Your company does a fantastic job supporting the people who purchase your products and services.
But does your business deliver the same quality of service to the people who work within the organization? Probably not – and that could indicate that it's time to learn how to improve internal customer service processes.
Internal customer service focuses on people within your business who depend on other people or departments to do their job effectively. They could be full-time staff members, supply vendors, or even professional contractors that have been hired for a specific project. But whatever role they play, internal customer service makes their job easier by facilitating communication, troubleshooting problems, and enabling seamless collaborations.
The key to effective internal customer service is to implement some of the same concepts you apply to your external customers to your internal customers. Improving internal customer service isn't rocket science – it just takes the same focus and energy you've already demonstrated in your external customer service program.
- Focus on customers. Your external customer service efforts are focused on the needs of the people who buy your products. Similarly, your internal customer service efforts need to be focused on internal "customers", i.e. the people who are responsible for producing the deliverables that translate your mission into marketplace realities.
- Empathize with internal customers. Many internal customer service initiatives lack the professionalism and empathy that characterizes effective external customer service program. Yet internal customers are just as important as external customers to the company's success – and that means their needs deserve the same level of attention and respect.
- Train staff. Great internal customer service programs don't happen overnight. You can speed up the process by providing company-wide training about what internal customer service is and what it looks like in the workplace.
- Satisfy expectations. Make it your mission to satisfy or exceed the expectations of your company's internal customers. Even better, include the satisfaction of internal customers as a highlight of your company's strategic plan.
- Measure performance. Good customer service measures performance using quantifiable outcomes and customer feedback. You can improve your internal customer service by introducing measurements into the process.