This first week of October is National Customer Service week, and I think everyone who works in customer service should stand up for a well-deserved round of applause.

A few years ago, a study of 784 call centers in the United States showed that on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being highest), 32% of customer service representatives rated their stress level a 10. That’s disturbing but understandable. Many people are upset when they call or visit a customer service department, and it’s the service rep’s job to keep the conversation on an even keel.

I don’t know if many customer service representatives will receive flowers this week in recognition of a job well done, but I think they all deserve congratulations. For remaining calm, keeping a smile on their faces and in their voices, being good listeners, apologizing when needed just generally trying to help out in every way possible.

If a customer service rep helps you this week — or next — don’t be shy about thanking about him or her. “Thank you” are two of the best feel-good words in the English language. So go ahead and make someone’s National Customer Service week.

Frances Starr, Director of Sales & Marketing for Alert Communications. Alert Communications is a 24/7 bilingual inbound call center, specializing in professional attorney answering, virtual receptionist, Spanish answering and business answering solutions.