Make Internal Customers Count
Do you know your internal customers?
Everyone knows that a customer is a buyer, a user of your product. However, customers also live within our organizations. Internal customers are our colleagues, suppliers, other departments and branches.
In a recent blog, Jonathan Farrington suggests that external customers know when internal customers are at odds. If you want to assure that external customers view your organization as a coordinated, customer service driven team, you will need to avoid:
- The blame game: If a customer complains, never pass on the blame to another group or person. This breeds a sense of disappointment and mistrust.
- Communication breakdowns: If you are not constantly, working to enhance two-way communication among departments, moral can plunge and suspicions rise. Open communication is essential to keeping your internal customers serving external customers in a superior manner.
- Culture of confusion: If the right hand has no clue what the left is doing, isolation erupts. This will inevitably effect customer satisfaction. Keep everyone aligned to one goal/vision.
- Appearance of insecurity: Downsizing on the inside makes customer uncertain on the outside. If using temps/contractors, make sure they do not give off a ‘devil may care’ attitude. Uncertain customers soon become ex-customers.
- Silos: Cross-training, cross department knowledge sharing, and skill building make for a confident workforce and better customer service.