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Cupcakes, and buttons, and posters! Oh my!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recall my 2009 and 2010 posts that were critical of Customer Service Week (October 3-7, 2011).

While I have no issue with celebrating customers, I do take exception to the hypocrisy of those companies who participate in Customer Service Week and trumpet customer service by ordering cupcakes, wearing buttons, and hanging posters for one week in October only to revert to their typical subpar customer service levels for the remaining 51 weeks of the year.

For many companies (You know the ones…), to participate in Customer Service Week would be similar to British Petroleum (BP) sponsoring an Earth Day event. There’s simply no credibility.

These are the companies that rely on promotions and staged events to demonstrate their commitment to customer service: “Of course we’re committed to serving customers. Didn’t you see the posters we hung during Customer Service Week?”

The very best customer service providers (You know the ones…) don’t need an arbitrary week in October to demonstrate their commitment to serving customers. They already do that—consistently—throughout the year.

These are the companies whose employees: express genuine interest in their customers, demonstrate initiative, anticipate customers’ needs, pay attention to detail, display a sense of urgency, provide pleasant surprises, and leave lasting positive impressions on customers.

So even while the cupcakes are tasty, the buttons are flashy, and the poster slogans are catchy, the real test of a company’s customer service commitment is not what happens during Customer Service Week but what happens during the rest of the year.

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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