5 Things to Do When Your Company's
Internal Customer Service—Stinks
Copyright © 2013 by Ty Howard. All rights reserved.
"There should not be any traffic jams while going the extra mile."
~ Ty Howard
I am a person who lives by the philosophy and understanding, if it looks, feels and smells like a skunk—it at one point, will definitely reach a level where it repulsively stinks, and you will no longer be able to ignore it.
When we speak of customer service, an overwhelming majority of companies today relate it to the final consumers, external customers who actually consume or buy a company's products or services. Yet, the term customer service has two sides to it; the other side being internal customer service. Internal customer service is one of the most important, but often overlooked and neglected aspects of business. It is imperative for any business today to develop and sustain what I call "Green & Growing" (healthy and positively thriving) internal customer service habits and practices, especially if the company expects to have employee teams and departments eager and happy to satisfy all customers 100 percent of the time.
As soon as a company loses its focus and commitment in sustaining "Green and Growing" internal customer service habits and practices with all of its employee teams and departments—you can rest assured that the repulsive stench of a skunk will soon run rampant throughout the company. You will soon find "silos," "us-against-them conflicts," "negative attitudes," "low morale," "policy battles," "unfulfilled internal requests," "management conflicts," "toxic employee cliques," and "endless low-productivity issues." The company is stinking and dying slowly from the inside out with its employees either screaming aloud for relief (immediate improvements) or leaving the company for a healthier work environment.
Don't fret. If you are a manager and find the current state of your organization's internal customer service to be repulsively stinking, then you need to act fast. You can create and put in place a sustainable action plan that can bring an end to the silos, conflict battles and low-productivity issues—and rid your company of its internal customer service "Stink." Here are five strongly recommended things for you to do - starting today - to improve your company's internal customer service issues:
The first thing you need to do as a manager is to turn to your employees to take a note of their grievances as it pertains to internal customer service. Talk to them about their problems in their respective work environments and get honest feedback. Conducting regular surveys is also a useful approach in this regard. Then try to eliminate these impediments for your employees. This will increase their morale, team harmony, trust with management, and workload productivity.
Secondly, as a manager, you must strive to create a collaborative environment rather than an individualistic environment inside the workplace. This will reduce silos and the mean spiritedness amongst employees or departments which often results in productivity sabotage and hampers the organization's progress towards achieving its goals. This will also further create togetherness and a sense of harmony amongst employee teams and departments. The key here is to create a "Green & Growing" supportive environment.
Another important thing to do as a manager, is to encourage all employees to treat one another with courtesy and professionalism at all times. Employees should be recognized and rewarded for their exceptional work performance, and any instance of underperformance or discourteous behavior on an employee's part should be immediately addressed and dealt with professionally. This will boost the workforce's confidence, morale, trust and accountability which will eventually result in overall improved organizational performance.
To further improve internal customer service, it is of paramount importance that whenever managers need to make big organizational changes, they keep internal customers informed and at the heart of the decision making process. Any decision which is taken without getting the internal customers onboard has the potential to backfire, and bring back your internal customer service repulsive "Stink" again.
Lastly, as a manager, you must display positive leadership skills and abilities in order to direct employee teams and/or departments towards achieving "Green & Growing" internal customer service and continuous organizational success. Clearly communicate the organizational goals to improving internal customer service and also encourage and empower employees on all levels to consider themselves important in the new, healthier, fun, and harmoniously productive organizational structure. This way, they will take ownership of, and play their part in, building and sustaining "Green & Growing" internal customer service habits and practices with motivation and enthusiasm.
Now it's time for you to get started on removing the "Stink" from your company's internal customer service habits and practices. Be responsible and accountable for focusing on how you're going to create and execute your plan for the improvement of your company's internal customer service habits and practices. Keep in mind, you already know what "dead and stinking" looks, feels and smells like. By creating, promoting and sustaining your new "Green & Growing" internal customer service way of doing things—you and your company will, over time, continuously improve morale, performance, productivity, and profits inside a company that was once stinking and dying slowly from the inside out. This will be a big accomplishment for your company as a whole, and all internal customers will feel valued as they appreciate and celebrate company leadership and the ongoing accomplishment of company goals.
About the Author: Ty Howard,
Mr. Untie the Knots®,
Freeing Maximal Business, Performance, and Human Potential Daily
Ty Howard is an internationally recognized authority on organizational and managerial practices that optimize employee performance and success. He is the creator and lead facilitator of the trademarked "Untie the Knots® Optimal Performance Process," and the author of Untie the Knots®: Improving Habits, Choices, People, Relationships, Performance and Results, as well as dozens of published articles on employee and organizational performance and development worldwide. For information on his programs and services, visit: http://www.tyhoward.com.
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