The clear definition of customer service is the help and support provided to customer before, during and after purchase of a product or service. Providing good customer service is required to acquire and maintain customers for growth and competitiveness in the market. Providing customers with support is more than answering questions; it is about creating customer trust.
Customer Service Week was established by the ICSA, the International Customer Service Association, in 1984 and declared a national event by the U.S. Congress in 1992. President George Bush signed the declaration that stated the following:
“A business will do a better job of providing high quality goods and services by listening to its employees and by empowering them with opportunities to make a difference.”
It is celebrated annually during the first week of October. Doing something special for the customer service department as a way to:
- Increase motivation and teamwork
- Reward the hard-working employees
- Emphasize the importance of good customer service
- Demonstrate gratitude
During this week take some time daily to show appreciation for customer service department workers, as well as customers. A small show of gratitude is always appreciated. To make things easier, here are some ideas for celebrating daily:
Monday: To start-off the week, organize a special breakfast for your employees. After a relaxing weekend, Monday mornings tend to be the hardest weekday and usually the day to start diets. Providing a healthy breakfast to start the day communicates “thank you” loud and clear!
Tuesday: Provide colorful cards, markers and decorations for employees to write thank you cards to their co-workers. Have them exchange the cards during lunch time.
Wednesday: Provide a taco bar for lunch. Providing fun and eating delicious food to recharge energies on hump-day jettisons workers to productively complete the week.
Thursday: Encourage employees to consider playing a competitive game throughout the day. Fill a jar with company products and have employees guess the amount in the jar. The winner receives a gift card or extra day of vacation.
Friday: The last day of the weeklong celebration. At day’s end, gather the team for an award and recognition ceremony. Provide gifts and diplomas to award various categories that celebrate good customer service throughout the year.
So, how are you planning to celebrate National Customer Service week? Will you schedule creative, fun activities for employees? Or show some extra love to customers? Although this is a week to highlight customer service, don’t let it be the only time to show appreciation. Practice daily!
Sharon Schweitzer and Sophie Echeverry co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.
Sophie Echeverry is the corporate marketing manager and event coordinator at Access to Culture. Born and raised in Colombia, she’s a 2018 graduate with a B.B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Hult International Business School in San Francisco, CA. Connect with her on LinkedIn.