Aren’t internal customers as important as external customers? — Part Three

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For any firm, internal customers are just as important as external customers. Within the firm, the employees and teams depend on one another to convert their raw material into a product or a service.

One function acts as the internal customer of another and business operations suffer if this relationship falls into jeopardy.

In the previous posts on this series, we have been taking a look at the different factors that have an adverse effect on this relationship. In this post, we’ll see how to improve this relationship and ensure excellent internal customer service.

It starts with the culture:

Sometimes, when you step into an office, you immediately sense the vibe and the prevalent workplace culture present there. Some offices are vibrant where as some offices give off a morose vibe.

To ensure that there is sharing, communication, and collaboration among the employees, you need to start with the work culture. Take measures to create a fair and vibrant atmosphere where there is no red tape in communication among teams and no ego among individuals.

Set clear, realistic expectations:

Every individual has his own performance limit as does a team. Instead of setting high, vague expectations on a team’s performance, set clear, realistic expectations that they can reach. There is no point in setting high expectations and berating a team and its members for not achieving them.

Keep an eye on performance:

Many times, internal customer service just fails because one team or individual does not quite match up to the requirements of the other team. To avoid such happenstances, carefully track the performance of each individual and team.

Conduct regular performance appraisals and take the time out to point out any shortcomings in the performance. This also increases confidence in both the internal vendor and internal customer. The vendor will be happy that he can now solve his customer’s problems and the customer will have no issues relying on the vendor.

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