Customer Success, Customer Support | 7 MIN READ

10 Essential Tips to Develop Outstanding Internal Customer Service

In this blog, we will discuss the essential tips to develop outstanding internal customer service.

Rohan Sheth
Nov 9, 2021

Tips to Develop Outstanding Internal Customer Service

Tips to Develop Outstanding Internal Customer Service

The brutal truth is, it is impossible to build happy external customers when you have unhappy internal customers, i.e., your employees. 

Every contact that your unhappy employee has with the customer will negatively impact the external customer relationships. Hence, it is imperative to develop internal customer service within the organization. 

Before diverting our attention to the tips to develop internal customer service, let’s look at the definition of internal customers. 

Who are internal customers? 

Any stakeholder of a business can be termed as its internal customer. The stakeholders include full-time employees, contractors, and, temporary employees. The internal customers serve the company and are interdependent on other internal customers or the stakeholders of the business.

To understand it more clearly, you can see internal customers as stakeholders working for your business or dependent on your business. The motto of the internal customers is to co-operate with each other to provide better services to the external customers, those who pay for your product or service. 

Difference between internal and external customers 

S.No.Basis of DifferenceInternal CustomerExternal Customer
1.StakeInternal customers have a stake in the business. They see the business as the place to work and grow professionally as well as personally.External customers have no stake in the business but the product or services provided by the business. They see a company as the provider of pleasure and utility through their product or services.
2.ResponsibilityInternal customers, as a part of business, have the responsibility to provide better satisfaction to the external customers.External customers pay for the product or service they receive. They do not have any responsibility towards the internal customers of a business.
3.The conceptThe concept of internal customers is relatively new. Companies have recently started focusing on internal customers to make them loyal and enthusiastic towards the company and provide better services to external customers.The concept of external customers is as old as the concept of buying and selling. External customers have always been the axis of any business.  
4.FlexibilityInternal customers have relatively lesser flexibility when severing ties with the business they are part of. They cannot be part of two competitive businesses at the same time.External customers are free to choose products or services from any company they like. They can simultaneously purchase products or services from two competitors. They are completely free to exercise their choice in choosing to buy or not buy from a company. 

The importance of internal customer service 

Though not very often talked about, internal customer service is as important as external customer service. If you wonder what you can achieve by paying attention to internal customer service, here are the reasons for you –

  • Better Productivity Level – When you better the internal customer services, you’ll automatically see an enhanced productivity level. When bottlenecks are removed, and grievances of internal customers are redressed quickly, the workflow goes smoothly.
  • High Employee Retention Rate – When a company pays attention to the needs of their internal customers, the customers respond by being loyal to the company. This means they will not only work more enthusiastically but will not switch jobs frequently too.
  • Improved External Customer Services – Most businesses are focused on the experience of their external customers. You should know that happy and satisfied internal customers always reflects similar result on external customers. When employees are happy, they give their 100% to make external customers happy.

Essential tips for developing internal customer service 

Now that you are well aware of the need and importance of internal customer services. Let us proceed to tips on developing internal customer services.

1. Set clear expectations 

External customers only expect you to provide them with the products or services you promised for the price they pay. But, internal customers come with many expectations. The business owner must set clear expectations for the employees to know what is on the plate for them. You cannot expect employees to work enthusiastically only for their paycheck. You need to offer a mixture of monetary and non-monetary rewards. Employees must know what rewards they can expect for their level of performance. 

2. Create a culture of service 

Every business or company has a culture, whether developed intentionally or unintentionally. The unintentional work culture always grows to be toxic. You should intentionally develop a culture of service in your business. The culture in your business should reward respectful behavior, politeness, and professionalism among employees of all levels.

3. Understand the objective of creating a team 

Teams or departments are made to make the overall business more efficient and not compete against each other. Every team member and every team should understand that they all have a single goal – the company’s overall growth. Each department or team should work with cooperation for providing better services to external customers.

4. Have a fixed schedule 

There should be a fixed schedule for internal customer service providers, and the schedule should be effectively communicated to each stakeholder, i.e., the internal customers. This will not only help the internal customer service provider do their task efficiently but will also help the employees get their grievances solved promptly without disturbing the process for others.

5. Use a conversational tone during departmental key exchanges 

Professionalism is important, but this does not mean that all the internal talks in a company should be formal. The conversational tone during departmental key exchanges is important for building relationships among the internal stakeholders. Companies should not only say that we are a family, but they should also make the employees feel so. A conversational tone is one of the most effective ways to make employees feel at home.

6. Prepare internal service metrics and standards 

Internal customer services need to be measured just like external customer services. You can use metrics and standards like average response time, average handling time, and employee satisfaction percentage to measure your internal customer service performance.

7. Create solutions for the long haul 

Internal customer service should not only focus on solving an acute problem of an employee. The root cause of the issue needs to be searched and fixed. This will ensure that employees are not getting stuck in the same bottleneck over and over again. While seeing an acute problem, you must try to find a long-term solution for the same.

8. Have multiple channels for servicing 

For efficient internal communication, you must create multiple channels like email, SMS, live chat, phone call, etc., for internal customer servicing. Multiple channels make things more accessible for the employees and ensure that issues are sorted out rapidly.

9. Give proper instructions to internal customers on how problems need to be resolved 

Some problems can be easily solved by employees themselves without needing the help of internal customer service providers. Root causes and solutions to repetitive problems should be clearly provided to employees. You can make guides and resource pools for frequent and repetitive issues so that employees can get things sorted on their own and do not need to approach an internal customer service provider.

10. Value your internal customers 

Last but not least, you should value your internal customers as you value your external customers. When an employee reaches you with certain issues, they should be given a fair chance to be heard. If they can solve the issue on their own, they should be informed in a friendly manner. Each internal customer must feel that they are an important part of the business and they are valued.

Final Thoughts 

We hope that the internal customer service tips that we have mentioned above will help your organization work smoothly and boost the productivity of each department.

Understand that without your internal customers, you cannot serve your external customers. Both go hand-in-hand.

Once you have understood this, it will make your task that easier to set up your internal customer service to take your organization to the horizon. 

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Originally Published November 9th, 2021, Updated November 9th, 2021

Rohan Sheth

Rohan has over 11 years of experience in client services, marketing and hospitality field. Previously, he was head of digital marketing for a hi-tech mobile application. Rohan is driven by new challenges and the possibility of making an impact on individuals and businesses.

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