When internal customers are valued, respected, and their needs fulfilled effortlessly, they not only begin to pay it forward to their own internal customers but also to their external customers as well. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker , and workshop leader.
He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: What Is an Internal Customer? What Are Examples of Internal Customers? Here are a few other examples of internal customers: The wait staff and culinary staff would both be internal customers of the expediters in a restaurant. The claims call center for an insurance agency might have internal customers that include the local branch, the account agent, the claims adjustor, and the accounts payable department.
Internal friction leads to external friction. The focus on developing effective internal customer service helps organizations cut costs, increase productivity, improve interdepartmental communication and cooperation, boost employee morale, align goals, harmonize processes and procedures, replace interdepartmental competition with interdepartmental cooperation and deliver better service to the external customer. Excellent service to the external customer is dependent upon healthy internal customer service practices.
In this case Engineering is the internal service provider and the Customer Service reps are the internal customers. The Customer Service reps were responsible for problem solving and taking orders for highly technical, often customized parts.
Sometimes the reps needed clarification from an engineer to process a customer order for the correct part. Engineers viewed information requests from Customer Service reps as low priority, uninteresting, and annoying. At the end of the seminar, engineers understood what the Customer Service manager had been preaching for years: An example of an internal customer may be someone in the payroll department.
The manager failed his or her internal customer. This internal customer can be someone you work for as well as someone who works for you. At first you might think that because she works for me that I would always be her internal customer.
Of course I am dependent on her to help me with my responsibilities, but she is just as dependent on me to get her the right information and training so that she can do the best job possible. It goes both ways. The concept is sound and strong. Customer service has to be a total company effort. The front line needs the support of everyone within the organization.
The traditional structure of a company has the CEO or President at the top with layers of management underneath, ending with the front line employee who deals directly with the outside customer.
Imagine a triangle or pyramid. The CEO is at the top — at the point. At the bottom, at the base of the pyramid, are the front line employees. The chain of command flows down. The responsibility to each level of management and every employee flows down. This is very traditional. In his book, he turned the pyramid upside down. He emphasized the importance in dealing with the outside customer. He said that rather than the lower level employees serving the higher levels, it should be at least a two way street, if not opposite.
This is the root of internal service. It is the understanding that everybody supports everybody else in the organization. Someone once said that if you are not working directly with the outside customer, you are probably working with someone who is. Everyone within your organization has an effect on the outside customer.
Starting an internal service program is simple. Virtually every technique you have read or learned about general customer service applies to the internal customer as well. Small changes in basic terminology will need to be made.
A Definition and Case Study The external customer is someone who signs a check, pays our employer, and ultimately makes our paycheck possible. An internal customer or internal service provider can be anyone in the organization. An internal customer can be a co-worker, another department.
One of the more popular concepts in modern customer experience thinking is the idea of the internal customer. But who exactly are internal customers, and why do.
Internal Customers and the External Customer Experience Your employees are the face of your company -- the liaisons your customers interact with when they research products and make purchases. Internal Customer Service refers to the interactions between all the employees who support the company and those who work on the front line with “The Customer”.
Definition of internal customer: An employee who receives goods or services produced elsewhere in an organization as inputs to his or her . The internal customer may be a situational customer. This person may not always be the internal customer. They might be depending on someone inside the company at a specific time for a specific reason, maybe once a week or even once a year.