The Customer First Program of Excellence™


It has been said often these days how necessary it is to provide a great customer experience given the explosion of social media outlets and the ease with which consumers can communicate with one another — sharing both good and bad experiences. Something this important bears repeating. Keeping customers happy is one of the keys to business success. Putting customers first and making their needs a priority is the first step.

Customer FirstWith this in mind, Customer Care News teamed up with CCN Learning Resources to establish a program that will help businesses not only put their customers first, but also let them know that. The Customer First Program of Excellence™ incorporates the best practices, principles and strategies to empower and engage staff and management to provide the best possible customer experience.

Through the Customer First Program, which is geared toward small- and medium-size businesses, organizations have access to a host of materials that will demonstrate to customers that they are committed to providing the best possible experience time and again. “As publisher of Customer Care News magazine, I am pleased to help underwrite this program that is designed to help small businesses establish the ultimate customer experience by getting their staff and managers on the same page,” says Customer Care News Publisher Dale Jaslove. “I believe the Customer First Program of Excellence does just that. We are pleased to be a part of this program.”

Among the materials available to participants in the program are custom-designed certificates, window decals, employee “lunchroom” posters and employee wristbands. In addition, an owner’s guide helps owners and managers implement the program, directing them as they establish this initiative designed to improve customer retention while also generating new and loyal customers.

“The rationale for developing the program derives from the philosophy that providing the finest care for customers is not a single event, but rather a never-ending process,” says Customer First Program Director, Keith Levick, Ph.D. “Customer service (or care or experience) is not a ‘buzz’ word or a fad. It is the lifeblood of every company that requires continual improvement. It is with this in mind that we set forth and created the Customer First Program of Excellence.”

goldThe customer experience — defined as all the interactions that consumers have with or about a company’s messages, processes, people, products or services — has replaced the more traditional role of customer service. According to Levick, this requires companies to redefine how they conduct business. The research shows:

  • 5% of companies really understand the value of customer experience and embrace it. In these companies it is woven into their culture and fabric.
  • 20% of companies understand the concept of the customer experience but only pay it lip service. These companies may have signs and slogans, but are not committed to it.
  • 75% of companies do not believe that customer experience matters. They do not see it as a differentiator regardless of what the research shows. These tend to be commodity-driven businesses.

“By participating in the Customer First Program, companies are taking the first step of many to become a 5 percenter,” says Dr. Levick. “It does not happen with simple slogans or rah-rah speeches. It starts with an awareness that this will take a commitment — one that starts from the top and extends across the entire company.”

To find out more information about the Customer First Program of Excellence and how your business can order materials, call 888-438-9528 ext. 808 or go online to