February 2, 1988
By the President of the United States of America
Across our Nation and around the world, consumers are sending business an important message: there is no substitute for good service, the kind on which companies make their reputations. Under free enterprise, we consumers express our views through our everyday marketplace decisions and require businesses to adapt to our changing consumer choices.
The flexibility of American economic freedom opens the door to many opportunities for consumers and businesses. Both profit from today's increased emphasis on service. Customer-oriented companies that listen to their customers and make the commitment to act on their customers' wishes outperform their self-centered competitors time and again in profitability and customer loyalty. As a result, consumers are finding increasing responsiveness in some corners of the marketplace and are creating a demand for service in others. Indeed, customer service is emerging as a key competitive advantage today, not only in the domestic marketplace, but also in the expanding international arena.
In many industries, service is the product. The service sector accounts for 60 percent of our gross national product and provides some 70 percent of American jobs. Communications, transportation, utilities, banking, accounting, health care, and home maintenance are but a few examples of service industries indispensable to our way of life. Whether the transaction involves goods, services, or both, quality of customer service is a crucial ingredient in the interaction between customer and business, before, during, and after the sale. Service quality is often the factor that distinguishes businesses from one another.
This is the 7th year I have proclaimed National Consumers Week. I initiated National Consumers Week in 1982 to acknowledge and emphasize the significant stake consumers have in our economy. Our economy has three bases, the triad of capital, labor, and consumers; without any one of them the whole economy would lose its balance. Over the past 7 years, I have watched National Consumers Week grow into an established, national event involving millions of Americans in all sectors of our economy. I am proud of the success National Consumers Week enjoys. In recognition of the importance of consumers to our economy, and of service to consumers and business, ``Consumers Buy Service'' is the theme I have selected for National Consumers Week, 1988.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week beginning April 24, 1988, as National Consumers Week. I urge consumers, businesses, educators, community organizations, labor unions, the media, and government officials to identify, emphasize, and promote activities during National Consumers Week that draw attention to the importance of service in consumers' purchasing decisions.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:50 p.m., February 2, 1988]