There are only one hundred and fifty five sleeps until Christmas. I think I’ve counted the number correctly. It seems a long way away but it will soon be on top of us again. I don’t think I’ve paid for the last one yet.
There are only seventy five sleeps however until this year’s National Customer Service Week (NCSW) which takes place during the first full week in October (5 to 9). This is something that we have got involved in over the last few years and gives us a chance to focus on the relationship with our customers while having a bit of fun.
Yes, I know that customers should be uppermost in our minds at all times. They should be the principle focus of our efforts and they are yet it is always a good idea to step back from time to time and take stock.
So this year there are five themes. On Monday it is about ‘Know your customer’ while on Tuesday it turns to ‘Customer Complaints’ and ‘MOT’. Wednesday’s focus is ‘Return on Investment’ while Thursday is looking at ‘Employee engagement and culture’. The week is rounded off with ‘Recognition’.
Wait on. MOT? Where did that come from? Could it be that our own MOT days have reappeared in a new guise? It is recognition at last. Our approach to engaging with our customers, where we send a small team of people into a service department to address their issues and niggles, has now appeared in a national initiative. Guerrilla Working has gone national. How exciting!
The Customer Focus Group within ICT Services has started preparation for the week. We try to lay some different events on for each day. So far we’ve lined up three. Most years we carry out some form of customer related training for the whole of the service. These have proved to be popular in the main and have given us an opportunity to break down barriers between the different functions that operate across the business. Bringing people together is the best way to improve understanding and share experiences. During Customer Service Week we are going to run the first half-day pilot session before rolling it out across the service.
We’re also going to launch our new customer survey which will help us to assess where we are and replace the five quick questions format which, while very effective, did not give us the depth of information that we were looking for. Five QQs told us that we were either very good, in the majority, or rubbish and we could do with something a bit more objective. We’ll end the week with the popular and very funny second annual team challenge quiz. We’ll need to make sure the technology works this time to avoid a repeat of last year’s debacle.
Add to these some initiatives to engage with our customers, which used to be known as the rather demeaning back to the floor days, and we almost have it cracked.
Planning is underway. What are you going to be doing?