Focus on Fun

Spirited Pep Rally

Delta Dental of New Jersey celebrated Customer Service Week with four busy days leading up to a luncheon and pep rally on Friday.

The entire company was split into teams of roughly 20 people each. Smaller departments joined together and larger departments were broken down into smaller teams. Each team was asked to create a cheer and to decorate a rolling office chair for their float in the pep rally.

During the company luncheon each team rolled out their float and performed their cheer. Ellen Schworn in the human resources department describes the scene, “We laughed as we watched associates become cheerleaders and drill sergeants before our eyes, heard clever spirit-filled rhymes, and were genuinely amazed at the floats as we saw originality beyond belief.”

The winning team was called the “First Floor Flossers.” This is Delta Dental after all. The team dressed in navy blue, built a float called the S.S. Spirit of Service, and created a cheer to the tune of the theme song from the television show Gilligan’s Island.

While the event sparked a lot of creativity and spirit, perhaps most important of all was that everyone came away with a new appreciation of their friends and colleagues.

Home Movies

The customer support team at Network Communications Inc. starts planning for Customer Service Week in January.

After all, a companywide celebration for 600 takes an enormous amount of planning and coordination. And while the celebration is on a large scale, many of the elements can be incorporated into a celebration of any size.

The festivities start the Friday before Customer Service Week when members of the customer support staff visit all employees to deliver goodie bags. The bags contain an agenda for the week, puzzles, and games such as word finds and crosswords, and a few sweet treats.

During the week there are three catered meals for the entire staff of 600: a Monday morning kick-off breakfast, a Wednesday luncheon, and a Friday afternoon Closing Ceremony complete with an assortment of tempting desserts.

Throughout the week, the entire company is invited to try their skill at a wide range of puzzles and games and all participants are awarded raffle tickets. Then at the end of the week, tickets are drawn and prizes are awarded. Participation in all activities is high, because there are some very exciting prizes in the raffle.

Don’t have the budget for big-ticket gifts? Russell Schuster, Customer Service Week Chairperson, tells us that many of the prizes are actually vendor gifts. So if your company policy restricts employees from accepting gifts, why not collect them for your own Customer Service Week raffle?

Finally, the highlight of the celebration was a fully costumed training movie staring the NCI customer support managers.

Seven screenings throughout the week, including one evening screening for the night shift, ensured that everyone had a chance to see the movie and to enjoy some traditional movie-time treats.

Five Great Theme Days

A great deal of thought and planning went into the Customer Service Week celebration at Estep Enterprises. Each day featured a different theme with coordinating decorations, food and activities. Many guests were also brought in to entertain and amaze the team.

  • Monday’s theme was farmyard fun. The office was decorated with down home farm flavor and each associate fit right in with the cowboy hat and bandanna provided. But no farm would be complete without animals so Estep brought in a petting zoo complete with alpaca, sheep, cows, a rooster, and more.
  • Tuesday’s theme was magic. The office was decorated in black and silver with giant playing cards and top hats. To add to the excitement, a professional magician performed for the team.
  • Wednesday’s theme was camping. Once again, the office was decorated appropriately with a wall-sized poster depicting fall foliage, a campfire complete with tissue-paper flames, and a tent.The team enjoyed breakfast and lunch at their “campsite” as well as a little friendly competition to see who could pitch a tent, climb inside, and zip the flap the fastest. Team members then moved outside to test their skills on a giant inflatable rock-climbing wall.
  • Thursday’s theme honored Estep’s Georgia home. The office decorations were inspired by Georgia icons and included a representation of the Chatahoochee River running right through the department. An arts and crafts activity was the highlight of the day as a local paint-your-own pottery studio came to the office. Associates decorated mugs, which were then fired at the studio and returned to Estep.
  • Friday’s theme was the Olympics. Olympic rings, glowing torches and shiny medals decorated the department. Associates competed in a range of relay races and other events to see who would bring home the gold, silver and bronze.

Go On A Shopping Spree

While some organizations celebrate Customer Service Week with a host of events and activities each day, others choose to make a big impression with a single special event.

The team at PSA, celebrated for just one day during Customer Service Week but their special event and the element of surprise made the day a huge success.

For months, director Jackie Ready had been telling reps that they would be celebrating with a cookout in a local park.

But when the big day arrived reps were blindfolded and driven to a secret location — the mall. Once there, reps received gifts cards and spent the afternoon shopping and enjoying a relaxed lunch with their colleagues.

Jackie says that the staff was, “surprised and shocked and said it was one of the best Customer Service Weeks ever.”

Take a World Tour

The team at Masterbrand Cabinets celebrated Customer Service Week with a trip around the world. Well, okay they really did it all without ever leaving home. But what a trip it was …

The week began with associates traveling to the MBCI (Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc.) Airport where they were greeted by supervisors who handed out passports, itineraries, and snacks for the journey.

Each day, associates returned to the airport where they boarded a “Unite All Airlines” flight to their destination. They received a goodie bag with items for their trip, enjoyed a lunch of regional specialties, and played travel and location themed games. Here are the details:

  • Monday — Flight to Mexico. Each associate received a goodie bag containing a stress relief ball, Mexican jumping beans, and candy. Lunch included tacos, chips, and salsa. And the games included pin the flag on Mexico, ring toss in which rings were tossed onto a cactus, a memory game in which associates were shown travel-sized items for 15 seconds and asked to recall as many items as possible.
  • Tuesday — Flight to Hawaii. As associates arrived at the airport, they were greeted with a traditional Hawaiian lei and a goodie bag filled with candy, sea shells, and a bottle of bubbles. Lunch featured Hawaiian pork sandwiches. And the games included pin the flag on Hawaii, a timed hula hoop contest, and a golf putting challenge.
  • Wednesday — Flight to China. At the airport, associates received Chinese take-out boxes filled with goodies such as chop sticks, a compass, and candy. Lunch included egg rolls and various lo mein dishes. And the games featured ping-pong, a suitcase packing game, and a timed game that involved putting various objects into a take-out container box using chopsticks.
  • Thursday — Flight to France. Each associate received candy and a stress-relief toy for the journey. They enjoyed a lunch of croissant sandwiches and non-alcoholic Champaign punch. The day’s games included a French history quiz, pin the flag on France, and a painting contest.
  • Friday — Flight to New York. To wrap up the week, associates visited the Big Apple. At the airport they received a top hat filled with candy and a stress-relief ball shaped like an apple. The day’s meal included New York-style pizza and cheese cake. Games of tacky tourist, pin the flag on New York, and an adaptation of the television show Cash Cab rounded out the celebration.

Chair Parade

A new Customer Service Week activity at Martin Group is bound to become an annual favorite. Involving reps, other departments and a creative expression of the company’s commitment to service, it’s just what Customer Service Week is all about.

To share their service spirit with the entire company, the Customer Care Support Team created a chair parade during Customer Service Week.

The group was randomly divided into teams of four. The teams were asked to create an Office Chair Float, which represented their commitment to excellent customer service.

A total of seven floats joined the parade traveling through the building tossing candy, Mardi Gras style, to laughing spectators who lined the hallways.

Celebration on a Dime

Carolyn Reynolds describes her celebration as, “Customer Service Week on a dime.” But there was no skimping when it came to planning a week full of activities, beautiful decorations, and thoughtful gifts.

And best of all, it provided the Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County Information Technology Services Technical Support Center “a much needed opportunity to thank our internal and external customers, and, for the department leaders to recognize our Service Desk Analysts for the terrific job they do.”

Highlights of the week included:

  • Team members kicked off the week by signing the Customer Service Week pledge and recommitting themselves to their service mission.
  • Throughout the week staff acknowledged the great service, follow-up, phone etiquette, and teamwork of their colleagues with Caught in the Act Cards.
  • On game day, there was something for everyone as team members participated in basketball, pool, Mad Gab, and checkers tournaments throughout the day.
  • A stress-relief break, featured ice cream sundaes and stress-relief goodie bags.
  • Throughout the week, coins were awarded both for participation and for winning events. These coins were very important because the team member with the most coins received a grand prize and all others were entered in a prize drawing. The order of the draw was based on the number of coins awarded.

Chair Decorating Contest

The service team at United Stationers Supply Co. has been celebrating Customer Service Week for several years. This year’s event featured the return of their popular prize wheel, known as the Wheel O‘ Fun, plus many creative new ideas.

Each morning members of the leadership team greeted associates at the door. Theme days, puzzles and activities, and a special breakfast or lunch each day rounded out the week.

But the activity that really caught our attention was called “Pimp Your Ride.” The activity is loosely based on the TV program, “Pimp my Ride.” In each episode a dilapidated car is restored and customized in an over the top effort to reflect the owner’s personality and interests.

In this office edition, associates were asked to customize their own rides — otherwise known as their desk chairs. It was all part of the “awesome week” at United Stationers Supply Co.

Tasty Treats with a Message

On the final day of Customer Service Week, everyone on the service team at Northwestern Mutual was invited to bring in a treat to share. But rather than simply put treats on a table, each person was asked to give his or her contribution an appropriate customer service-related name. So the table was filled with:

  • Courteous cupcakes
  • Loyal lemon bread
  • Added-value apple bread
  • Dedicated donuts
  • Kan-do Korean coleslaw, and
  • Customer satisfied strawberries.

Celebrate a Decade a Day

The team at Black & Decker/End User Services celebrated the company’s long tradition of service excellence by building their celebration around a different decade each day.

The service staff dressed in appropriate clothing, and the food, activities, music, and prizes were all from that decade. For example, highlights of Monday’s 1950s celebration included:

  • Starting the day with Dunkin’ Donuts (introduced in 1950).
  • Enjoying lunch in a classic soda shop, actually a fully decorated meeting room. The menu included hot dogs, Ruffles potato chips (1958), and ice cream sodas.
  • Playing decade appropriate games such as throwing a Frisbee (1958) into a hula hoop (1958) to win silly putty (1950), Bazooka Bubble Gum (1953), and more.