful holiday.

Our mistakes can definitely be growth opportunities if we allow God to work through them. God specializes in redeeming mistakes. So thankful I don't have to be perfect. I blow it - that whole 'good that I would I do not' seems to hit me often, but when I fail He always forgives. Praying that my life - the right choices and the mistakes - will give testimony that God is at work in my life.

Have a wonderful weekend.
Love & prayers,

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

SO fun to hear of your dream vacation...I am sure you recommend it for everyone (except the coming back to reality part. :)
What a wonderful story about your business. It is sad to think that good customer service is an exception these days....

Walking said...

First time on your blog and I love this post! It's so simple yet deep. I also believe in giving excellent customer service and then some! Your last line sums it all up brilliantly too.