Customer Service Week is a nationally recognized celebration of the importance of customer service and the people who devote their career to working with customers. It’s celebrated through the first full week in October — this year, the first through the fifth.
Ironically, Customer Service Week is not about the customers at all — it’s about listening to employees and empowering them to create a better customer experience.
Why customer service is important
Modern businesses, especially retail and eCommerce, face immense competition as most operate within industries which offer many substitutes. Therefore, brands are turning to customer service as a value-add to help separate their company from the next.
Retailers and eCommerce businesses cannot afford to provide a poor customer experience — it can cause you to lose repeat business while also affecting your ability to land future clients.
Online reviews are vital to the success of small businesses, even more so for eCommerce businesses.
Unfortunately, customers are more likely to leave negative reviews than they are positive, which can create a skewed perception of your brand.
Yet, with 95 percent of shoppers searching for online reviews before they make a purchasing decision, it’s evident that you need to do everything in your power to prevent poor customer service.
Preventing a bad customer experience is important, but so is providing great customer service. During Customer Service Week, focus on creating a reputation for excellent customer service. It will improve brand image, turn customers into advocates, increase employee satisfaction and generate more sales.
Benefits of celebrating Customer Service Week
Focusing on improved customer service is critical to the success of your business. As such, take the opportunity this year to celebrate Customer Service Week — especially if you have not made customer service a priority before.
There are many reasons for retailers and eCommerce businesses to celebrate Customer Service Week including:
- It increases employee motivation and buy-in.
- It educates your organization on proper customer service techniques.
- It emphasizes the value your company places on customer service.
- It provides an opportunity to recognize excellent performers.
- It shows customers your commitment to providing a great experience.
Related: Tips to optimize your eCommerce customers’ post-purchase experience
Ideas for celebrating Customer Service Week
You clearly understand that customer service is important to your business, and you want to use Customer Service Week as an opportunity to drive home that message and celebrate your employees — so, what do you do?
Here’s a rough Monday through Friday schedule of ideas for your business to celebrate Customer Service Week. You are welcome to follow the schedule or take whatever notes from each day that you want to incorporate.
Just remember, Customer Service Week should be used to highlight the benefits of customer service within the context of your specific business and empower your employees to create an amazing experience for your customers — day in and day out.
Monday: Set expectations
An important characteristic of great customer service is for an organization to communicate expectations clearly. This same trait is important for leaders who want to get their employees’ commitment.
Monday is the first day of Customer Service Week and is the perfect time for leadership to set their employees’ expectations for the rest of the week.
Create an itinerary of activities, events and training that you have planned throughout the week. This will require you to do some research and planning before the celebration, but since you are reading this, you’re on the right track.
Monday is also the opportunity for you, as the business owner, to talk about how important quality customer care is to your organization. Use specific examples of how good or bad customer service has impacted your business — driving home how much the customer experience affects your business.
If executed properly, Monday will excite and motivate your employees. It will provide a clear understanding of the rest of the celebration, while also emphasizing the reason you are celebrating Customer Service Week.
Tuesday: Customer service training
While Customer Service Week is a celebration, it’s also an opportunity to educate your team. Tuesday is a great day for the educating part of the week — as your employees will still be motivated by your rousing speech from Monday.
If you have someone in your company who prides themselves on amazing customer service, maybe they will be willing to conduct a workshop. If you don’t, consider hiring an outside customer care trainer or speaker to conduct a training.
Customer service trainings can equip your employees with the skills needed to excel in that area.
Proper customer care programs can help your employees improve their listening skills, ability to solve problems and communication, among many others.
Moreover, trainings show your willingness as an organization to invest in your team — which is one of the best ways to motivate your employees and create an enjoyable workplace. In fact, 68 percent of workers believe that training and professional development is the most important policy in their organization.
Wednesday: Shake things up
As an employee, it’s easy to get demotivated by the monotony of your daily tasks. This feeling might explain why 85 percent of employees are not engaged or disengaged at work.
Use Wednesday as an opportunity to shake things up and have your employees shadow other employees in different departments.
Leadership is also encouraged to participate, as working with frontline employees can help raise awareness about granular issues that are not visible at the macro-level.
As companies grow, it’s easy for silos to form in different areas of the company. Departmentalization is important to help improve specialized skills and understanding, but it can create a disconnect within your organization.
Job shadowing can help break this barrier and improve communication while also providing a more holistic understanding of how each area affects the organization.
Thursday: All about the customers
Use Thursday as an opportunity to turn the focus from your employees to your customers. Find activities and ideas that will allow your team to interact with customers in a positive way.
For instance, if you’re an eCommerce store, have your employees create handwritten notes thanking customers for their support and telling a little about the role that employee had in their order. This simple project will humanize the customer in the employee’s eyes as well as your brand in the customer’s eyes.
By finding ways for your employees to interact with customers in a positive manner, Thursday can help you further reinforce the value of quality customer service to your employees and clients.
Related: Start to finish eStore customer service tips
Friday: Time to celebrate
By Friday, your team has run a customer service marathon. You’ve trained and motivated them, you’ve provided them with opportunities to apply their knowledge and now it’s time to bring everything together for a final celebration.
Consider throwing a Customer Service Week banquet or luncheon on the final day. Provide your employees with food and let them unwind. Owners or managers can write personalized letters to each employee.
Hand out awards and prizes to employees who have excelled previously in customer care or to employees who went above and beyond throughout the week.
Friday is the perfect time to recognize the employees that affect the customer experience and empower them to continue their great efforts.
Celebrate Customer Service Week
Providing quality customer service every day isn’t always easy — but, if your employees understand how important their interactions with customers are to the success of the entire organization, it can breed accountability while incentivizing them to provide better service.
Customer Service Week provides eCommerce and retail businesses with an amazing opportunity to put the spotlight on customer care. However, great organizations will continue to make customer service a focal point throughout the entire year, in addition to Customer Service Week.
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