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Ten Ways to Celebrate Customer Experience Heroes

Jim Tincher Jim Tincher 01/24/2013

In my last post I discussed the importance of creating customer experience heroes to reinforce efforts to make your customer experience great.  This follow-up post gives you ten ways to celebrate those customer experience heroes without promoting them. Just to be clear: Promoting a hero is fine if the situation calls for it.  But often promoting your hero takes her away from the role she loves. Use caution before promoting a hero out of the heroic role!

With that, here are ten ideas:

  1. Breakfast with the CEO or other senior leader.  Recognize his impact by giving him the opportunity to share his thoughts and desires for your company.  It doesn’t work for everybody (some will shut down when alone with a CEO), but the right leader can pull that person out and make it a great experience.
  2. Give her an award in front of the entire company.  But before you do that, make certain that this is something that will motivate her.  Talk to her supervisor and see if that’s the right way to reward her.  However, just giving a plaque  is too easy – try to pair this idea with something else.  If you do give an award, perhaps you should…
  3. Put her picture in the lobby of all locations showing her receiving the award, along with a description of why.  Imagine if your call center rep saw her receiving the award, and why she received it, every day when they came to work.
  4. Put him on a billboard (like Davanni’s) or an ad (like Best Buy). What better way to say “Great job” than to show his face everywhere?  This is obviously more of a B2C strategy, but can be very powerful.
  5. Invite her to come to corporate to participate in brainstorming exercises (forfield-based companies).  The next time you start a customer experience project, invite your heroes to be a part of the brainstorming process.  What better way to say “We value your opinion” than to actually use it?
  6. Have him help design your training programs.  Capture the replicable parts of this work through interviewing him.  Even better, give him a 1-week assignment to come to corporate and help design the new training program.
  7. Invite a great customer experience team to join your leadership at an industry conference.  If you’re rewarding a team, why not invite them to an industry conference?  Include a debrief with leaders who can hear how front-line employees react to the industry talk, and what ramifications it has to your organization.
  8. Send flowers to a spouse or significant other with a note explaining what she did to make her a hero.  This is a bit more modest – but shows you really care about the family.  If this feels too small, you might consider:
  9. Send the family out on the town.  This really shows that you value the family.  Rather than just giving him another gift card, why not arrange a night on the town for him and his family?  Dinner in a fancy restaurant followed by a night at the hotel with a water park.  Or buy ski passes for the whole family.  This takes more planning than your typical plaque and gift card, but will have an impact that will last for years.
  10. And, lastly, tell stories about them.  This is free, but very impactful.  If you have a hero, build those stories into your training, your employee orientation, and even into your press kits.  What you talk about gets noticed – so talk about your heroes!

Your turn.  Please your own ideas in the comments – I want to hear more!

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