This week, October 3-9, marks National Customer Service Week (NCSW). NCSW was established by proclamation of President Bush (#41) in 1992. The beginning of the proclamation reads:
In a thriving free enterprise system such as ours, which provides consumers with a wide range of goods and services from which to choose, the most successful businesses are those that display a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. Today foreign competition as well as consumer demands are requiring greater corporate efficiency and productivity. If the United States is to remain a leader in the changing global economy, highest quality customer service must be a personal goal of every employee in business and industry. (Read the full proclamation.)
Of course, if your organization is committed to the customer experience, every week should be customer service week; however, “official” weeks like this are a great opportunity to generate discussions with customers and team members and to take the time to do a little extra.
National Customer Service Week: A Roundup of Ideas
Thinking of doing something special for National Customer Service Week? Take a look at the ideas listed below from some great customer service minds. Included is my favorite idea from the author’s list and a link to the author’s full post.
- Once a day throughout the week, distribute an article about customer service to all of your employees.
(Shep has some great tips on his blog you can use.)
Richard Shapiro: National Customer Service Week, Ten Tips for Repeat Business
- Say hello and smile. In this era of technology, people are more stressed than ever. Getting a big, warm hello can go a long way in giving a customer the feeling of “Hey, this company is really happy to see me.”
(Perhaps turn this into a contest — which CSR can get the most “you are so friendly” compliments this week.)
- Distribute Certificates of Appreciation, Service Awards and small gifts… to those unsung heroes in other departments who make a great effort to meet customers’ needs.
(This website does sell commercial items for NCSW but also has some good information on the event.)
- Celebrate People-Skills. As your customer service teams celebrate with contests, parties, and picture taking, celebrate people skills (aka soft skills) with a thought for each day!
(Kate’s post was from last year’s NCSW, but I’ve been becoming a big fan of hers lately and loved her daily ideas).
One More Idea for National Customer Service Week
In addition to the ideas above, set aside a day or a morning/afternoon for an “Open Line to Management.” Have a manager and/or owner available to take calls from customers. Send out an email to your clients mentioning that, in honor of National Customer Service Week, we are setting aside a time to listen to our customers one on one. Encourage them to share any feedback they have, positive and negative. Possibly offer an incentive for anyone who calls.
So, had you heard of National Customer Service Week before? What was your favorite idea? Are you going to celebrate it in your business.