Customer Experience News & Trends

16 Customer Service Week ideas to pull your celebration together

Customer Service WeekThe customer experience, and everyone involved in making it happen, are all about to get their due. Are you ready to celebrate National Customer Service Week? We have ideas to pull it all together now.

Whether you’re putting the finishing touches on celebrating National Customer Service Week or have never heard of it before, you can pull off some meaningful events that include all the key players: front-line service reps and sales professionals, marketers, customers, support staff and leadership.

The annual celebration kicks off Monday, Oct. 7. It’s been celebrated during the first full week of October since the International Customer Service Association (ICSA) established it in 1984. Congress then proclaimed it an official national event in 1992.

Congress finally follows its directive

The government itself has taken its time catching onto the concept of outstanding customer service — the U.S. House of Representatives just passed the Government Customer Service Improvement Act, which requires certain government agencies to establish and abide by service standards, plus create a customer feedback system. But the private sector has embraced the customer experience and celebrated it for years.

ICSA dubbed the theme this year “United Through Service,” but many organizations pick a theme and use it as an umbrella for different initiatives each day. Meanwhile, many organizations celebrate the week with one or two days worth of events or just one special meal or break. It’s a matter of time and resources — and we have ideas that will fit into any situation.

You can try these ideas from organizations that have used National Customer Service Week to celebrate customers, service professionals and colleagues — as well as kick off initiatives to improve their operations in the coming year:

1. Be a hero Super Business Hero

The service team at one manufacturing company we know picked “We are Super Heroes” as their theme for celebrating this year. Reps get Marvel coloring books for doodling that is meant to help them put stress at bay. Plus, managers found a fun quiz that reps will take to help them determine which super hero they’re most like.

2. Be a TV star

At the Afni, Inc., Bowling Green, KY, contact center, managers host this original team competition one day during the special week: Dress as your favorite TV family. Some HR representatives judge the competition, and the winning team wins a group lunch. Most recently, a team dressed as the cast of Grey’s Anatomy — including an ill patient on a gurney surrounded by “doctors” — won the competition

3. Ready to serve

This idea works really well in 24-hour customer service operations. One center picks a theme and organizes a 24-hour potluck from midnight to midnight so fresh food keeps coming in throughout one day during Customer Service Week. The key to making it work especially well is a sign-up sheet and one guideline: Contribute as much as you partake.

4. Reward the craziness 121351327

Leaders at another contact center plan The Red Carpet Awards every year for Customer Service Week. They roll out a plastic “red carpet” from a party store, create homemade trophies and make up awards to recognize fun things reps did throughout the year. For instance, one rep was awarded the “John Travolta” trophy for his dancing at a company party.

5.  Invite your colleagues

At Glidewell Laboratories in Newport Beach, CA, the customer service team spends one day showing their appreciation for everyone else in the company who supports their efforts to help customers. Each rep brings in an item for a continental breakfast hosted in the department for all the other employees.

6. Hear more thanks

Sales presentationsA manager at IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., tries to get her colleagues in other departments to extend some thanks to her customer service team. She asks them to “sponsor” one day during Customer Service Week. The only requirement: Let the customer service team know how they positively impact their individual departments.

In the past, some gave the service group gift certificates to nearby stores. Others made them lunch. And nearly all of the departments within the company sent personal notes to thank reps.

7. Take some time off

Many organizations try to get their customer service pros out of the office together without jeopardizing service levels. One leader at Bali Co., Division of Sara Lee Intimate Apparel, puts out several notices to customers, letting them know that customer service will be a bit slower for a short time one day during Customer Service Week. Then he arranges for folks in other departments to handle calls and email, and take messages while the customer service team does a group activity — such as visit a botanical garden or the YMCA for team-building exercises.

More importantly, they talk about what they’ve done well in the last year and how they can use those lessons to do better in the coming year.

Bonus: Many customers who hear about Customer Service Week and the retreat send thank-you and encouragement notes that are read to the team that day.

8. Hide the fun 160350753

Jamie Kenney, sales manager at S&S Worldwide, and her management team hide about 200 mustaches around the company. Employees can turn them in for raffle tickets after they find them throughout the week in places such as the refrigerator, between reports, between paper reams, in the warehouse and under the copier. Then they can win prizes at the end-of-week raffle.

And they don’t waste those mustaches. Reps get to play “Pin the Mustache on the Manager,” during which reps are blindfolded and pin the mustaches on a poster-size photo of their leaders — who are mostly women, by the way.

9. Write and improve 147005621

At DigiKey Corp., the manager starts the week by asking reps to write a short essay explaining what the service mission and delivering great customer service mean to them. Executives pick the best essays and reward winners with gift certificates.

The best part: They go through the essays as a department and pull out ideas they can use to improve service in the coming months.

10. Bring in the top

One customer service team opens its department to the entire company one day during the week so reps can give tours and allow their colleagues to monitor calls, and see firsthand all the customer service department does for customers.

Before the open house, the manager tips off the company’s top executives on extra efforts or extraordinary performances by each rep. Then the executives use that information to personally thank reps for specific work.

11. Teach your colleagues

In another outreach effort, one service team uses the week to educate everyone in its company about helping customers — something nearly everyone ends up doing at one time or another. The team sends out a service tip via email each day. At the end of the week, the team gives colleagues a booklet with more tips — for reference throughout the year — and information on how different situations can affect customer satisfaction.

12. Strive for better results, see something outlandish

Reps at Consolidated Service Corp have fun every Customer Service Week — all while improving their performance. They enjoy food, celebrations and rewards, and set higher goals — which, when achieved, make company executives do outlandish things.

For instance, in the past, an executive worked from the roof of the building for a week after service reps smashed special performance goals set during Customer Service Week.

13. Boost learning

At Northeast Delta Dental, a manager uses the annual celebration to emphasize continual learning and improvement. She invites speakers to talk about quality standards and how customer service fits into the organization’s goals.

Then reps revisit their personal and department goals and what they could do to meet or exceed them. And then they create an action plan.

14. Kick back and hear how good you are

Customer relationship managementThis is fun and inspirational: The customer service manager at LifeCell Corp. once wheeled a large television and a popcorn machine into the department during a slow afternoon and told the team to relax a little.

Then, before starting a rented movie, she played a video of recorded messages from the company leaders and major customers thanking the customer service reps for all they do to help. The sales team helped gather the customer testimonials and the top brass was more than happy to give the shout-out.

15. Focus on customers, too

In addition to celebrating employees, banks often spend the week thanking their customers — the people who allow them to deliver great service. One gives the adults lollipops with attached thank-you messages.

Another puts out drinks and treats all week long, and when customers arrive, clerks ask them “Can I get you a refreshment?” Of course, they take care of customers’ banking needs, too. But the front-line service pros put an extra emphasis on customers all week.

16. Surprise customers

The customer service pros at Cincinnati Insurance Companies send personalized thank-you cards to customers for contacting them regularly throughout the year. Plus, they sent a coffee mug to every fifth customer they talked to during Customer Service Week.

A bonus for next year

You can put this idea in your cache for next year, since you’ll need a little more time to plan: Initiate a T-shirt swap with customers.

Reps as Sperian asked their customers to send them shirts with the customers’ company logos on them, which the reps wore during Customer Service Week. In return, reps sent an equal number of Sperian shirts to customers and a photo of the reps wearing the customers’ shirts with a big thank you for being loyal.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.
  • CCC is known in Costa Rica as offering the best employee arcade.
    The international outsourcing industry has the best game room in Costa Rica.
    Without question, CCC has the best gaming toys in a Latin American outsourced Telemarketing Company.
    The proud owner of CCC, Richard Blank, firmly believes that the more an agent stays away from their virtual cell phone world; the more they will increase their interpersonal relationship building among other BPO employees.
    Since 2007, our highly educated call center agents continue to grow as one unit by incorporating many challenging video games during scheduled breaks and lunch time.
    CCC took a chance when most call centers do not utilize a common medium of arcade gaming.
    The Costa Rican millennial generation that grew up playing video games at home did not share the same pleasure and stimulation as the early retro gamers that had an arcade on every corner and local mall in the United States.
    CCC Human Resources Department was intent on a positive learning experience by combining fast momentum and a creative mind. Proving a solid ROI on a large internal expense for employee retro gaming recreation, the telemarketing staff has enjoyed a spike in morale, increased online labor support and a flattering local reputation in Costa Rica as a great call center environment run by generous owners.
    Back in the 1980, anyone in Costa Rica who wanted to play the real video games was on a mission to find an arcade. Once you placed your 100 colones on the game marquee to hold your place, it didn’t get any better when you had the chance to show your skills in front of dozen kids from San Jose. Each Tico was shooting for the high score on Asteroids or Pac Man and loved every minute of it. CCC wants to bring that excitement back into a call center environment and use it to grow past our 440 agent limit at our current location on Paseo Colon.
    Today, CCC firmly stands behind having our call center employees experience the authentic arcade sounds, sights and real time retro competition.
    Our new video arcade room has given CCC another strong gust of wind in our sails. Costa Rica’s Call Center will continue to reward our amazing staff by a pace of 1 new arcade machine per 44 new telemarketing agents hired and hitting their monthly quota.
    The employee friendly call center environment became more pleasurable immediately which can offset a demanding telemarketing career. Any BPO boss could only imagine and wish for laughter, smiles, spirited jokes and high energy at their Costa Rican office on a Monday morning before shift.
    The reality today is that CCC has become the only call center to have gifted their entire staff a video arcade game room to have fun, period. All agents are given the option to arrive early to play the games or they may choose to stay inside and enjoy the machines during the evening while waiting for their ride to safely take them home.
    A smart motivational technique used for CCC BPO agents is to compete on the machines in the game room.
    One way in which a telemarketer’s confidence could be made stronger or broken down is through an arcade experience during their work day. Costa Ricans have courage and can back up their swagger on the phone after dominating the video games during their scheduled breaks.
    In the competitive offshore outsourcing call center arena, CCC has an advantage over the rest in Costa Rica by creating a strategic play environment.
    High end arcade video games will reinforce a call center agent’s focus, mind set to win and motor skills while off of the phones during their free time. The most important virtue is to show a solid habit of good sportsmanship regardless of the outcome of the games in the arcade.
    More new friendships have blossomed in the game room at CCC call center Costa Rica.
    Our entire staff has concluded that an immediate visual stimulation combined with a conditioned manual stimulation in gaming added a very special ingredient to our nuance at CCC. To date, Costa Rica’s Call Center is the only BPO in Central America with a retro arcade game room, period.
    The average age of our Costa Rican call center agents correspond with the virtual gaming boom. Every CCC agent that grew up mastering Nintendo has amazing skills and a strategic thought process.
    Combining a bilingual telemarketer’s gaming experience to help motivate, focus and relax the work place mind set is priceless and makes perfect sense for any outsourcing company.
    Everyone in Costa Rica that works at a call center possesses certain cognitive attributes to win an arcade game. Naturally, the CCC staff will harness and transfer that energy and high confidence to a telemarketing floor after a hot streak in the game room.
    The new generation of online gamers has stated that they prefer the feel of an authentic arcade game machine setup: joystick, eye level monitor and properly spaced buttons. CCC wants to bring back the real unique arcade game experience to Costa Rica for all telemarketers verses a hand held controller game that is found on any standard flat screen TV in San Jose.
    All video arcade games at CCC are free.
    Many people in the outsourcing call center industry will question the distraction ratio, loss production or adverse effects towards an arcade game room. Well, the risk of an arcade game room was definitely worth the reward to CCC. The most common reaction from the agents is that they are “letting off steam”. CCC telemarketers are able to function better by structuring their break times around a more productive activity than checking their email, text messaging or having a cigarette.
    CCC personally challenges all business owners to incorporate a video arcade within their establishment and not to charge a cent.
    It is obvious that we take care of our employee’s well mental state while bonding through other mediums besides long meetings or just traditional work place activities that produce average telemarketing results.
    Just like on a golf course, we are able to use a game room during a conversation, find alternate ways to focus and share BPO ideas than spending time in a board room with a projection screen.
    Bottom line, make our meetings productive in multiple ways when communicating with today’s new work place demographic in call centers.
    Recess play has been lost in memories of youth and days long gone. Not at CCC. We ensure that everyone knows how to enjoy their time and has fun at least once a day at our call center.
    Telemarketing and video games do have something in common regarding performance and success.
    A professional telemarketer’s natural ability to become in sync with their rhythm, pace, concentration, decision making and a positive attitude emerge stronger through video games. BPO agents return to the phones in motion after going into the arcade during their break.
    Our call center in Costa Rica has a solution to chain smoking telemarketers. The BPO agents are smoking less at Costa Rica’s Call Center. Does this industry create stress? Yes it does. Yet, many forgo a smoke break to spend 15 minutes playing the video games to relax and increase their health. The average call center agent will smoke a minimum of 4 fewer cigarettes a day via our game room.
    CCC promotes the best environment as to find a healthy alternate than chain smoking outside in between calling sessions. We have noted that once a professional telemarketer from Costa Rica leaves the game room, they feel recharged. From a scent perspective, they do not emit an odor of tobacco that carries on the calling floor.
    Free play for all CCC agents, period. The games are a gift to all of the hard working telemarketers in Costa Rica. Some companies charge their employees to play their games. Our call center staff has earned their retro arcade game room which is now famous for being the best in Costa Rica.
    We have the space for the arcade and plenty of electricity to entertain over 100 telemarketing agents during their free time. The recreational advantage at our call center speaks volumes and has yet to be matched in Costa Rica let alone Central America. Once the word spread, the private arcade was packed since day 1 with our amazing staff having a great time.
    The arcade boom of the 1980s was represented by a quarter that would reserve your spot. At CCC, we work on an honor system and it shows since everyone is given a turn to play. Naturally, some gamers last longer than others and show an old playground dominance mentality on the arcade machines which appears to be respected in Costa Rica.
    There may be a queue on our predictive dialer, but there is never a long wait to start playing arcade games at CCC COSTA RICA.

    http://WWW.OUTSOURCINGTOCOSTARICA.COM