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We all appreciate good customer service but don’t always take time to recognize it. This year, make a point of showing your appreciation to those employees who really understand your customer base by celebrating Customer Service Week.

The annual celebration starts on Monday, October 1 and runs through Friday, October 5, so you have plenty of time to let your customer service team know just how grateful you are for their contributions. The activities you choose are up to you, but we’ve pulled together a few of our favorites:

1. Start it off right

by hosting a kick-off meeting. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Something simple will do, like a member of the leadership team getting up to talk about what customer service means to your company.

2. Make it a meal

One of the days, you may want to host a meal for the customer service team. Be it a lunch potluck, morning brunch, or just ice cream in the afternoon, everyone will appreciate the thought.

3. Give a small gift

Even if your budget is tight, there are inexpensive ways to give a token of your appreciation, and here are three. We’ve even included a free notecard to download and print!

4. Trade places

Many businesses use customer service week as an occasion for other staff members to get firsthand experience working with customers. Arrange for a department or two to take over customer service duties for part of the day.

But instead of “trading places,” use the time to get your customer service professionals out of the office together. Schedule a group activity, like a trip to the museum, a long lunch on the company dime, or a team-building exercise in the park.

5. Reward team members

While you want to recognize your staff’s contributions throughout the year, now’s the time to really highlight the efforts of the entire customer service team — and their individual contributions.

If someone regularly provides exemplary customer service, send out a company-wide email on the topic. Then, print an award certificate for that individual, and throw in a gift card to that person’s favorite store or restaurant.

6. Do some training

Customer service week shouldn’t just be about recognition. It can also serve as a reminder of how important customer service is for business. As such, schedule a little customer service training one day that week.

While you can certainly bring in a speaker to talk on the subject, a better option may be to surf the web for training videos. Trust me, there’s more than enough free content available from a variety of experts.

7. Put it in writing

A thank-you note is probably the easiest way to show your appreciation for employees and colleagues working in customer service roles. Just make sure to show some genuine gratitude by making the note personal to the person.

8. Thank customers

Smart businesses use every opportunity they can to connect with their client base. Customer service week is one of them. Give each employee a list of names, and ask them to express their appreciation in writing.

Again, make the note personal to the person. Use the customer’s name, and then somewhere in the message, reference the number of years he or she has been doing business with your organization. That’s customer service.

If you’d like additional information about how to celebrate customer service week, please feel free to contact us today.