October is a month filled with things to celebrate … from apple picking and leaves changing colors to the return of pumpkin-flavored treats at cafes and grocery stores.
In addition to enjoying these fall favorites, autumn is the perfect time to honor the contributions of customer experience (CX) professionals. That’s why it should come as no surprise that two annual occasions celebrating these hard-working heroes — CX Day and National Customer Service Week — happen in October.
Created by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), “CX Day celebrates the professionals and companies that make great customer experiences happen. It’s an opportunity to recognize great customer work, discover professional development opportunities, and strengthen professional networks.”
This year’s event, which took place on October 1, featured:
- An announcement of 2019 CX Impact Award winners
- Live panels with CX industry experts throughout the day
- Local events around the globe from Atlanta to Amsterdam, Chicago to Cape Town, Madison to Melbourne, and everywhere in between
National Customer Service Week
Another opportunity to celebrate CX professionals this month is National Customer Service Week (NCSW), which “was established by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA) in 1984 and proclaimed a national event by the U.S. Congress in 1992.” Want proof? Just email info@NationalCustomerServiceWeek.org to get a personal copy of the signed presidential proclamation!
NCSW 2019 will take place October 7-11 with a theme of “Every Experience Counts.” To help organizations plan their celebrations, ICSA put together fun ideas for each day:
Monday — Kick Off
Kick off NCSW by making sure EVERYONE in your organization knows about it. How? Mention it at a company-wide meeting or in an email to all employees. This way, other departments can get involved in honoring the support team.
Tuesday — Trading Places
Have executives trade places with support representatives to take calls, answer questions, and maybe even handle a complaint. Taking on the role of a front-line agent, even for a short time, is sure to give company leaders a renewed appreciation for the support team.
Wednesday — Meal Time
Food is an essential part of any celebration, and FREE food is a perfect way to express gratitude. Start the day with donuts or let employees hang up the phones a bit early for an office happy hour. Even better, have managers, executives, or another department serve lunch to the support agents. It’s a gesture that’s sure to make them feel extra special!
Thursday — Dress Up Day
Letting support employees change their attire for the day is a fun and creative way to recognize them. If you have a more casual office, the team might enjoy expressing their sense of style with fancier clothing. But if you have a stricter dress code, this is a great opportunity to inject some playfulness into the week by allowing employees to wear the colors of their favorite sports team or show support for where they went to school.
Friday — Awards Day
On the final day of NCSW, devote a celebration to giving out awards to your entire support team, from front-line agents to directors and VPs. Recognize champions of various support metrics as well as softer skills like empathy and the ability to explain complicated issues in a way customers can easily understand.
Celebrate CX Heroes Throughout the Year
We love having special occasions like CX Day and National Customer Service Week to recognize CX professionals. But just as these heroes work hard each and every day for your customers, we believe they should be celebrated each and every day. Here are two impactful strategies for making that happen.
Share Positive Customer Feedback
In most cases, bad news travels faster than good news. Applied to customer experience, this means that customer complaints are more likely to spread than compliments — even within the organization.
Break this pattern by encouraging support and success agents to keep a detailed record of all positive feedback they receive, particularly in regard to the actual customer interaction. Then ask managers to collate this feedback and regularly share it with the entire company in recognition of the excellent service provided by the CX teams.
Shine a Spotlight on Individual CX Professionals
Customers often think of CX professionals — especially front-line agents — as a nameless, faceless presence on the other end of a phone line or text chat.
Help them combat this and express their individuality through a spotlight series featuring the name, photo, and short bio of one support or success employee. Whether you share it on an internal company wiki, in an email to customers, or with the broader public via social media, it’s sure to make the highlighted team member feel like a star.