Some Thoughts re: National Customer Service Week

Posted by ICSAadmin - October 4, 2013 - Customer Experience, Great Service, Message from the President - 11 Comments

Today’s Blog is from ICSA President, Bill Gessert

Next week is National Customer Service Week.  It is the week set aside (by Presidential Proclamation) to recognize individuals who provide service to customers on behalf of their company or organization.  As the week approaches, I’ve been thinking about why it is so important to celebrate National Customer Service Week.  And I had some thoughts about all that.

I could easily point to the very well documented positive financial impact company’s gain by providing exceptional service on a consistent basis.  But I am guessing that most of you reading this have heard all those facts and figures before.  You’ve probably even shared them with others.

Nope.  I’ve got a much more “human” reason to explain the value of National Customer Service Week and the importance of lifting up customer service personnel.  And it ties directly into the theme selected by the International Customer Service Association for this year’s event – United through Service.

We live in a world where the pace of life has produced a ton of stress.  We all feel it.  Some times it feels as though we are all moving at the speed of light.  As a result, we have gotten less personal, especially with strangers.  Maybe this is all amplified for me living in New York.  But I don’t think anyone could disagree that we live in a less friendly world today than we did 20 years ago.

So I think it is vitally important to recognize people who provide positive experiences through the service they provide.  People who are friendly to the strangers they are serving.  People who smile – and mean it! People who are friendly because they chose to be friendly.  People who treat you with respect, courtesy, warmth and a positive spirit!

We all need to recognize these people in our companies and organizations next week.  They make our lives better.  They leave us with a sense there is yet hope in this world.  They are nice.  And it’s nice to be nice.  When I am treated that way as a customer, I feel united with that person because of the service they provided. 

I leave you with a question, and a challenge. 

The question: Would not this world be a better place if we viewed everyone we come in contact with as a customer to be treasured and handled with care? 

The challenge: Next week, make a point to sincerely thank people who serve you.  Tell them it’s National Customer Service Week and they just made your life a little nicer.  If we all do that, my guess is that by the end of next week, we’ll be living in a better world.

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11 comments

  • kelly says:

    great post, Bill! We are celebrating ‘United Through Service’ here at Molina Healthcare next week :)

  • Bill says:

    Great thoughts Bill! I was shopping for supplies at Target a few days ago. The cashier said “oh it looks like someone’s planning a birthday party” as she rang up my items. I said “not quite, these are supplies for our opening ceremony for Customer Service Week”. She looked puzzled. I asked ” don’t they celebrate Customer Service Week here at the store”. She responded that she was pretty new there but that she hadn’t heard anything about Customer Service Week or a celebration. The lady behind me in line said “more companies should, but so few do!”. I think its sad that any organization would miss the opportunity to reward and coach their front line during Customer Service Week. We have events planned each day and I assure you there won’t be a penny left in my budget by Friday! Thanks for continuing to make people aware of this worthy event!

    • Bill Gessert says:

      Isn’t it FUN to have those kinds of conversations with service providers?! I feel like I am busting their bosses by letting them know that National Customer Service Week exists. Happened to me just the other day when a person who works at Marchall’s was telling me how often she is faced with grumpy, terrible customers. That’s when I said, “Well, I am sure your bosses have great plans for you next week during NCSW.” She had NO idea about the event. But she promised me she would visit the ICSA NCSW Facebook page and print off the information…for her BOSSES to READ! Good stuff!

  • Janet Burkett says:

    So happy to see Customer Service Week still being celebrated so many years after the ICSA board was able to get this resolution passed! I was honored to have been on the board at that time and to play a small part in bringing this recognition of great customer service to fruition!

  • Kevin Stirtz says:

    Hi Bill – Great blog post. I support anything we can do to get the word out and promote National Customer Service Week. I was amazed to learn it started in 1984. Wow! That’s quite an accomplishment. I will do my part to promote it.

  • National Seminars Training associates celebrate International Customer Service Week every year and this year our “Kick Off” included a Continental Breakfast and our popular, All-Company Cakewalk. Employees from all departments donate cakes, pies, cupcakes & cookies for the event. Everyone is given an opportunity to walk in the many cakewalks scheduled throughtout the day. NST is committed to think about the customer first and to be customer centered. This brings us all together as we celebrate our Customers.
    Tomorrow we have an all company pumpkin decorating contest! Gift cards will be awared to the winners.
    I’d love to hear what other ICSA members are doing for Cust. Serv/ Week.

  • Linda says:

    Hi Bill,
    Any ideas for the 2014 theme?
    I love getting an early start!

    • Bill says:

      Hi Linda,

      Your timing is excellent and I am pleased to tell you that an announcement regarding the theme for National Customer Service Week will be announced on Monday, April 14th both on the ICSA website, the PACE website, and though the social media channels of each group as well. NCSW is October 6 – 10 this year and we are building plans to help companies like Molina celebrate!

  • Hi Bill,

    I am eager to discuss my company’s new technology in hopes to discuss partnering opportunities with ICSA/PACE.

    TextGen (www.textgen.com) automates inbound customer contacts – using text.

    A TextGen number (or any existing number) invites the customer to have a conversation with you about a product, service, concern – or anything! Customers are able to get their questions answered quickly and efficiently – all while data is captured for decision making.

    TextGen scripts can be as simple as a question, or as complex as any modern web application with access to data sources, web services and any other logic a business service process requires.

    I would eagerly welcome your thoughts on any ways that TextGen can collaborate with and be a benefit to ICSA, PACE, or any of your members.

    Thank you!

  • Karen W. Ellis says:

    Hey Bill,

    Remember me from ICSA Atlanta? Well, I moved to Houston Texas where I am the Director of Customer Relations for the Houston Airport System.

    Is there a way I can get the National Customer Service Week logo for this year in a EPS format?

    Thanks in advance,

    Karen

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