Customer Service Week: An Opportunity for Recognition Training

October 1, 2012

Customer Service Week is annually celebrated during the first full week of October to recognize the contributions of front-line staff. If you celebrate this customer service recognition event, you most likely prepare weeks in advance to put together customer service recognition activities and gifts your staff will appreciate.

Customer service recognition events that require planning also require lots of communication, especially to managers and supervisors. Use this opportunity to provide everyone with a recognition refresher course. Recognition researchers have found that only 23% of managers have had formal recognition training. Improve that statistic with some basic training in preparation of Customer Service Recognition Week.


What to cover in your Recognition Refresher Course:
 - Recognition is an indicator of employee satisfaction and employee satisfaction directly affects customer satisfaction. The higher the employee satisfaction, the higher the customer satisfaction which leads to more business and sales.

- Employees desire some form of recognition every seven days. Remind managers that preferred forms of recognition include an email, hand written thank you note, ePraise card, or verbal praise during a meeting.

- To reward recognition appropriately, follow the 3-to-1 rule. When employees have consistently performed above expectations, reward their performances with a social acknowledgement three times. Recognize the next great performance with a tangible reward.

- Special events like Customer Service Week signify your organization’s value in its people. Managers should live out and lead this principle by being enthusiastic and participating in all events. After all, that’s what being a manager is all about – the people!


Customer Service Recognition Quick Tips

Regardless of the industry of your organization, you have customers! Whether you serve students, patients, or clients, Customer Service Week is a great time for your team to celebrate successful relationships with your customers. Recognize the role everyone plays in customer satisfaction!

A Manager Employees Stay For
To become the manager that employees cite as one of the reasons they want to STAY with your company – ask yourself the following questions:

1. Expectations. Does each staff member understand their role and how important their contribution is to the success of our organization? Does every employee know what I expect of them?

2. Recognition and mentoring. Do I offer positive reinforcement as well as coaching for improvement?

3. Professional aspirations. Have I had a discussion with each of my employees about their career plans and then offered staff development opportunities to support their goals?

4. Communication. Do I share information that can help them succeed?  Do my staff members consider me approachable and willing to answer their questions?

5. Listening. Am I really present when I have a dialogue with staff? Do I listen more than talk?

6. Role Model. Do I exemplify the behavior I expect of my employees?

7. Collective decisions. Have I asked for input from my staff on decisions that will directly affect them and their role?

Those are the things employees are craving.  To keep your staff happy and loyal to your company, evaluate your relationship with them. Remember, a true leader works on herself first.


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