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Put the Spotlight on Customer Service!

Take time out to recognize the front-line contributions of your customer service staff during Customer Service Week, October 1-5 2007. By acknowledging the importance of their direct role in the success of the company, you'll be arming them with a positive attitude that will be reflected in every customer interaction.

In addition to focusing on the customer service department, this special week provides the perfect opportunity to promote an internal customer service culture that links every member of your organization to the customer.

Exceptional Customer Service starts on the inside.

Though it's easy to forget and often not recognized by companies, customer service is every employee's job. Regardless of position or title, each employee serves someone else in the company with a service or product. It's the IT worker ensuring flawless systems support to the finance manager who generates the detailed report that helps the product manager plan the new product line that will be executed by the product developer who creates the merchandise that will be purchased by the customer. When each "provider" in this service chain delivers quality service to their internal customers, the external customer is the ultimate winner.

This 360-degree approach to customer service has been transforming the workplace in recent years. With Customer Service Week just around the corner, now is the perfect time to incorporate this customer-centric strategy into your organization's long-term plans.

Start building your internal customer culture with these easy-to-implement ideas:

  • Encourage spontaneous, year-round recognition. Pass out a service-themed lapel pin or medallion to each person in the company at the beginning of the year. During the course of the year, employees can use that item to reward an employee who has provided them with exceptional service. The excitement this type of program generates is infectious and highly effective.
  • Celebrate service as a company. Instead of holding a traditional year-end Customer Service department award ceremony, invite the entire organization to an "Excellence in Service" awards celebration. In addition to presenting your external Customer Service awards, recognize one individual in every department for providing extraordinary internal customer service during the year.
  • Instill customer culture in new hires. Train new employees to think like service providers from their very first day on the job. By providing them with a strong grounding in this initiative, you'll find new hires to be important agents for change throughout the organization.
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