Serving Your Internal Customers

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7 Do's for internal customer serviceHow are your internal “customer service skills?”

We talk often of external customer service, but what about serving internal customers? Your co-workers, team, supervisors, etc.

Anybody who needs something from you to get his job done is your customer. And that usually involves some of your co-workers and even your manager as well as outside customers.

Now you may think you are pretty good at serving your customers. But do your customers agree?

Rate yourself on the following characteristics of a good service provider and think about both your external and internal customers.

Are you knowledgeable? Do you know your products and services well? Things like knowing how your telephone system works, the different procedures to get something done, how to complete the paperwork and the knowledge to deal with the technology to do it are all part of this skill. How would you rate yourself?

Do you make your customers feel important? Do you greet the customer courteously, even when you are having a bad day, smile, look them in the eyes and show interest and concern for your customer’s needs? If on the telephone, do you answer promptly with a smile in your voice rather than a snarl that says, “You are an interruption in my day?” Do you ask questions to find out exactly what your customer wants so that you can deliver that?

Do you listen and respond to your customers’ feelings? Do you really listen rather than wait your turn to speak or do you decide you know what your customers want before you hear their concerns? Can you deal with angry customers without escalating the situation into a major fire that causes the customer to never do business with you again or causes bad feelings on your team? Can you sincerely apologize even if it is not your fault?

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Do you meet or exceed your customer’s needs?  Do you surprise and delight your customer with delivering just a little bit more than you promised? For instance, do you finish something before the deadline? Do you respond quickly to all customer requests and go out of your way to satisfy their needs?

Do you always follow through? Can people trust your word that you will do what you say you will do? If someone asks you to call back or send more information, do you accomplish it 100 percent of the time? Do you work well with your other team members to satisfy your customers?

Do you make sure that the customer is always satisfied? Asking if there is anything else that can be done, finding out if the customer is happy with the product or service and listening between the lines to what the customer is not saying will earn you the reputation of delivering exceptional customer service.

Do you always take the time to clarify the details? Do you ask questions, make sure you understand all the details before proceeding and make sure that you give the customer all the essential information before proceeding?

 

Do you get ongoing feedback from your customers in order to constantly improve your service? Asking what can be done to improve your service, getting specific suggestions and asking the customer for additional ways to add to their service experience are all hallmarks of an exceptional service provider.

So how do you rate? If you are doing all this, you have exceptional skills in dealing with all your customers, especially your internal customers—your co-workers. Congratulations! Keep it up.

More on Creating a True Culture of Service within your organization:


trevina broussard head shotAbout Trevina Broussard

I share powerful Customer Service tips and insights for front line managers and employees on how to deliver customer service to keep your customer coming back. The name of the game is customer loyalty and it’s not just about satisfaction. It’s about a willingness to be a repeat buyer, willingness to recommend you to others, and resistance to switching to a competitor. Poor service is an all-too-frequent experience for us all. I provide a framework for implementing ongoing processes that can build customer loyalty.

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