Top 10 Ideas Make Customer Service Week

Top 10 Ideas Make Customer Service Week

October 7, 2013 begins National Customer Service Week. It’s an opportunity to pause, re-focus and discover new ways to deliver amazing customer service to our customers. To help you get the most from this week-long event, here is my Top Ten List of ideas to make it a great week.

1. Smile.

It’s free, it’s easy and it’s a fast way to show your customers you’re happy to be there for them. Wearing a genuine smile makes you appear approachable and welcoming. It helps you offer a better experience for your customers. And, it might help you live longer.

There have been numerous studies that correlate smiling with health benefits such as reducing stress, strengthening our immune system and lowering blood pressure. Plus it feels good which can’t be a bad thing.

2. Add a customer service blog to your reading list.

A top way to stay motivated, and to gain new ideas, is to surround yourself with the topic. Blogs are a fantastic way to do this because they offer fresh and frequent content that’s easy to digest. And they’re written by people who are crazy about customer service. Here is a list of top customer service blogs to get you started.

3. Buy a customer service book.

Sometimes you want a little more than what a blog post or article provides. That’s when a well written book on customer service can be handy. They often use relevant examples to illustrate points. And they typically have hands-on, practical advice for handling many customer service situations. Here’s a list of some of my favorite customer service books to consider adding to your library.

4. Build a customer service quote into your daily routine.

Quotes can be motivational and inspirational. When they’re about customer service (or different aspects of it) they can help us stay at the top of our game. Maybe that’s why they’re so popular. Plus you can use them to easily share some wisdom with others by including them in emails, blog posts, newsletters and other communications you create for customer service week. This resource has over 300 customer service quotes. Check it out now.

5. Ask a customer what they expect from you or your organization.

To deliver Amazing Customer Service, we need to know what our customers want from us and our organizations. While there are many ways to research this question, the best way to learn the answer is to ask them. You can do this through informal conversation. You can ask specific questions. You could even use surveys. The key is to adapt a mindset of learning what your customers want and then find a variety of ways to ask them.

6. Ask a customer how you’re doing.

Once you know what your customers want, you need to learn if you’re meeting or beating their expectations. As important as it is to know what your customers expect, it’s even more important to do something about it. Delivering Amazing Customer Service means getting it right and going beyond what your customers expect.  Asking how you’re doing helps keep you on course.

7. Ask a customer how to improve.

We hope we’re beating our customer’s expectations most of the time. But even if we are, we should always look for ways to improve. Since the world keeps changing, we need to continually find new and better ways to help our customers achieve their goals. So, the third part of this ongoing conversation with customers is to get their feedback on how we can improve.

8. Recognize another employee for delivering Amazing Customer Service.

Delivering Amazing Customer Service is a process, not an event. It’s an ongoing routines that we need to do every day with every customer. That’s why many customer service training courses or workshops are not effective as they could be. They tend to be singular events and once gone, they’re often forgotten. To really improve the customer we deliver we need to insert reminder into our routines, to keep it top of mind.

An effective way to keep Amazing Service top of mind is to regularly recognize others when they deliver it. This works because it rewards the behaviors we want to and therefore encourages more of them. And it provides real-time examples for others to learn from, making it easier for others to emulate.

9. Decide to be a better customer.

Since we’re taking time to think about customer service and to recognize its importance, let’s not forget the role customers play in their own service. People who are rude, impatient or just plain mean are less likely to bring out the best in others. You can argue that everyone should get the best service we can give but that’s not always the reality we live with.

Here are two entertaining and educational examples of why being  a better customer is so important.

10. Create an Amazing Service swat team in your organization

In law enforcement, a SWAT team can provide a fast and effective response to urgent situations. In the context of customer service, when things go wrong, it helps to be able to evaluate what happened, why it happened and how things could be improved next time. That’s where your Amazing Customer Service SWAT team can be valuable.

Gather a group of people who have demonstrated that they understand what Amazing Customer Service means, people who have shown they know how to deliver Amazing Service to their customers.  Task this team with reviewing customer situations that don’t go so well. Whether it’s a complaint, an escalation, a cancellation or some other problem, define it, describe it, talk about it and discuss how to do better the next time. Then share these learnings with the rest of your team, so everyone can benefit.

Eventually you’ll start to see patterns in where things go wrong. These patterns will help you understand what gaps exist in your processes or capabilities.

There are many ways to make National Customer Service Week a success. You can implement some of the ideas I’ve mentioned here. Or see what others are doing. A good place to start is the official FaceBook page. And, learn more about the people who brought us National Customer Service Week here.

 Please use the comments below to share some things you or your organization is doing to celebrate National Customer Service Week.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz