Aren’t Internal Customers as Important as External Customers? – Part One

In any organization, no one person or one business function can run the entire show or claim to provide for all the needs of the customer. Employees, teams, and functions have to work together in any organization. Sometimes, the output of one function is the input to another.

For example, say the marketing team works on lead generation. They use various techniques to bring the prospect to the website and qualify the prospect. That is where they stop. Now, this output, the lead, becomes the input for the sales team and that is the point at which they start their process. Here, the sales team is the internal customer of the marketing team.

Most organizations go all out to support their customers. Indeed, some organizations have differentiated themselves and become very successful through their exceptional customer service. But with so much accent on external customer service, what about internal customer service? Aren’t internal customers as important as external customers? Don’t organizations need to ensure that their internal customer service is just as good as external customer service?

If internal customer service is not up to the mark, nothing can get done at the workplace. Add to this the fact that between individuals and teams, animosity builds up, and you can understand its importance. In this post, we’ll take a look at some factors that have an adverse effect on internal customer service and what can we do to remedy the situation.

Lack of communication: Lack of clear, proper, and concise communication between employees is one of the biggest culprits. If you want something from your internal vendor, ensure that you have given the vendor everything he needs to complete the task. Give clear specifications on the work to be done and communicate what expectations you have from the output.

Taking the example of the previous example, if the sales team tells the marketing team that they want leads and does not convey that what they actually mean is qualified leads, they might have to be content with just prospects.

We’ll continue this in the next post.