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Internal & External Customers Print

Internal Customers

An internal customer can be anyone within an organization. It could be another department, another branch or even a co-worker. Many departments deal with customers within an organization. For e.g. the testing department of an IT company tests the software created by developers of the same company.

The developers are the customers to the testing team within the company.

 

Just as external customers are important to an organization for its success, the internal customers must also be kept happy for the well-being of the organization. High customer satisfaction is as important for internal customers as it is for external customers. The difference is that internal customers don’t have choice. If the work of a particular department isn’t acceptable by another department, they can’t simply fire the department and look for another to finish the task. For a successful internal customer service, all departments must be able to work together productively and co-exist peacefully, to meet common goals, which will lead to better quality products and service for external customers.

External Customers

An external customer is one who isn’t a part of an organization, rather is one who receives service or product from the organization. They are the ones who pay for a service or product and can make or break an organization. They have a choice. If a particular product or service does not please them, they can easily find another company that offers a better product or services.

Key to External Customer Satisfaction

An effective External customer service depends wholly upon excellent internal customer service. The customer must be the number one priority for a business. Though this essentially means the external customer, if internal customer service is ignored, it can directly affect external customers. This is what most companies don’t realize. Many companies spend a lot of money on external customer service hoping to attract new customers and retain old ones. However, all this is to no avail if internal customers are not satisfied.

Good internal customer service starts with happy employees. Are they satisfied with their jobs? Do they understand the organization’s vision? It is important to consider your employees as your customers. They must feel that they are as important to the organization as external customers are. Share your vision with the employees to motivate them

The better you treat your internal customers, the better external customer service you will get. Satisfying your internal customers can be the best way to generate a productive output from them. It can help an organization cut costs, improve communication between different functions, raise employee morale and thus deliver exceptional external customer service.
A summary of steps to improve Internal Customer Satisfaction is given below

  • Treat employees as you would treat your customers – They are valuable members of your organization and they must feel important for the organization.
  • Share your vision – Communicating the company’s vision with the employees will make them feel a part of the company. It can help them align their goals with those of the company.
  • Surpass their expectations – Just as steps are taken to exceed external customer expectations with different gestures the same must done within the organization for internal customers. To make your employees happy, offer unexpected gifts or bonuses, arrange team parties, take them out for a team lunch or dinner, etc.
  • Take feedback and suggestions – To better understand your employees; you must know what they feel about their jobs, or their work environment. Give them the freedom to express themselves and ensure that you follow up on their feedback and suggestions.
  • Show appreciation for good work – Appreciate a good work done. A genuine “thank you” can go a long way in boosting an employee’s morale and motivating him toward continuing with the good work.

Though you may at first think of this as time consuming and an overhead, the results are going to surprise you.  By improving your internal customer service, you have so easily improved your external customer experience.

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