Achieving Internal Customer Service Excellence
Maximising external customer satisfaction through internal customer service
Providing exceptional customer service lies at the heart of many organisations. Its value is undisputed in business circles. What many companies fail to focus on, however, is the primary path to exceptional customer service: – internal customer service. Internal customer service is the service we provide fellow employees and other departments within our own organisations, as well as our suppliers and anyone else with whom we work to get our jobs done. It is what we do when a colleague asks for the information they need to complete their main task for the day; it is what we say when someone from marketing asks for the addresses of good contacts; it is how we greet the director of sales when they walk into our office with an “I need something from you” expression on their face.
Why does poor internal customer service happen? Sometimes it is caused by a simple lack of courtesy and respect for one another’s problems and contribution. But being nicer to one another, though it is very important and a good start, won’t solve this. Improving internal customer service is much more about understanding – and acting on – what different departments expect and need from one another. It’s about making sure that everyone has the necessary information, in the right form and delivered in the right way, to do their jobs effectively. And it’s about identifying genuine conflicts of interest and creating methods for resolving them. That is what this training course is all about.
- Renew their commitment to internal customer service as a vital part of providing external customer service
- Identify ways to improve internal customer service
- Reduce interdepartmental miscommunication and conflict
This course is suitable for all those who work in teams or departments which co-operate with others within their organisations – which means just about everybody.
- Participants are asked to consider some key questions about internal customer service within their organisation.
Team Exercise – The Bank Job!
- Participants take part in an interactive team exercise which demonstrates why teams from different departments need to cooperate with each other rather than work in silos. This experiential learning highlights the consequences of working in silos and the many benefits of good communication and collaborative working.
Understanding Internal Customer Service
- What internal customer service is and why it is important.
- The objectives of good internal customer service
- External vs Internal service focus within organisations
- The benefits of internal customer care
- A discussion of what participants like about the service they receive from the other teams or departments taking part.
Video – Inside Information
- The Video Arts production ‘Inside information: – a silo-buster’s guide to internal customer service’ is used to reinforce learning. This memorable programme shows how positive employee behaviour can break down ‘silos’ in the organisation and build productive working relationships with people from different departments.
Problems and Solutions
- The causes of poor internal service
- How to improve internal service
Meeting Customer Expectations
- Clarifying and communicating customer expectations
Resolving Conflicts Productively
- Understanding interdependence between departments
Dealing with internal conflicts
Mechanisms to aid co-operation and conflict resolution
Improving Internal Service
- Silo busting tips
- Proactive interdepartmental communication
- Handling emotions and negativity on the job
- Action planning the transfer of learning to the workplace
“The most valuable part of the course was the interactive exercise (The Bank Job) where I learned the importance of internal communication and behaviour. The facilitator was excellent at keeping me interested and engaged.” Chesnei Monrose, Royal College of GP’s
“I will now consider how to communicate internal customer expectations and look at ways of changing my way of working to improve communications. I intend to increase face-to-face conversations and reduce e-mail.” Victoria Fisher, Royal College of GP’s
“I learned how internal customer service impacts our external service. This learning event was excellent, insightful and thought-provoking.” Participant from Royal College of GP’s
“Before this workshop, I thought internal problems were only bad for morale. Now I know they’re bad for the bottom line.” D. Hassan, Youth Justice Board