It’s time to focus on your internal customer experience.
Usually, when we think about customers or customer service, our minds often go to those people who buy our products or services. But what about the people we work with? You know, for the entire team to be effective, we’ve got to give each other a great experience; so, it turns out our coworkers are customers too.
Below you’ll find 7 ways to roll out the red carpet for your internal customers —which, in fact, are your co-workers. Because these are the people you wow before they wow your customers. You create the internal wow magic with them before it extends to the external customers.
The way employees feel about your company translates into how your traditional customers will feel about your company. If your employees don’t feel valued, neither would your customers. So, what are these 7 ideas for improving the internal customer experience? Let’s jump right in!
7 Ways to Improve Internal Customer Experience
Be Respectful: Treat your coworkers with courtesy and kindness. Get to know them by name. Smile. Provide friendly greetings as you pass them in the hallway. Stay positive in your interactions and strive to use every encounter to be a bright spot in the other person’s day.
Listen: You may have wonderful ideas and so do your coworkers. Be open to their contributions and let go of the idea that is “my way or the highway”. Practice listening skills and really pay attention to the needs of the others on your team.
Communicate: As Tom Cruise said, “Help me, help you”. Remember, regardless of the department you work in, you’re all working towards a common goal. So be transparent in your communication and have regular conversations with people in other departments. The more everyone knows, the more successful you’ll be as an organization.
Be Helpful: Embrace an “all-hand-on-deck” philosophy. When your coworker needs assistance, jump in to help without grumbling. The more you help others, the more they’ll help you.
Follow through and promptly: Deliver on your promises and by the time you agreed on. Now, when you get to delay, just go back to number 3 and communicate. Your promises to a coworker are as important as your promises to customers.
Refrain from gossip: I know, I know. For some weird reason, it just feels good to talk about other people. But remember how you’d feel if you were the subject of that gossip. Not great, right? When you find yourself wanting to share a juicy piece of gossip just remember this quote from Bernard Meltzer; “Before you speak, ask yourself if what you’re going to say is true; is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it helpful?”. If the answer is No, then perhaps what you’re about to say should just be left unsaid.
Increase face-to-face interaction: Disagreements will come up but refrain from carrying them on via email. Sit down with the other person and strive to come to a resolution. Take responsibility for your failings and feelings and remember, while you may not win the argument, you can always choose to be respectful and kind.
For more on creating a better internal customer experience, read this earlier blog post.
Donna Cutting is the author of 3 books including 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers and the forthcoming book Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of Your Organization. (Career Press, 2022)