Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Freemasons, the Internet, and "Customer Service"

Be thankful for Masons who complain. You still have the opportunity to make them happy.

Brother Kyle Wahlquist is a Past Master of Hillcrest Lodge  No. 1318 in Dallas, Texas. He recently gave a presentation to the city-wide Masters, Wardens and Secretaries Association that was focused on promoting lodges online, and more important, why it is important to do so.

In 1998, I went looking for a lodge to join. None of my friends were Masons then (that I knew of at the time), and no one in my family had been one, either. On my wife's side, my father-in-law had been a 50+ year member, but he lived halfway across the country, and he had passed away. In fact, it was because of his funeral service by Dallas Masons that I made the decision to join.

I did it, in part, because the Grand Lodge of Indiana had an early website.

That was almost 20 years ago, and they were among the first grand lodges to do so. My situation has been repeated by hundreds of thousands of Masons now, all over the world. As far more men who have no actual family connection to the fraternity come looking for a lodge to join, yours is invisible to them without an effective, active, and updated website and social media presence. Even if they drive past your temple building twice a day, every day of their lives, the truth is that for almost everyone now, if it's not online, it just doesn't exist.

So, WBro. Wahlquist has created a PowerPoint presentation on the subject to drive home some nuts and bolts figures and ideas about business-related topics that absolutely correspond to Masonic lodges. No, Freemasonry isn't a business, a church, a charity, or a building: in point of fact, it's actually ALL of those together, mixed in with a philosophical, symbolic, spiritual, and moral fraternity. We're far more than just a treehouse with aprons. So, messages about concepts like "customer service" absolutely transfer directly into how potential and existing members are treated by our lodges. 

When Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, says, “Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company,” he might just as well be talking about Freemasons and our lodges. 

Likewise, take note of the sobering figure from a 2014 study of customer service in businesses that stated, “65% of consumers surveyed said they’ve cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience.”  Translate that into the way a new member is treated at the most important meeting in his entire Masonic career - the 4th one. It's the first meeting after he is raised as a Master Mason. If he has a bad experience, whatever the cause, you might very well have just created a man who will go out into the world and, for the rest of his life, tell anyone who asks him about joining the Masons, "Don't bother."

Take your truth where you can find it.

Have a look at WBro. Wahlquist's presentation HERE.

2 comments:

  1. So true! The 4th Masonic meeting is a real deal maker or deal breaker. For some non-Masonic fraternal organizations it is much sooner. Within Iraq, a co-worker, who knew me to be a Mason, confided to me he was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose but after attending the 2nd meeting (the first being his initiation) with his wife he said he decided never to return because him and his wife did not feel welcomed and seemed to be ignored. I quickly informed him that I would personally see to it this would never be allowed to happen if he joined Freemasonry and I was around. After the War we parted ways so I donot know if he ever joined the Craft. But what I told him stuck with me and when I presided over York Rite bodies no one, and I mean no one, was ever allowed to be lefted out or ignored. Heck, if it were not not for women folk, most of us would not even be here to be Masons!

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  2. In Illinois if things work properly, there should be six or seven men who know the new member. We have a program in which an intender, or mentor, is supposed to get well acquainted with the candidate through the degrees and for about a year afterward.

    While this might not always work as it should, at least an effort is made to integrate the new Mason in to the lodge.

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