Archive for the ‘First Impressions’ Category

Great Customer Service

I had a great customer experience today while getting our van’s oil changed. My kids were with me and they were getting a little antsy waiting for the mechanics to finish their work. That’s when something happened. The man working the front desk noticed what was happening and he took the initiative to change the TV channel from morning news to cartoons. He did it all on his own, like I wasn’t even in the room. Then when we went to pay he addressed the kids kindly with some jokes. They really enjoyed it and his actions made what could have been a difficult situation much calmer and easier to deal with.

That is customer service and that will bring us back to that particular shop again.

Categories: First Impressions, Life

Visitors are Like Detectives

In the past I have had discussions with people regarding the necessity of worrying about first impressions in church ministry. I wonder to myself (and I guess whoever reads this) “if the restaurant industry knows first impressions count shouldn’t the church care as well?”

“Customers are like detectives looking for clues on how good the service and food will be,” Eileen Wall said. “The first thing they see is how it looks. The environment impacts expectations, once you get in there, that’s where the people clues take over.” Restaurant News, March 12, 2007

I love the idea of people being like detectives, although I expect the idea of church visitors being associated with customers makes some people instantly react. That is an understandable reaction. But at the same time, we have to acknowledge that the Sunday service is in some forms a consumable product for people far from God. Most churches even acknowledge this by encouraging visitors not to give but to simple ‘enjoy the service.’

Categories: First Impressions

The Difference Between Promotion and Presentation

January 26, 2007 Leave a comment

I recently had the privilege of being a guest blogger on the Church Marketing Sucks blog. Here is a snippet of what I wrote…

I love how Franquiz picks up on the difference between promotion and presentation. First impressions is about leaving a taste in people’s mouth that makes them more willing to ‘try it‘ again. True, if your first impressions ministry is solely focused on promoting ‘this or that’ in your church for the sake of self-glory or reputation, you have trouble. But if your impressions ministry…

To read the whole entry and check out CMS , click here.

And guess what, CMS has a comment option, so anyone who wants to weigh in can do so there.

Categories: First Impressions

Chipotle Response

January 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Finally heard back from Chipotle. Here is their reply:


Thank you for letting us know about your visit. I’m sorry for the condition of our restroom. We will look into that right away. As for changing tables…I’m sure those will be considered for the future as well.

Have fun with those little ones and thanks for bringing them in to see us!

Dawn Dillon
Mojo Mama

I’m bummed that I didn’t get any gift cards or anything but I do appreciate the fact they personally responded to my concerns and didn’t pass me off to somebody else. I also appreciate the fact that they recognized my kids and understand

Categories: First Impressions

Customer Service Rants and Emails

January 11, 2007 Leave a comment

I sent out a couple customer service emails today and I decided to post them here as well, rather than writing out the whole experiences. Hopefully these two reputable companies will follow-up and I can report back on their wonderful responses. Starting with Chipotle

Hey guys, I appreciate the product and I am a huge Word-of-Mouth advertisers for you guys. Anytime I am with people who have never eaten Chipotle I take them there for dinner.

However, today when my family visited the Maple Grove store our experience was not quite as great as usual. The bathroom my 3 year old son and I used was dimly lit and smelled bad (like dirty, old water). Then when my wife brought our 4 month old into the bathroom to change his dirty diaper there was no place to lay him down except the floor. I love your food but the bathrooms bummed me out.

I’ll probably blog about this so I would appreciate your response.



Moving on to Barnes and Noble….


I am a regular visitor of Barnes and Noble stores. Most of the time my experience is pleasant. However, I have been dissatisfied with the customer service I have received when trying to return items. I don’t understand why only certain members of the sales team can do returns.

What has happened the last two times I have returned items, is that I have had to stand and wait at the front counter until ‘official return people’ find their way to the front of the store. I would think that these people would be stationed at, or close to the front, especially after Christmas when return numbers are high. Having to stand and wait 5 minutes while other registers are working seems like bad customer service.

I will be posting this on my blog and I would appreciate your response.

Thank you,
Brenton Balvin

I guess now we’ll all just wait and see.

Categories: First Impressions

Example #23: First Impressions Matter

December 13, 2006 Leave a comment

On October 25 I wrote a post about the absence of male leadership at the principal level in the elementary schools surrounding my restaurant. I discovered the absence after emailing sixteen local principals. You can read that post, here.

Unfortunately, I have only heard back from 2 of the 16. Are they really that busy that they can’t shoot off an email back to me? Even if they don’t want to partner with me, I would still appreciate a reply.

One of my firmest convictions is that first impressions matter. Right now I’m just glad that my kids don’t go to any of these schools and that my property tax dollars don’t fund them.

the necessity of changing stations

October 11, 2006 1 comment

Speaking of first impressions…

I am super pumped up about what I just ordered. In about two weeks we will have 2 of these babies in the restaurant. I can’t believe a place like this store, which positions itself as a family establishment, has been without them for the last four years.

I remember having to change Jacob one time on a McDonald’s table in Wisconsin somewhere because they had no changing stations. They didn’t like that very much, but they didn’t leave me any alternative either.

Changing stations are a must have for churches. As a parent of 3 kids in diapers (yes you read that correctly – we have 3 kids in diapers and no twins) having a sanitary place to change them is essential. I think this could be particularly challenging for portable churches that meet in schools because most middle and high school bathrooms don’t have changing stations already in them like movie theaters.

Churches in these situations need to figure out a way to make changing diapers easy and sanitary. Maybe buying one of these and keeping it on a mobile cart would work.

Anybody else run into this problem?