National Customer Contact Week: A Party at the Contact Center Is Always a Good Idea

This article appeared on Ziptone on February 19, 2024, written by Erik Bouwer.

The National Customer Contact Week (NKW) is coming up again. This initiative by the CCMA ensures that customer contact employees across the Netherlands are celebrated. Cake in the department is always a good idea, but the CCMA also believes it’s important for the rest of the organization to get involved.

In recent years, the NKW has been largely organized by sponsor Yource. This year, the task has been assigned to Cynthia Mak, who is active in the field under the name The Caring Company and is a former CCMA Manager of the Year.

Mak is organizing the week on behalf of the CCMA, thanks to three new sponsors: SUSA, Randstad, and Custom Connect. This also means that at the end, not one, but three prizes can be awarded for the best initiatives. Mak hopes to see an increase in participating organizations: from last year’s approximately 40 to double that number.

How Does It Work Again

For those who are new or want to participate for the first time: National Customer Contact Week runs from April 15 to April 19 and is intended to spotlight customer contact employees and their work. This can range from giving flowers to all agents to interactive programs throughout the week. In recent years, common activities included cake, breakfasts, and photo challenges. The idea is that companies and their customer contact teams create their own activities for NKW, but the CCMA mobilizes and inspires.

Mak explains, “On the website, you’ll find various ideas that teams can use, both for a minimal budget and a larger budget. There are also posters available to promote NKW within the organization. Additionally, the CCMA organizes a challenge for the teams every day. These are deliberately kept small so they don’t become time-consuming projects. Everyone can participate, and there are no costs involved”.

Social Media

To compete for prizes for the most original initiatives, you must sign up and ensure that activities are posted on social media (LinkedIn and/or Instagram). You can also register without participating in the challenges, just to show your support for NKW. The jury (yet to be determined, according to Mak) will base their decisions partly on these social media posts by the teams. Prizes might include contributions towards a team outing.

Although the CCMA organizes and designates the week, the character of NKW is quite flexible. Mak says, “Besides being a moment of recognition, it should also be seen as a fun break. Many people in customer contact are busy solving problems for others – often caused by the company itself. A little distraction can be good. And if you participate in NKW with your colleagues, it’s also good for team bonding.”

Getting Everyone Involved

A point of focus is the remote workers, acknowledges Mak. “But the program lasts a week,” she says. This period offers ample opportunities to creatively find ways to also celebrate those working from home.

A party at the contact center is always a good idea, but how do you get the rest of the organization involved? Mak emphasizes the importance of showing the rest of the organization, which often has little to do with customer contact, why customer contact is so important. “You can have the CEO take calls or ask other departments to come listen in or pamper the customer contact employees for a day. Last year, for example, posters were provided by the organization with the text ‘Hey marketer, when was the last time you spoke to a customer?’ Some companies create schedules for colleagues from other departments to listen in. This way, National Customer Contact Week can also lead to more dialogue and collaboration.” (Ziptone/Erik Bouwer)

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