Oscar Worthy Customer Service – How Hollywood’s Model Can Make Your Company A Service Star

Customer Service Ideas

While Rosemary Rein wrote this article in 2009, her message on creating award winning customer service is right up to date.

The Oscar of Customer Service in 2008 Goes to USAA!

This year the national business award for outstanding customer service, considered the OSCAR of Customer Service went for a second year in a row to USAA, the Financial and Insurance Provider to the U.S, Military. (Reported in the March 2008 Edition of Business Week)

The news was not surprising since last year alone the Customer Service Team at USAA attended over 240,000 hours of “Additional Training” beyond their “Basic Training”.

As you listen to your service rep phone calls, (you do don’t you? through call monitoring?); hear and see employees in the hallways, who frankly look and sound more like street thugs than valued and motivated employees; as you read painful customer complaints, customer surveys and oh no, see that customers have told the world how bad your service is by blogging you; Do you think maybe, those responsible for taking care of your valued customers might need a little more training and recognition themselves? Well, perhaps you need to say Hello and Hooray for Hollywood!

Rate Your Hollywood Star Power:

The first question for every CEO and Training Manager is how many hours of field training do you give your front-line staff each year to up-level their skills to achieve Oscar Worthy Customer Service Performances? The second question is how effective is that training? The third question is what, inspiring, recognition programs do you have in place to honor outstanding service achievements?

As a Former Director of Customer Service Training, I followed the Hollywood OSCAR Model for Service Training and Employee Motivation, using the format symbolized by Hollywood’s Golden Man. It produced results. It inspired and motivated the team and much like the Oscars, was talked about, read about and even ignited friendly competition to be the best. What else could you want from your a Customer Service Training and Recognition Program? Here’s how to execute a similar Hollywood Style training model and Roll Out the Red-Carpet to your Service Team

Develop & Deliver Red Carpet Training & Recognition:

1. Define Award Categories for all the Areas of your Company that Impact Customer Service Performance, including those back office functions like technical direction, script writing, and outstanding achievement in special effects (service improvements).

2. Develop a Nomination Process and rules for and selection criteria for “Your Service Academy” that represents a cross section of your organization or departmental areas. This is a critical step requiring analysis of all contributing factors to the total customer experience for award integrity.

3. Acting Class for Customer Service Employees? You bet! Why do actors say the right thing and project emotion? They have scripts and use theatrical/communication techniques! Great Hollywood Actors also understand the principles of directing the Big Picture! Do your employees know what the big picture is for your company and your customers? We use an engaging Hollywood theme in our customer service training. Note/ Themes Build Team.

I usually held these spirited 1 days training sessions in the Spring, after the Oscars to reinforce key service principles, introduce award winning customer scripts and even run screen tests with video-tape feedback by a customer service producer. A fun “improv workshop” helps employees improve body language, voice tone and most of all learn to laugh again and connect with the heart of the Customer/Audience. It’s all part of the work it takes to climb to the top of the service charts.

4. Finally, start planning your Big Red Carpet Oscar Night. Make It Big! Make It Memorable! Make it the Event of the Year that Everyone Talks About! Make Winning a Service Oscar, the aspiration of every bright star on your team, who has worked hard the past year, to deliver consistent and a heart-stopping customer service performances.

Rosemary Rein, Ph.D is an award winning Author and Speaker on Customer Service and is writing the chapter on Best Practices in Customer Service, in a new upcoming book “Blueprint for Success” with Dr. Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard.

Bring Rosemary’s Customer Service Academy Awards Program to your Organization. For a free training proposal and Oscar template, write [email protected] or visit her web-site at http://www.gowildgogreat.com

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About the Author: Gail


  1. Knowing what a business needs to improve and providing incentives and recognition for improving those things is critical to both the long and short term success of that business.

    People respond well when they are recognized for their efforts. We are quick to criticize people for their failures but often slow to acknowlege their accomplishments.

    Dave Greis
    The Customer Service training Institute

  2. This was a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever read.Thanks for posting this informative article and you can be sure I will be following up with coming articles.

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