Close this search box.

Service is a principle, not a campaign

This week is Customer Service Week (Oct. 7-11), one week out the year when customers and customer service quality are celebrated. As much as I enjoy and support recognizing customers and service quality, I can’t help but question the superficiality of hanging banners, donning t-shirts and buttons, and ordering pizzas to honor customers for one week in October before returning to business as usual.

Service, the idea of making a contribution, is a principle – a natural law that cannot be broken; one that is self-evident and enduring. You can’t fake whether or not you honor a principle. For instance, if your semiannual dental cleaning is approaching and you recall your earlier commitment to your dentist to floss daily, you cannot floss furiously in the days leading up to your appointment and expect to fool her. The condition of your gums, despite your best efforts to conceal your neglect, will reveal your integrity (another principle).

In the same way, an organization’s service quality does not hinge on the success of a weeklong campaign that showcases customers and customer service, but rather the daily interactions over 52 weeks between customers, employees, communication channels, products, and services. The quality and consistency of those interactions will ultimately determine the true quality of customer service.

Use Customer Service Week to focus your efforts on service quality during the remaining 51 weeks of the year. How are employees being equipped (trained, coached, appraised, recognized) to achieve their potential (another principle) as service providers? What investments are being made, in technology and otherwise, to improve the customer experience? How is the “voice of the customer” being sought, heard, understood, and applied in the continuous improvement of products and services?

This Customer Service Week enjoy the enthusiasm and camaraderie that envelops a successful corporate campaign, but also remember that service is a principle that, like regular flossing, will reveal its truth and substance over time.

Illustration by Aaron McKissen.

New! Cascade the lessons from Delight Your Customers throughout your department, division, or entire organization. Order the Delight Your Customers Companion Guide by Steve Curtin and Brian O’Neill.
Don’t settle for ordinary. Choose extraordinary. (It’s always a choice.) 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.
The Revelation Conversation

The Revelation Conversation is Here!