Why customer service week should be a wakeup call for firms

Huduma Centre

A Mombasa County resident seeks services from the Huduma Centre at Posta on June 14, 2022. 

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group

If you are a business, a public-sector institution, or a non-government organisation, you are providing a product or a service. As human beings, we consume many products and services. Some of the largest sectors in our society are service providers.

The government and public institutions provide a service. Sectors such as financial, healthcare, education, telecommunications, transport, and many others provide services. Even organisations involved in production also have an element of service, for example in the distribution of products. Each one of us is involved in service. What service are you providing?

Every year since 1992, the world has gotten together to mark Customer Service Week. This first full week of October is an international celebration of the importance of service. Both those who provide and consume services need to be celebrated. The importance of service and of those who provide and receive it is undisputed. In Kenya, many organisations continue to join in the customer service week celebrations and extend the celebrations throughout the year.

Customer Service Week

How do we celebrate our team every day? They serve and support customers daily. Without them, service is not possible. How do we celebrate the customers or the citizens who receive service? Without customers, our businesses would not exist. Participating in the Customer Service Week celebrations is a great starting point! Will you be joining in the celebrations next week?

There are many reasons and ways to celebrate service every day. When we celebrate our teams, we boost their morale to serve whole-heartedly. We celebrate them to recognise their efforts. We can celebrate even a little more during Customer Service Week by intentionally taking time to thank our customers and staff.

They will feel appreciated and valued. We can hold an event for our customers. Additional internal activities include having theme days, holding a town hall with the CEO, taking the staff out for an appreciation lunch or dinner, or holding fun team activities.

Rewarding our customers and staff is a form of celebration. The customer service week is also an opportunity for the leadership to make a public statement about the need to focus on the needs of staff and customers.

Community service

We can also include a charitable element in our celebrations as part of community service. A simple mass SMS to our customers will not add much value. Let us think of creative ways to make our staff and our customers feel special, valued and appreciated. The customer service week celebration is a golden opportunity to raise companywide awareness of the importance of service to others. Let us have fun, reflect on our past successes, celebrate each other, and re-energise so that we can deliver the best possible service every week.

We still have a few days to plan and build some excitement. Let us mark next week to renew our commitment to meet the expectations that our staff and our customers have of us. There should be no excuse for not joining the global community in the celebrations. Borrowing from the words in the song "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang, Let us celebrate and have a good time!

Dr Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy

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