National Customer Service Week is a week long opportunity to raise awareness of customer service and the vital role it plays in successful business practice and the growth of the UK economy.
National Customer Service Week (NCSW) takes place during the first full week in October.
The dates for 2014 are: 6 - 10 October
The 2014 themes focus on some of the key elements of customer service:
Sign up to the National Customer Service Week newsletter to keep up to date with themes, activities and new shop items.
This years themes have been chosen to help organisations with their activities during NCSW.
Monday - Understanding your customer
Tuesday - Easy to do business with
Wednesday - Dealing with problems
Thursday - Business impact of customer service
Friday - Recognition
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Understanding your customer
Who are your customers and how are their needs changing?
Customers’ needs are evolving more rapidly than ever before. Customers have become more demanding, discerning, less trusting and less tolerant when organisations fail to meet their expectations. Changes in technology are re-setting expectation about how customers interact with organisations and requiring organisations and employees to develop new skills and capabilities.
- Who are you customers?
- What are their needs and how are they changing
- How do you capture insight about your customers and how do you use it?
- How do your customers use social media and how are you responding?
- What factors will influence your customers’ needs in the future? What do you need to do to respond?
Easy to do business with
How easy are you to do business with?
In a world of increasing speed and complexity, more and more customers are looking for responsive, convenient, straightforward experiences with organisations. In order to keep customers and build loyalty organisations must demonstrate that they are easy to do business with.
Information should be clear, straightforward and relevant, helping customers to make informed decisions. Communications and interactions must be performed to a consistent standard across all channels and methods of contact. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that the extent to which employees are engaged with their customer and the organisations they work for has a tangible impact on customers’ experiences.
So, do you make it easy for your customers to make contact with you, at a time of their choosing? How quickly do you get back to them? How easy is it for customer to get the information or services they need? Can customers make contact with you in different ways - mobile, text, email, website? How easy is it to do business inside your organisation?
National Customer Service Week is an opportunity to re-assess how easy are you to deal with - across your whole organisation.
- John Barnett from Northern Powergrid talks about 'consistent delivery of powerful service'
- Insight into what customers think and feel about organisations: An extract from the July 2014 UKCSI
- Find out how engagement affects customer service with some of the key findings from the January 2014 'Are you being engaged' report
- East Riding of Yorkshire discuss how customer service has helped them empower staff to transform its service - and residents' lives in a case study which shows the importance of being easy to do business with
- An extra analysis of July 2014 UKCSI showing that ease of doing business with is critical to customer satisfaction
Dealing with problems
How well does your organisation respond to problems? Do your employees have the skills and training to respond effectively?
Sometimes there are challenges in meeting customer needs, or things can go wrong. How organisations react when customers raise problems or complaints has a significant impact in how customers see their relationship with an organisation.
Organisations need to provide clear and easy ways for customers to make contact, especially then they are experiencing a problem. They need to respond positively when a customer reports a problem – whoever in the organisation receives it. Organisations need a clear process for complaint handling which recognises that the way problems are dealt with can be as important for customers as the eventual outcome.
- How do different sectors perform for complaint handling?
- What are the key skills and training needed for effective complaint handling?
- How well do you respond in a crisis?
Business impact of customer service
What is the business impact of customer service on your business performance and how do you measure it?
Customer service is key to business performance. It helps organisations retain or grow existing customers and win new customers. It builds an organisation’s reputation and trustworthiness. It also enables organisations to be more efficient by improving processes and reducing the number of problems created for customers.
But customer satisfaction in the UK (as measured in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index) has begun to fall. There is a variety of performance by organisation. In the July 2014 UKCSI, only 28 organisations increased their score by at least one point compared to July 2013 but 96 saw their score fall by more than one point. Therefore as the economy moves into growth, organisations that focus on their customer experience will be best placed to benefit.
- How do you measure the impact of your customer service on business performance?
- How does customer service help you retain or win customers?
- How do you build trust with your customers?
- How many of your customers recommend your organisation to others?
- To what extent do leaders in your organisation understand the impact of customer service on business performance?
National Customer Service Week is an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of customer service to your organisation, and ensure you are maximising its benefits.
How do you recognise and celebrate excellent customer service performance and behaviours?
Excellent customer service relies on consistent focus from individuals – and sometimes going the extra mile to help customers or resolve a challenging situation.
National Customer Service Week is a timely opportunity to recognise and celebrate customer service excellence and demonstrate – to your customers and employees – your organisation’s commitment to customer service.
Purchase NCSW items to promote National Customer Service Week within your organisation.
Monday - Understanding your customers
- Invite a customer to a team event
- Organise a visit to a customer’s business
- Run an exercise to create a profile description of your customer segments, who they are, how they use your products and services, what they need from you
- Run a customer satisfaction survey
- Review how you measure customer satisfaction – identify the measures which best reflect your customers’ needs
- Review the different ways your organisation captures customer insight
- Monitor what your customers are saying about you on social media
- Invite your organisation’s insight specialist to a team event
- Use the Institute’s customer priorities to review which factors will affect your organisation most
Tuesday - Easy to do business with
- Become your own customer – buy a service from your company
- Run a workshop to identify ways you can make it easier for customers to deal with you
- One day “job swap” with a colleague
- Review how easy it is for your customers to give feedback
- Run an internal survey across departments to assess how easy it is to do business across your organisation
- Back to the floor day
- Run a job shadowing day
- “Undercover boss” activities .
Wednesday - Dealing with problems
- Group session – what do your customers complain about?
- Look at what causes complaints and identify ways to stop problems occurring
- What are the most important skills needed to handle complaints
- Review your complaints process and develop action plans to improve it
- Hold a Complaints Masterclass to share best practice and help employees understand feedback and how to deal with it
Thursday - Business impact
- Organise a Q & A event with senior managers in your company about the business impact of customer satisfaction
- Download our quiz – how much do you know about the business impact of customer satisfaction?
- Put a quiz together about your organisation
- Gather customers testimonials on their experience and present to internal and external teams
Friday - Recognition
- Run your own customer service achievement and recognition awards ceremony
- Enter your organisation into the UK Customer Satisfaction Awards
- Invite members of other teams you deal with to visit your customer service operation
- Publicise the positive feedback you received from customers in your workplace
- Run an event to recognise employees who have achieved customer service qualifications