customerserviceweekYou know I couldn’t let it pass without at least mentioning it.

Back in 1992, President George H. W. Bush designated the first full week of each October as National Customer Service Week ™ to:

  • recognize the contributions of customer service professionals
  • reinforce the message that customer service is essential to profitability

I’m a big proponent of providing shareworthy service – during National Customer Service Week ™, and throughout the year!

That’s why I loved yesterday’s Forbes.com article by Micah Solomon. In the piece, he outlines six ways to provide exceptional customer service year-round.

If you don’t have time to read the full article, here are his main points:

  1. Reinforce service standards daily (annual plans just won’t cut it). At the start of each day, assign a different employee to lead an incredibly brief meeting. The goal? Reinforce a single principle of your customer service standards (see tip #6).
  2. Hire service employees with the right psychological traits. Make sure you select customer-facing employees scientifically and intentionally. Choose people with the following traits: warmth, empathy, teamwork, conscientiousness and optimism.
  3. Systematize service processes. People are at the heart of great service, but they need to have adequate systems and technology to resolve issues quickly and completely.
  4. Smiles matter as much as systems. Customers value warmth and kindness as much as technical competency in your service personnel. Never forget it.
  5. Empower your employees. Autonomy is essential to service employees’ morale. Empower them to consistently deliver excellent service (for more information, read this post on empowering employees to deliver shareworthy service).
  6. Create standards for service delivery. Autonomy is important, but it’s not enough. Provide employees with clear service standards that explain: why the service is of value; the emotional response you want your customers to feel; the expected ways to accomplish the service.

From front line employees like receptionists, recruiters and account managers, to the back office teams that support them, everyone in your staffing or recruiting firm has a customer service role. Use this week to recognize the hard work that goes into delivering exceptional service (to clients, candidates and internal employees) and really raise the bar.

Are you planning to recognize service employees’ contributions this week? If so, how?

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