Customer Service Week is a national event devoted to recognizing the importance of customer service and honoring the people on the front lines of the service revolution. The International Customer Service Association (ICSA) began Customer Service Week in 1988. In 1992 the U.S. Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally recognized event, celebrated annually during the first full week in October.
The CSWeek website suggests that companies use this week to:
- Boost morale, motivation & teamwork
- Reward frontline reps
- Raise companywide awareness of the importance of customer service
- Thanks other departments for their support
- Let customers know about your commitment to customer satisfaction
Several businesses have jumped on the bandwagon, using the event as a marketing vehicle. This temporary focus on Customer Service seems rather odd to me. Although the American Customer Satisfaction Index (not to be confused with the ICSA) has a recent study showing customer service scores for retail improving, they are generally not great. For many retailers, customer service is given lip service, but is not an “incentivized” part of the culture. In general, a retailer’s front line employees, the ones that are the face to the customer, are often among the lowest compensated people in the organization.
I like the five ideas listed above, but think companies would be much more successful if they did these things every week. To use this week as the only time to “let your customers know about your commitment to customer satisfaction” or to “raise companywide awareness for the importance of CS” leaves 51 other weeks of opportunity on the table. What would happen to an organization’s culture if they took advantage of that opportunity? What if the tag line was “Doing Our Best With Every Request, Every Day”?