Have You Forgotten About Internal Customer Service?

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internal customer service

Have You Forgotten About Internal Customer Service?

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Ask nearly anyone in business, “Who is your customer?” You’re likely to receive an answer that is connected with the external customer. Absolutely the external customer is important, but don’t forget about internal customer service.

Taken for Granted

People tend to take a lot for granted. Family, friends, and relationships of any kind are often assumed to be both willing and able to withstand disappointments, setbacks, and forgiveness.

Sure, some relationships can withstand nearly anything. Can workplace relationships endure it? Are some organizations missing their mark with internal customer service?

I doubt I’m alone when I suggest that they are. How we treat each other, even those that we’ve worked around for years is reflective of the vibe we deliver externally.

Sometimes at first thought it is difficult for people to connect the dots with co-workers being customers, but it is important. Direct report to boss, peer-to-peer, or many other combinations exist both up and down the organizational ladder. Does your organization recognize this?

Internal Customer Service

Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself about your delivery of internal customer service:

  1. How do I greet my co-workers? Greetings set the stage for everything that happens next. It doesn’t matter if it is Monday, Friday, or any day in-between. If you’re dragging yourself around and commenting about how terrible it is to be at work good luck with having an exceptional customer service culture.
  2. What are the needs of other employees? It is not always about reporting relationships. Just because someone is not your boss doesn’t mean that you don’t go the extra mile to help. Instead of saying, “It’s not my job.” consider how you can pitch in. Offer to help.
  3. Do I give as much as possible to help support their needs? It might seem easier to let it be someone else’s responsibility, and it is true that it might be. It is also true that sometimes it is important for everyone to do their own part. However, when you think about their needs you might find there is more room to give.
  4. Do I leave the door open? Do you offer your assistance? I hope that you do. Always be sure to close the communication in nearly the same way you might have opened it. Offer to always be there to lend a hand. Leave the door open for them to get your willing assistance in the future.

Always Remember

If you’re culture supports being rude, uncommitted, and lackadaisical in the approach to helping each other internally, what do you think will be reflected externally?

Have you forgotten about internal customer service?

Who is your customer?


Improving your internal and external customer service is why I wrote this book:

customer service book

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Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

Originally posted on May 30, 2017, last updated on November 10, 2018.

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