As it appeared in the daily nation of September 15th 2015
by Lucy Kiruthu
In exactly three weeks the world will be abuzz with Customer Service week celebrations marked during the first full week of October. The celebrations have been running in the USA since the 1980s and were proclaimed a national event by the US congress in 1992. This year the CS week falls on October 5th to 9th and many organizations have their plans all ready. In Kenya, the Institute of Customer Service Kenya (ICS-K) has been coordinating the celebrations for the last three years. The body indicates that several organizations have confirmed their participation. The plans in place are likely to make this year’s celebrations bigger and better than ever before. The key question is “Is your organization ready”? Whether a small or large organization, we can all celebrate our customers both internal and external with the rest of the world in our own small or big way.
Many countries have different themes and even organizations have identified their unique weekly or even daily themes. In Kenya the theme that ICS-K has been rallying behind all year round is “Listening to our customers”. Listening is important when interacting with both internal and external customers. In fact listening is considered a form of respect and its role in effective communication is like none other. In the UK and the USA the CSWeek theme this year is “Everyday Heros”. This theme recognizes frontline customer service staff most of theme Heros in the eyes of their customers. In particular the UK has lined up daily themes in line with this theme. I believe we can borrow from this theme because we too have our everyday heros. With Mashujaa day celebrations happening same month, we can extend our celebrations all month by recognizing our “Customer Service Heros” within our organizations on October 20th. Better still we can recognize these Heros every day at the point of interaction whether as customers, managers or colleagues!
Many customer service professionals are looking forward to these celebrations for many reasons. Customers and staff will be celebrated and many staff who consider Customer service their profession or passion will gather for the 3rd annual #CSWeek Gala dinner on October 9th. The gala dinner a culmination of the full week celebrations is the only place you can witness hundreds of smiles in one room. Anyone who has attended the past 2 dinners knows this too well. It is not too late to start planning your participation by lining up fun and value adding activities. Do not wait until the last minute or fail to plan at all.
I believe that the benefits of a well-planned customer service week can last all year round. Staff will be happy, customers will be happy, and our customer service profile will go a notch higher. All participating companies will be recognized at the dinner. In addition, for the first time ICS-K will be on the lookout for the most Innovation Customer Service Week Celebrations. A few days ago such an award if daily would have most likely gone to KCB with their “back to school” campaign. It is time to get creative. Let us together celebrate our customers both internal and external. Do not be left behind this year!Top of Form
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Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org/old or via twitter @kiruthulucy