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In this blog, we will discuss the essential 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.
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.
On the other hand, “internal customer service” (ICS) describes how individuals and teams within an organization assist other individuals and groups in carrying out their responsibilities and achieving their objectives.
According to the theory, organizations should use their strategic approach to external customer service in their internal service-based interactions.
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 –
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Q 1: What are essential tips for developing internal customer service?
A 1: Here are some essential tips for developing internal customer service:
Q 2: How significant is internal customer service?
A 2: Employee support needs have increased as a result of the significant changes in the workplace over the past few years. Internal customer service is crucial because how you treat your employees impacts your relationships with customers and the bottom line.
Q 3: What is the best way to provide internal customer service?
A 3: Tell them upfront what you require of them to satisfy their needs. Set deadlines and quality standards. Inform them of what they can anticipate from you. Discreetly explain to the clients how they fit into your workload as an internal provider, and pay attention to their delivery requirements.
Q 4: What do you mean by the term internal customer satisfaction?
A 4: Internal customer or staff satisfaction within a department or team is measured by an internal customer satisfaction survey. This survey assesses opinions and perceptions of internal service, including responsiveness, productivity, and/or communication.
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.29
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.
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.
Published November 09, 2021, Updated October 14, 2022
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