Show your staff appreciation for the important work that they do! Customer service professionals work diligently all year to protect and enhance your brand. One week every year is set aside to recognize and reward these purveyors of positive energy. National Customer Service Week is celebrated annually during the first full week in October.

The following tips will help to make your events more rewarding and successful.

Celebrate from the Top Down

Your best employees respond reliably to call after call throughout the year. Do they fully understand the impact that they are making to the company? Start the National Customer Service Appreciation Week with a “kick-off” event where senior executives publicly acknowledge the value that contact centers and agents provide to the overall growth and stability of the organization. Agents will better understand their impact and focus on what they need to do to further help the organization meet its goals.

Nothing shows appreciation like senior executives taking time to come to the contact center and personally thank the frontline staff for everything they do to help the company meet its goals.

Bring in Reinforcements
More than one department benefits from the work performed by call center employees. Ask some of these departments to provide an appreciation meal or party. Themed events can increase the fun factor of these events.

Decorate for Recognition
It’s National Customer Service Week; does everyone in your organization know that? Hang posters announcing the celebrations throughout the company, encourage departments to come to the contact center for an event, promote the contact center and what it does for the company to everyone (e.g., number of calls handled, first call resolution, revenue increases from upsell, cross-sell activities, etc.).

Ideas for Festive Events

Marketing can host a Mexican Fiesta with piñatas, Mexican food; maybe even bring in a mariachi band! Prizes and giveaways could include coupons for a local Mexican restaurant, sombreros, Mexican-themed gift bags with chips/salsa and Mexican-themed trinkets. Fill the piñata with candy, money, gift cards and other items that the agents can grab once it’s broken. If you have a large team, break it up by team so everyone has a good chance to get some exceptional prizes.

Sales can host a sports-themed pizza party. Ask them to bring in some of those corporate sports tickets and give them away to contact center staff.

Homemade Mini-Golf. Ask other departments to create a themed mini-golf hole in the contact center, then once it is set up, allow the agents to complete the mini-golf course and compete for prizes.

Nerd Day. Host a “Dress Like a Nerd” event and encourage everyone to come in their best nerd outfit. Managers can grill lunch outside for the contact center staff. Giveaways can include gaming systems, software, iPhone apps, and other “nerdy” but cool prizes.
Contact Center Bingo. Even if the agents need to be on the phone, call out numbers (slowly) and allow the agents to play bingo to win prizes.

Scavenger Hunt. Host a scavenger hunt in which agents have to go around the company to hunt down objects or hidden prizes. If you can’t shut off the phones, set up a buddy system in which each person on the phone is partnered to a scavenger—or add some random prize drawings to make it fair. This is also a great way for other departments and executives to meet the contact center staff.

Recognize and Reward Your Team

Awards. Certificates of appreciation, perfect attendance awards, top performer awards and tenure awards make for a great way to recognize the efforts of your staff and reward those that make an impact to your team and the company.

Performance Prizes. Have drawings for your staff based on metrics, give your agents an entry for every month of perfect attendance, for every week of 100% or above on metrics, QA or other standards of your contact center. Allow the agents to “pick” which prize they want to enter by having fishbowls for them to drop their tickets into. Prizes can include paid time off, extended break certificates, “trade spots with my manager” days, casual dress days, gift cards, TV, Blu-ray players, gaming systems or other items that appeal to your demographic.

These are just a few ideas—for the best results get to know your staff and what motivates them, and then plan your events accordingly.

Make It Part of the Culture

Finally, after your successful Customer Service Appreciation Week is over, add some reminders to your calendar. In the next year, schedule multiple fun events that allow your crew to blow off steam, build teams and create good memories for everyone. To reap the full benefits of a happy and engaged call center workforce, make sure that you don’t let another 12 months go by without showing your appreciation for a job well done.