Internal customer service – or the customer service provided by employees to one another – can be quickly forgotten in a customer service plan. For many, customer service is simply the service provided to external customers, and as such how employees treat one another is not accounted for. Unfortunately, this internal customer service can have a huge impact on a business, effecting retention rates of employees, morale, external customer service, and efficiency. And all of that has a big impact on a company’s profits.
So now that the need has been identified, it is important to rectify it. The first step is to set standards. Create a list of expectations for dealing with internal customers, modeling it on your external customer service standards.
After you create your service standards and roll them out to your team, train them on proper customer service skills. Explain the importance of internal customer service to the company and to the employees, and explain the appropriate way to handle various situations. This is also the time to set expectations and set appropriate next steps for employees who fail to act accordingly.
Receive feedback from the employees who are interacting with one another. This can be through formal surveys or informally through dialogue with managers. No matter how you review the progress, it is important to gain feedback and track results.
Once this is rolled out and the employees have been trained on proper customer service, it is time to performance manage those employees who are not adapting. This can be with additional training, one-on-one coaching sessions with management, and may lead to termination. By having a formal performance management plan in place for customer service, which can be monitored by surveys or management review, you can ensure your employees are always giving great customer service.
By following these steps, you can ensure your company will have world class internal customer service.