Employee Engagement Series: Focus on your Internal Customer – How Customer Service is Key to Employee Engagement and Employee Engagement is Key to Customer Service
When you think of your customers, who typically springs to mind? Long standing clients, service users, important network contacts or key funders?
What would happen if you didn’t have your customer’s loyalty and they went elsewhere? What if you needed to compete for future funding and your satisfaction scores were not tip-top?
Thinking about these questions and possibilities can definitely bring the topic of customer service into sharp focus. And although you may have robust customer service processes and policies in place, have you thought about your own internal customer too, your own employees?
Now a focus on your internal customers might come a little leftfield – but in essence they are intrinsically linked to how satisfied your external customers may be. This is because if your employees are not engaged with your business or do not understand their role, they are far less likely to exceed the expectations of the customers they are in touch with.
So how do you encourage good internal customer service? One aspect to consider is making sure that employees understand your vision and values and how they can positively play their part in bringing them to life.
If this understanding isn’t developed, they are less likely to meet your customer’s expectations of your organisation and what you say you can offer – and as customers ourselves, we all know the feeling when expectations and experience don’t quite match.
Another key area to think about is actively encouraging your employees to be involved in developing your customer focus – empowering them to actively participate. The more involved they feel, the more ownership and pride they are likely to develop, which in turn will shine through their work and contact with customers.
At the end of the day, your employees play a massive part in how your organisation and its products and services are portrayed and received – and so can be the difference between a poor/mediocre and a fantastic customer experience.
Positively engage with your employees and they are more likely to positively engage with your customers.
It’s win-win all round.
Customer Service Excellence is a framework that supports organisations to improve customer service – exploring areas such as service delivery, customer insight and measuring service satisfaction. It also looks at your internal customer service in depth, unlike some other customer service frameworks. Find out more about the standard and how we can help here.
Ideas to think about when it comes to your internal customer:
- Be clear on your vision and values and how your employees play their part – mapping this back to each role to promote good understanding
- Demonstrate how feedback from your employees as well as from your customers has informed and supported your customer service policies
- Explore recognition and reward schemes which acknowledge good customer service, whether from teams or individuals
- Encourage feedback from your employees to support improvement, sharing what you have done with the suggestions and the impact they have had
- Share success! Whether at an organisational level or right down to the contribution of an individual member of