Customer Service is Being Turned On its Head!
In the process of courting and keeping consumers, businesses spend millions of dollars on external customer service. However, little attention is given to the impact that bad internal customer service has on customer satisfaction. It all begins with the people in your company! Your consumers will be affected by the ripple effect sooner or later. Make certain that your dedication to internal customer service is consistent with your company’s outward emphasis on customer care in order to really walk your service talk.
When we think of customer service, we think of employees who serve consumers at a counter or over the phone to provide them with assistance. Customer service, on the other hand, takes place inside your company. Describe how effectively your team serves its internal consumers, which include other departments, management, third-party suppliers, and consultants. Whether you believe it or not, everything matters. Internal customer service is a service provided to those who are already working inside your company. Response time, product quality, communication, collaboration, and morale are all measured in this category.
Internal Customer Service, in my opinion, is defined as providing effective service to other divisions inside your company. Describe the quality of the service, goods, and information you provide to other departments to assist them in doing their duties. To what extent are you paying attention to and comprehending their concerns? How successfully are you collaborating with one another to solve issues that will help your company succeed?
Putting Together a Winning Team
How effectively do you collaborate with colleagues from different departments? Is it possible for your marketing department to interact effectively with your legal department? Is there a good relationship between Fulfillment and Shipping and Receiving? Do the catering and the facilities complement one another? You take a deep breath when it’s time to speak with people from other departments. Or you grin and enjoy the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues from other parts of the business.
In my previous role as a manager, I was thrust into the middle of a power struggle between departments at a publishing firm. Editorial was resentful of production for the manner in which they missed deadlines and produced poor content in the first place. Editorial, on the other hand, had little regard for the resultant manuscripts that they got back from production, which were riddled with mistakes and oversights. As a result of inadequate collaboration, poor communication, and myopic thinking, views have become more entrenched with the passage of time. They were both concerned about the final result, but they were unwittingly exerting pressure on one another without recognizing it. It took some time, but ultimately, both groups learned to understand and respect one another, as well as how to effectively collaborate in order to create win-win outcomes for the benefit of their consumers.
Do you look forward to or dread working on committees with other departments? Is it possible that their objectives conflict with those of your department? Does it bother you when other departments call you for assistance? Do you see it as a nuisance, a diversion, and a waste of your precious time? Understand the larger good that results from assisting them in solving their issues or meeting the needs that they have identified?
Opportunities to make other departments seem good may make you feel good about yourself. It goes without saying that you don’t want their success to come at your cost. Usually, helping others does not imply that you are losing in a zero-sum game, in which only one of you can win, and assisting others is detrimental to your own success. In the majority of cases, assisting other departments results in a win-win scenario. And, as the saying goes, what goes around comes around. When the roles are reversed, assisting other departments with their success may also benefit your own.
Keeping up with the Joneses
Good internal customer service begins with high levels of employee satisfaction inside your organization. Are your employees content? Do they have a positive self-image and believe that they are making a positive contribution to the department’s and the company’s goals? They should, and every effort should be made to aid them in this endeavor. Employees that are happy are more productive, and consumers notice. Employees that are satisfied with their jobs are also stronger team players. Is it more convenient for you to fly with an airline whose workers are on strike against management or with an airline whose employees are on strike against management? Employees who participate in employee stock purchase programs that include matching contributions feel that they are a much more important part of the business. As a result, as the business progresses, so do they.
When I fly out of Oakland International Airport, I park at an outlying parking lot and take a shuttle bus to my destination. Employees of Southwest Airlines use this shuttle service to go to and from work and to return to their vehicles after their shifts. Their demeanor and attitude are the same when they’re beginning their shifts as they are when they’re ending their shifts, in my experience. That demonstrates excellent morale and indicates that they like their work. It’s infectious, believe me! When I know I’ll be checking in at a competitor’s ticket counter, I become a little jealous on the shuttle ride over there.
Who is at the top of the heap?
A common organizational chart design is an inverted pyramid, with consumers at the top of the pyramid. Some businesses, on the other hand, place their workers at the top of the organizational chart. In many ways, the workers serve as customers for the management team. Good customer service is a direct result of corporate principles that place a high emphasis on treating workers well. Does your company place a high priority on its employees? Companies that care about their employees are more likely to be able to ask their employees to care about their customers as well.
Providing for Customer Service Requirements
Here are five suggestions for your company to consider in order to improve its internal focus on customer service.
1. Employees should never voice their dissatisfaction in front of consumers. It gives customers the idea that your business isn’t well-run, which causes them to lose trust in you.
2. Personnel should never express dissatisfaction with the work of other departments’ employees to consumers. Who would want to do business with a firm whose employees are at odds with one another?
3. Employees at all levels should make an effort to create bridges across different departments. This may be accomplished via cross-training, combined picnics, parties, or offsites, or creative gatherings, as well as through the simple pleasures of everyday life.
4. Post-mortems should be conducted after collaborative initiatives so that everyone may benefit from the experience. When everyone takes time to reflect on what went right… or wrong, it is possible to heal fences and gain fresh insights. While the immediate strain of the project is relieved, stronger connections may be formed while the experience is still fresh in people’s minds by doing so after the project. The failure to do so may result in lasting animosities that may worsen future collaborative efforts.
5. Consider allowing your workers to take on the role of “Customer for a Day,” allowing them to see and feel directly what your customers go through while doing business with you.
Congratulations on successfully flipping customer service on its head! Your internal customer service has just been improved, and as a result, the customer service your external customers get has also been improved. You’re putting your words into action when it comes to customer service. Touché.