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Recognise and celebrate excellent customer service

National Customer Service Week is a week long event offering a unique opportunity to highlight the importance of customer service in your business. We offer a range of resources and merchandise to help you get the most out of the week.

Countdown to this year's NCSW

National Customer Service Week (NCSW) 2020 took place on the week commencing Monday 5 through to Friday 9 October.

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.

Monday – Insight: Knowing your customer and how to deliver to them

Tuesday – Capability & Skills: Identifying and nurturing customer service skills in your organisation

Wednesday – Recognition: Celebrate your customer service heroes

Thursday – Leadership: Championing customer service in the boardroom

Friday – Trust, Ethics & Sustainability: Building brand reputation through your actions

From 5-9 October 2020, we celebrated customer service with a series of themes for National Customer Service Week . We prepared activities for each day, in addition to some helpful resources – including posters, email banners and many more graphics that you can use in your own organisation.

Downloadable documents

Activities and resource pack

Digital resource Pack (includes NCSW Logo, Posters and more!)

Monday – Insight: Knowing your customer and how to deliver to them

Monday is all about building a better understanding of what really makes your customers tick. What motivates them? Why do they behave in the ways they do and what value do they derive from you and your organisation? And how can we use this information to serve them better?

  • Meet the team: open day opportunities where your customers have a chance to meet the teams behind the scenes/give feedback/be interviewed on their experiences as customer
  • State of the nation workshops: what does good service look like and how are you applying this in your organisation? To include best practice sessions using the UKCSI Executive summary and your own customer satisfaction results
  • ‘How well do you know your customers?’ Quiz: raise awareness across the business of company metrics about your customers, e.g. How many customers call in person to our offices a year/month? What are the demographics of our customers? What is our most common enquiry
  • Dragon’s Den: suggestions for improvements to your customers’ experience when dealing with your organisation. A panel “impersonating” Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, etc. with employee’s pitching their ideas and the panel asking questions to see how much the ideas are based on a real understanding of what the customer really wants
  • Virtual open day – bring your customers into your business: Invite a customer to a team event or to present to your team all about their experience of being a customer- good and bad. Discuss their needs, plans you have etc. in a customer focus group discussion.
  • Be a customer for a day: walking through the process from that side of the fence- and reporting what it is really like to book a ticket, try to buy or order something on line, how long it takes to have a call answered, etc.
  • Helping customers first hand: employees, who are usually office bound, spend time out in the community assisting the more vulnerable customers, such as helping with a weekly shop or giving houses a spring clean.
  • Puzzles, crosswords, and word search competitions: to raise the awareness of your organisation’s customers, the products and services you offer and customer expectations of you
  • Run a customer satisfaction survey: Consider running a quick satisfaction survey throughout the week
  • Social Media: have a deep dive into what your customers are saying about you on social media this week. Communicate the results across your organisation. Let customers know what you are doing and ask them for their feedback

Resources

  • Customer Focus issue 29, page 4: ‘The CEO Interview: Cabot Credit Management – Debt purchasing firm, Cabot Financial, is the organisation banks turn to when their customers default on their payments. But its MD Derek Usher says just because people now owe it money, they’re still customers, and they deserve the best possible service.’
  • Institute research: Upfront and Personal: Leveraging data to deliver a genuinely personalised omnichannel customer experience
  • Our UKCSI is a great measure of how successful companies owe a lot to their customer service:
    o Video: ‘first direct’s secret on consistently being in the top 10 in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index’
    o Customer Focus issue 28, page 8: ‘The CEO Interview: first direct’
    o The latest UKCSI report
  • Membership Benefit: BusinessBenchmarking provides key insights for our members by surveying their customer base and allowing members to benchmark their results against the UKCSI as a whole, in addition to their specific sector.

Tuesday – Capability & Skills: Identifying and nurturing customer service skills in your organisation

Our research shows that improving employee engagement and capability leads to higher customer satisfaction. Use Tuesday to help your business understand the importance of excellent service, identify key areas to develop and sharpen up your skills.

  • Run an internal customer survey or carry out 121 discussions with internal customers: find out what they like about the way you work with them and what could be improved
  • Join our members-only webinar on training and development: hear about a typical development journey with customer service at the heart – an opportunity to learn about The Institute’s people development products and services
  • Departmental virtual open days: come and visit IT/HR/Shared Services and meet the team. Provide refreshments and include demo’s/presentations/displays of what the team do
  • Organisational quiz: this could involve working in teams with colleagues from different departments and answering questions that enhance understanding of the work the whole business does.
  • Open suggestion sessions: meet with the Director team 121 on ideas for improvement Gather those suggestions and the best win small prizes- make sure you follow up and ensure that in the weeks that follow agreed ideas are implemented and that this is communicated to all employees
  • Job swaps: spend time in another department. Work alongside your colleagues/internal customers
  • Back to the Floor/A day in the life: senior managers spend time working alongside employees (maybe even as their assistants!), take calls in their contact centre. Use the opportunity to discuss the rationale behind different actions and processes and to understand what it is really like to do that job and support customers
  • Poster competition: employees design a poster, depicting the themes for any of the days of National Customer service Week. These are displayed throughout the week and judged on the final day
  • Raising awareness across all departments: employees from around the business listen in on selected live calls from customers
  • Departmental virtual tours: for example of the contact centre where staff members share with other departments information such as customer profiles, average spend, channel used to contact, average age etc., Staff can then listen in on calls or observe live chat. This can then be reciprocated with a visit to another department
  • Customer service thought for the day: run a competition amongst employees to come up with thoughts for each day of National Customer Service Week and display these on posters, produce as videos, etc.

Resources

Wednesday – Recognition: Celebrate your customer service heroes

Given everything that has happened in the last year, it is more important than ever to recognise the individuals and teams that have got above and beyond. Wednesday is all about identifying and celebrating those people that have succeed through adversity and made a significant impact that has benefited your customers.

  • People’s Choice awards: nominated and voted for by colleagues – with fun “red carpet”, or Oscar style event awards ceremony at the end of the week. Awards could be, for example: Players Player, Star of the week, etc.
  • Join our campaign to ‘Back our essential Workers: Service with Respect: we are on a mission to end hostility and abuse towards customer-facing staff, join us in pushing for change
  • NCSW – End of the week newsletter: create a special newsletter, celebrating all the activities throughout the week and include recognition for winners/photographs etc. Follow up a few weeks later, detailing further outcomes from those activities
  • Driving success: each team within a department could be provided with a statistic from their last financial year/month, which they strive to beat during NCSW. For example, customer satisfaction scores, number of complaints/compliments, first time resolution results, new business revenue, upselling figures
  • Awards ceremony for employees: for those recently completing Institute of Customer Service customer service qualifications or external awards
  • Share praise and thanks: communicate to all staff via e-mail, posters, newsletters etc. highlighting complimentary comments about employees from your customers
  • Customer stars: ask your customers to nominate and vote for the best customer service team member and/or for other similar awards. Ask customers to write or record a quick message

Resources

  • Customer Focus issue 29, page 29: ‘The Annual Conference and Awards’
  • Why don’t you enter our awards? This is a great opportunity to acknowledge everything your organisation has been excelling in
  • CEO Blog: Backing our essential workers: service with respect
  • CEO Statement: Recognise excellent service to keep staff motivated for the task ahead
  • Membership Benefit: ServiceMark accreditation recognises members who have diligently worked to achieve high levels of customer service, both internally and externally.

Thursday – Leadership: Championing customer service in the boardroom

Businesses with higher levels of customer satisfaction outperform those that underperform their industry average. Customer service should be a boardroom priority with a clear strategy in place for communicating its importance throughout the organisation.

  • Questionnaire: ask your people – throughout the business and across your senior management – about the business impact /return on investment of providing excellent customer service. Compare the answers and consider where the overlaps and differences lie.
  • CEO/MD open lunch sessions: Drop in for a chat with a cup of coffee and voice your ideas, thoughts and challenges. Ask him/her for their own thoughts about what the organisation needs to do to increase customer service and how that could affect the organisation’s reputation, trust levels with customers, customer retention, sales, profitability, success
  • Calculate the ROI of excellent service: compile evidence of improvements in customer service that have led to a good ROI, e.g. improved efficiencies, cost savings, extra sales, improved customer retention and recommendation, lower staff attrition. Illustrate the difference that it makes to your organisation.
  • Exchange best practice with senior leader from another business: arrange for someone from another organisation to visit your company and talk to you about what they do to deliver great customer service and what this means to their business in terms of ROI
  • Ask the Expert: invite your organisation’s insight specialist to a team event to speak to you about what they have seen about ROI of customer service in your organisation and elsewhere
  • Share information about customer service: use the week to share customer service results/feedback or launch new values, customer charters, ServCheck/UKCSI, etc.

Resources

  • Great customer service can boost business performance and employee engagement, read our member success stories!
    o How Qualifications Programme Management Service increased employee engagement at Hampshire County Council
    o How TrainingMark helped improve Pension Protection Fund’s customer experience and business performance
  • CEO Statement: As customer satisfaction flatlines, a focus on our service offering can drive economic recovery
  • CEO Blog: The rising cost of a poor people strategy
  • Member Benefit: Servcheck is an employee engagement survey which provides feedback to organisations on how their employees regard the organisations leadership, commitment to customer service and overall delivery of high customer service to their organisations.

Friday – Trust, Ethics & Sustainability: Building brand reputation through your actions

Brands are build on trust and customers are increasing keen to understand what is going on behind the scenes. Does the organisation have a strong ethical code and is it taking steps to limit its environmental impact to remain sustainable?

  • Building trust within your organisation: Let your employees pick a partner. Have them sit back-to-back. One employee has a blank pad and pencil, while the other is given a picture with an obscure shape on it. The employee with the picture instructs the one with the pad what to draw
  • Pushing the green agenda: What is understood by the phrases ‘sustainability’ and ‘the green agenda’ in your business? What more can be done to enhance understanding and promote the efforts your organisation is making
  • Meet your Suppliers: set up a ‘speed dating’ session in the canteen with partners and suppliers – staff then spend a few minutes with each one getting some insight on what they do and how they do it. Extended version sees staff accompanying a supplier/partner for a day
  • Complaints masterclass sessions: for customer facing staff with hints and tips for handling customer complaints effectively
  • Complaints Working party: a group of employees reassesses how well the organisation is doing in the way it handles complaints and comes up with suggestions for improvements
  • Back to the Floor: managers deal directly with complaints coming in for a day
  • Role play event: run a fun event with employees taking turns to be the complaining customer. Use the event as an opportunity to raise understanding of the escalation process but also to help staff respond when “we can’t do that, but we can do this” when dealing with demands that cannot be met.

Resources

  • Customer Focus issue 29, page 8: ‘Service Central to Economic Recovery: The Covid-19 induced lockdown is already dramatically impacting the British economy. While organisations might be tempted to hard-sell more goods as the economy opens, Alison Jones, UK managing director of Groupe PSA (owner of Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall), says now is the time for businesses to strengthen their service.’
  • CEO Statement: Businesses must lead the way in the ‘Green Recovery’
  • CEO Statement: Maintaining and building customer loyalty during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Institute research: Experiences, Emotions and Ethics: Refreshing the customer priorities that underpin the UKCSI
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