Zim set tone for the 2016 customer service week celebrations

Customer Service Week (CSW) celebrations have been running since the late 1980s. In the United States of America, the US Congress proclaimed the Customer Service Week a nationally recognised event in 1992. The Customer Service Week celebrations have spread across continents and in emerging markets such as Europe, Asia, Middle East and about 50% of African countries and that includes Zimbabwe.

In Zimbabwe the Customer Service Week has been recognised and celebrated at national platform since 2011 and 2016 marks the 6th year in which these celebrations have been running. The Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) has been at the forefront in organising the National Customer Service Week for the past years in partnership with Chartered Institute of Customer Management (CICM), Financial Gazette, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

In the past years, to celebrate the Customer Service Week companies and different organisations would engage in activities like, the street march, free customer service training for public transport operators and vendors, breakfast meeting, a brand expo and they would always close with the biggest event of the year which is the Service Excellence Awards.

This year however, the hype has been changed to create a more relaxed environment filled with laughter for the customers and the service providers by a night of comedy, The Comedy Night . Also, in this year’s agenda, the CSW is going to kick start with a breakfast meeting where the National Customer Satisfaction Index Survey Results will be published. The 2015-2016 top 10 rated companies will be announced as well. Lastly the CSW will close with the Service Excellence Awards like all the other years.

Participating in Customer Service Week (CSW) is a great opportunity for organizations to, recognize and appreciate external customers for their custom and loyalty, remind customers of their commitment to customer satisfaction, recognise and appreciate staff for the role they play in delivering great customer experiences, reward members of staff who are a great example in serving customers, boost morale, motivation and teamwork, raise company-wide awareness of the importance of customer service and thank other departments for their support in delivering great service to customers and highlight the important role they play in serving customers.

However, many individuals have the question, should customers only be recognised during the Customer Service Week which only happens the first week of October? In Zimbabwe that is not the case as the CSW only ends with the Service Excellence Awards which companies and different organisations will have been preparing for throughout the whole year by providing top class customer services to their customers in order to win awards in different sectors.

In light of the Customer Service Week, the sole focus would not be entirely on the customers, but also to recognise the employees who take care of the different needs presented by the customers. Anne M. Mulcahy who is the former chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation said, “Employees are a company’s greatest asset, they are your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best, provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission”, hence the conclusion that a happy employee equals a happy client.

Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) has realised this fact hence they have created a night of laughter by hosting “The Comedy Night” where both customers and service providers will find time to relax and network without the pressures of work.