In 1992, Congress passed Public Law No: 102-481, which proclaimed the first full week in October as National Customer Service Week. Customer service is also a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal, tasking agencies to “deliver world-class customer services to citizens by making it faster and easier for individuals and businesses to complete transactions and have a positive experience with government.” Federal agencies are encouraged to participate in Customer Service Week, to share how you’re working to improve service, and to recognize your agency’s customer service stars. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Talk Amongst Yourselves
Develop internal communications and activities around Customer Service Week, to recognize employees who excel at serving customers.
- Develop and broadcast service level standards (e.g., respond to email within one business day; answer the phone by the 3rd ring; always answer the phone with a smile on your face)
- Host open houses at offices across the country and invite customers and partners, to show them your appreciation
- Organize user testing sessions, to bring customers in and test your website and other digital products
- Plan in-person activities to recognize employees
- Work with your graphics shop to develop and display Customer Service Week posters around your buildings
- Host a Town Hall on the importance of customer service, and broadcast/livestream to all employees
- Place a Customer Service Week banner on your agency’s intranet homepage; include inspirational customer quotes or messages
- Promote Customer Service Week on internal collaboration platforms (e.g., Yammer, Chatter)
- Write articles for your intranet or employee newsletter. Feel free to pull ideas from this article to get you started!
How does your agency use social media to serve customers? Talk to your agency’s social media lead about giving one of these ideas a spin.
- Share answers to common customer questions on Facebook
- Share ideas on Pinterest
- Review the list of tools that have a federal-friendly Terms of Service, to see if there are any new tools your agency should consider adopting
- Organize an after-hours networking event for your customer teams
Customer Experience (CX) Day
No time to organize an entire week’s worth of events and activities? Then just focus on Tuesday, October 6. That’s CX Day—the one day each year entirely devoted to customer experience. Check out the CX Day website—it’s full of ideas to help your organization rally around better customer service. Some things to do include:
- Follow #CXDay for news and tips from CX leaders across the globe
- Download logos and badges
- Plan or market local networking events
- Attend online events and Twitter chats
Involve the Boss
Executive support is key to success, so enlist agency leaders to show support and encourage participation.
Encourage managers to take time to thank employees for their service; a verbal thank-you, a certificate, a gold star, etc. are great ways to show you care
- Draft an email for your agency head to send to all employees to set expectations and share the importance of customer service
- Invite high-level agency executives to “shadow” front-line employees, to see firsthand how your agency delivers services
- Arrange a tour of your contact center for agency managers
- Encourage managers to experience service from the customer’s perspective
- Develop talking points to help executives promote these activities with employees
Share Your Experience
Share your Customer Service Week stories.
- Write a blog post for DigitalGov to recap what you did during Customer Service Week and how it was received
- Share customer service tips on social media via #GovCX
- Document customer success stories, such as the Transportation Security Administration’s “Kudos Across America,” and share with your staff
- Develop recommendations for next year’s celebrations
Want to improve customer experience in government? Join the Customer Experience Community of Practice (CX-COP). It’s a platform for government CX practitioners to share knowledge, ask questions, and collaborate to improve the government customer experience. Visit the Customer Experience Community page to register.