Have you hugged your customer service rep lately? If not, here's your chance. From October 6 through 10, companies across the country are celebrating Customer Service Week 2003, to laud the efforts of customer service, call center, and help-desk professionals.
Started in 1988 by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA), Customer Service Week was proclaimed by the U.S. Congress a nationally recognized event in 1992.
The ICSA has known for years what a study by the Radclyffe Group has determined: Happy agents mean happy customers, which means better business. So the ICSA created Customer Service Week with five objectives in mind: boost morale, reward frontline reps for their work all year, raise company awareness of the importance of customer service within an organization, thank other departments for their support, and let customers know about your company's commitment to customer satisfaction.
To prepare for Customer Service Week 2003, the ICSA and the Customer Service Group launched the official Customer Service Week Web site (www.CSWeek.com), which provides managers with information and free resources to help them plan, organize, and staff a celebration.
The Web site offers some suggestions on how to celebrate your customer service reps, whether it's for the entire week or just one day: Decorate the customer service department and other areas with posters, banners, and balloons. Hang posters and banners early to generate excitement for the celebration. Start the week with a kickoff party. Invite senior management to discuss the role customer service plays in your company's success. Then, wrap up the week by taking your reps to a special lunch or dinner out of the office and away from the phones. Send a handwritten thank-you card to each of your customers with a copy of your service mission statement or a photograph of your team. Thank your reps for their contributions with certificates of appreciation and special gifts placed at every workstation each morning. Games and contests can help relieve stress and build teamwork. Plan an activity for each day and award prizes to everyone.