What next for your firm after Customer Service Week?

Customer service week

Staff from Nation Media Group and National Cereals and Produce Board cut a cake to celebrate Customer Service Week on October 7, 2022. 

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

It was all pomp and colour as businesses across different industries marked Customer Service Week. The buzz excites businesses and customers in equal measure. 

The celebrations are an annual reminder of the important role customers and frontline employees play in business. Smart customer experience professionals take advantage of the global celebrations to drum up support for company-wide customer experience improvements. 

While this was happening, many other businesses watched from the sidelines. Some had the usual excuse that there was nothing much to celebrate. Now that the Week is gone, what next? Will the celebrations continue?

Marking the first full week of October as Customer Service week means there are 51 more weeks left to go around a year of service. 

The time immediately after the celebrations presents a great opportunity to reflect. It is a time to re-strategise and roll up sleeves for more work.

There is a need to create positive customer experiences every week and not only during customer service week. 

The questions: How do we keep the excitement about serving our customers alive? How do we keep our staff happiness levels up? Do we have a celebration plan that runs all year round? How do we keep the executives involved and informed about what is going on on the frontline? 

Unless customers’ experiences are impacted positively, marking the Service Week could simply be a public relations gimmick or a way to keep up with the Joneses.

We should not wait for the decor to be all down and the goodies to run out before we think about the mindset shifts and behavioural changes we need to adopt in daily interactions. It is commendable that some organisations recognise the need for real improvements during customer service week. 

One of my clients used the celebrations to have the executives shadow the contact centre staff. The feedback was amazing and yielded some tangible changes in policy and structure.

What real changes will you be making going forward as a result of the lessons learnt during the celebrations? Is there going to be a real return on investments made in time and money? How will participation by the executives in the celebrations influence decision-making?

Every business has many opportunities to improve its product and service design and delivery.

The CS Week and the time immediately after provide a great stretch to discuss these improvement opportunities, renew commitment to customers and staff, and take action. 

Every smart business needs to rethink its contribution to customers' success, turning them into advocates. It would be unfortunate if we chose to celebrate our teams and appreciate our customers only one week a year. We must keep the customer obsession fire burning across the year.

Dr Lucy Kiruthu is a management consultant and trainer. Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy

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