BY BRUCE BELFIORE | September 29, 2017
Are you prepared for Customer Service Week? Customer Service Week is October 2-6, 2017. Find opportunities to bring forth stories and experiences about customers. Find powerful ways to get your colleagues to put themselves in the customer’s shoes….and then knock their sox off with great service!
Let me offer a few thoughts to make this year’s Customer Service Week a Success.
Prep For Monday, October 2nd
Remember that Mondays have the advantage of offering a new beginning. However, they also have the disadvantage of coming right after a weekend. People are often feeling wistful about the days of rest, and rueful about the work week ahead. October 2nd is not going to be any different - - unless you make it so.
Think now of the best way to break the Monday “mourning” mood and rev up your CSW themes. Standing at the door and greeting each person to “2017 Customer Service Week” at your center is a good way to let everyone know this is a special week. Hand out something that will bring a smile to their faces and make them take notice. A bottle of water, a cute stress reliever, a button that says “I’m crushing Customer Service Week”, or something similar will create a special atmosphere right out of the gate. In my previous blog post on Customer Service Week, I suggested a banner for your center to proclaim the week, as well as other ways of preparing to make the week special.
There is still time to order items or make them yourself or with your team. Bring together the best customer service experiences from your center over the past year. If there is a “classic” story from years ago, bring that to the fore as well for the benefit of your newer employees.
One of the ways CSW can be leveraged is in building or reinforcing your culture. The enthusiasm you show, the recognition you give, the stories you tell all contribute to inculcating the culture you want in your center.
Keep the customer in the center of your activities and your words. Mapping and bettering the customer experience, and tapping into customer emotions, will help you and your colleagues to better connect with, and better serve, the people who contact you.
While you want to pace yourself over the week, you also want to start strong. It is tougher to build up to a “meaning” by Friday of CSW than it is to start with a strong message so that people are focused and fired up from the start.
One of the things we have noted in the Centers of Excellence we have certified over the years is that their managers are both good strategic planners and strong on execution. Use today to look at your center with new eyes. See if you are living up to your strategic mission statement - - and are actually delivering the level of service you should.
Enjoy lunch with some of your agents and engage in conversations about great service. Immerse yourself in CSW and enjoy the rest of the week!
Let’s put aside the notion that Wednesday is the notorious “hump day”, when some people are already starting to live for the weekend ahead, while putting the work week in their rear-view mirror.
This is not the way you should experience Wednesday of Customer Service Week. Instead, find a way to make it wonderful – a great day on its own. An extra big smile, an extra warm greeting to your colleagues as you move around your center, special words of encouragement or praise for an interaction that fits the best standards of Customer Service Week - - all of these can make Wednesday of CCW a great day.
If you put up a Customer Service Week banner, or made any of the other preparations I suggested in my previous article on CSW, be sure to refer to them and leverage them.
This is hardly hump day. This should be hallelujah day. Make it so!
TGIF - Thank Goodnes It's Fun!
What if TGIF meant “Thank Goodness it’s fun”? What if you can make it so!
As you bring Customer Service Week to a close, find a way to pass the spirit forward.
You can give special CSW awards. You can have a team meeting in which colleagues highlight things they learned and pay tribute to their co-workers who helped them with important insights.
Whatever you do, make sure CSW ends on an up note, with smiles and insights on great customer service. Just as you started the week welcoming everyone as they came in to work, consider being at the door wishing everyone a great weekend as they leave. And if the end of the week for you is Saturday or Sunday, then you can adjust accordingly.
Think of some insight or action that had special impact this week. Share it with everyone in meetings or by email or flyer. It doesn’t have to be long – just inspiring and upbeat.
Customer Service Week may be coming to an end, but great customer experiences should be getting better and better as you look to the future. CSW is an opportunity. Stop now and think of how best to take advantage of it.
You may have received ideas on improvements and goals for your center. If we, at BenchmarkPortal, can assist you with strategic thinking, assessments, training, or any other topic, please let us know. We can work with you to ensure that next year’s Customer Service Week is even better than this year’s edition.
Want more on CSW? Check out our other article with ideas: Keep the Customer Out Front!
Bruce Belfiore is Senior Research Executive and CEO of BenchmarkPortal, custodian of the world’s largest database of contact center metrics. He hosts the monthly online radio show "CallTalk" and is chancellor of The College of Call Center Excellence, which provides courses for call center professionals. He has consulted for many Fortune 1000 companies, helping them to improve the strategic value, efficiency and effectiveness of their customer contact operations. He is the author of the book Benchmarking At Its Best for Contact Centers and holds bachelor’s, MBA and JD degrees from Harvard University.