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It’s Customer Service Week…So What About the Other 51 Weeks?

ct 1By Colin Taylor

Its Customer Service Week. This is the time of year to recognize and appreciate the contributions of all of the people that deliver customer service.
This week in call centers across the globe there will be pizza days, cakes, give aways of small dollar value goodies, staff dressed casually and visits by senior staff that may never have found their way to the center before. Now please don’t get me wrong, attention paid to your customer facing staff will never be a waste of time. But how much more effective and engaged could we be if we paid attention to our customer service pros all 52 weeks of the year.
Customer service is not an easy job, speaking on the phone with customers can be very challenging and the people who do this for a career deserve our gratitude and appreciation. We need to recognize their contribution to our lives. Every day tens of thousands of product orders are processed thanks to a customer service agent being able to address a customer question of concern, inaccurate bills, invoice and outstanding charges are resolved and our economic engine is allowed to skip forward thanks to customer service professionals who have sanded some of the rough edges off.
Of course the situation isn’t perfect: too many companies employ ‘mushroom management’ with their customer service and call center staff, too often the wizards in Marketing pull off a great campaign that the call centers agents get to hear about from the callers and too many companies create policies and procedures to protect them from their customers and ask the call center and customer service staff to be the enforcers.
Yes there is a long way to go to deliver the level and quality of customer service we all would like to receive and provide, but lets not kill the messengers, its not the agents that can make customer service and call center interactions as much fun as a tooth extraction, it is their managers and their companies.
So take a moment, this week and every week, to think about the customer service people you interact with and have appreciate what they are able to do to help you and to help their organizations. Then, next week perhaps, you can consider what your organization can do to make the role of your customer service and call center staff more productive and enjoyable…remove nonsensical policies that create work and penalize customers, provide tools to the front line that speed and aid their efforts, realistically fund the center to deliver the customer experience you want to deliver and lastly appreciate your front line customer service staff by taking active steps to improve engagement and autonomy.

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