Customer Service Week Wear Red Pants!


Why should you bother?

A couple of little business statistics have stayed firmly in my business thoughts ever since I came across them almost 10 years ago.

1. A 5% improvement in customer retention could add between 25% and 125% to your bottom line.

2. Companies with good service records grow twice as fast as those with poor service records.


What an opportunity!

No expensive marketing. No gimmicks. Just give good service and watch your profits grow.


Firstly, involve your people.

Make sure that everyone knows what’s going on. And why this is important.

Ask for their ideas and suggestions. This is so much more powerful than you telling them how to do it.

Involve everyone from the tea lady down. Remember that the most important people from a customer’s point of view are in the front line. They are the ones on the security gate, at the counter, delivering the products. This needs the support of senior management. But it needs the involvement of everyone! And it has to be delivered by the front line.

Brainstorm. Here are some key threads that might get you started:-

1. What can you do to make the experience for your customers as complete as possible from start to finish?

Think through in detail exactly what a customer experiences. From the first moment that they hear about your business through making a call, coming to see you, parking their car, getting in the door, making that first purchase, getting advice etc. etc. Think it through in minute detail. Think about how they might feel how you can enhance the experience at every stage.

2. Create hidden depths.

Create things that customers might not see every time that they visit. But little things that they might pick up on as they come back to you more often.

For instance, nice flowers in reception could create a great first impression. But how about if one of your customers wants to use the washrooms? Some nice perfumes would make it pretty special.

And what about when customers leave your business? Or when they get back home? What can you do that will really cement their experience?

3. How could you respond to complaints that you receive?

Complaints are a fabulous opportunity and should be treated like nuggets of gold!

It’s always nice to get good feedback. But complaints are an opportunity to do it even better. And remember, 70% of customers who have had a complaint resolved to their satisfaction are more loyal than they were before the complaint arose.

Very often winners of The WOW! Awards have done something spectacular to resolve a customer problem. Not necessarily money or compensation. But something more valuable. Something that shows they really care.

Research on both sides of he Atlantic, shows that the top three things that customers want when they make a complaint are:-

  • An apology
  • An explanation
  • A reassurance that the problem won’t happen again

And a complaint handled quickly will certainly create a good impression.

4. How could you add The WOW! Factor?

Over the years we’ve had some fantastic examples. And you can find out more by visiting (You can even receive a regular email newsletter of tips, ideas and case studies.)

Some of the most memorable have been:-

Harris Lipman – the accountants who clean your car whilst you visit their offices.

Madame Gueller’s restaurant in Leeds – they keep a range of prescription spectacles for anyone who has forgotten their glasses and cannot read the menu.

Sarastro Restaurant – the ex John Mills, Rolls Royce parked outside. If you need to make a private phone call they can usher you away from the noise of the restaurant. And into the quiet luxury of the Rolls Royce.

Ladbrokes betting shop in Aberdeen. Alexis Simpson creates fabulous costumes for her employees and lays on a superb buffet for her customers.

Have fun!

Whatever you decide to do, make it fun! Make it memorable! And get your customers involved.

One very well known building society really did have Red Pants Day. Everyone came in to work wearing red pants over the top of their normal clothes!

They all had a lot of laughs. And the customers thought it was hilarious!

"If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done!" --Ludwig Wittgenstein

Derek Williams is creator of The WOW! Awards™ and Chief Executive for the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Europe.

For more information about Derek Williams visit For The WOW! Awards (including access to a FREE customer service newsletter) visit

Article Source: