Turning Customer Service Inside Out

How Poor Internal Customer Service Negatively Impacts External Customers

While companies focus thousands of dollars on external customer service in hopes of wooing and retaining customers, little attention is being paid to the effect poor internal customer service has on customer satisfaction. It all starts within your organization! Sooner or later the ripple effect reaches your customers. To really walk your service talk, make sure your commitment to internal customer service matches your company’s external focus on customer care.

When we think of customer service we think of staff serving customers over a counter or over the phone. But customer service occurs within your organization as well. How well is your staff serving its internal customers: other departments, its management, vendors and consultants?

Believe it or not, it all counts. Internal customer service refers to service directed to others within your organization. It refers to your level of responsiveness, quality, communication, teamwork and morale.

I define Internal Customer Service as effectively serving other departments within your organization. How well are you providing other departments with service, products or information to help them do their jobs? How well are you listening to and understanding their concerns? How well are you solving problems for each other to help your organization succeed?

Teaming with Success
How well do you work with other departments? Does your Marketing department communicate well with the Legal department? Does Fulfillment relate well with Shipping and Receiving? Do Catering and Facilities work well together? When it’s time to communicate with others from different departments do you take a deep breath, or smile and relish a chance to renew contact with colleagues from elsewhere in the company?

As a manager I once joined a publishing company and found myself in the midst of a war between departments. Production resented Editorial for the way they missed deadlines and delivered shoddy copy. Conversely, Editorial had little respect for the resulting manuscripts they received back from Production, full of errors and oversights. Poor teamwork, poor communication and myopic thinking had led to a hardening of positions over time. They each cared about the finished product but were putting pressure on each other without realizing it. It took time, but eventually both groups came to appreciate each other and how to best work together to achieve win-wins for the greater good of their customers.

Do you relish or dread committee work with other departments? Does it seem their aims are contrary to your department’s? When other departments contact you for help do you regard it as a nuisance, a distraction and a drain of your valuable time? Can you see the greater good that comes from helping them solve their problems or fulfill their needs?

You can take pride in opportunities to help other departments look good. Obviously, you don’t want their success to come at your expense. Usually helping others doesn’t mean you lose a zero-sum game, where only one of you can win and helping others hurts you. In most instances helping other departments leads to a win-win situation. And what goes around usually comes around. Helping other departments succeed can help yours too when the roles are reversed.

Up with People
Good internal customer service starts with good morale within your group. Are your people happy? Do they feel good about themselves and their contributions to the goals of the department and to the company at large? They should, and effort should be made to help them do so. Happy employees are productive, and customers take note. Happy employees are also better team players. Will you fly the airline whose employees are striking with management, or the airline whose employees are management? Employees invested in employee stock purchasing plans with matching contributions see themselves as much more a part of the company. Thus, as the company goes, so do they go.

When I fly out of Oakland Airport I use an outlying parking lot and shuttle van. This shuttle is shared by employees from Southwest Airlines, coming to work or returning to their cars after their shifts. I’ve found them as happy and upbeat when they’re starting their shifts as when they’re finishing their shifts. That’s great morale, and tells me they like their jobs. It’s contagious! Sometimes I’m envious on that shuttle when I know I’ll be checking in at a competitor’s ticket counter.

Who’s On Top?
Many organizational charts employ an inverted pyramid with customers at top. Some companies instead put their employees at the top. In many senses, the employees are management’s customers. Corporate values that emphasize treating employees well translate to good customer care too. Does your organization value its people? Invariably, companies that care about their people can better ask their people to care about their customers.

Catering to Customer Service Needs
Here are five tips for your organization to help strengthen its internal customer service orientation.

1.Employees should never complain within earshot of customers. It gives them the impression your company isn’t well run, shaking their confidence in you.

2.Employees should never complain to customers about other department’s employees. Who wants to patronize a company whose people don’t get along with each other.

3.Employees at every level should strive to build bridges between departments. This can be done through cross training, joint picnics, parties or offsites, or creative gatherings, as well as day-to-day niceties.

4.Utilize post mortems after joint projects so everyone can learn from the experience. Fences can be mended and new understandings gleaned when everyone reviews what went right…or wrong. By doing do after the project the immediate pressure is off, yet stronger bonds can be forged while the experience is fresh in peoples’ minds. Not doing so can result in lingering animosities that will exacerbate future collaborations.

5.Consider letting your employees become “Customer for a Day” to experience firsthand what your customers experience when doing business with you.

Congratulations on turning customer service inside out! By improving internal customer service you have just enhanced the customer service your external customers receive. You’re walking your talk regarding customer service. Touch.

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Improve Customer Service

In any business, service is the most important act. Customer Service is the determining factor that enables a business to shine. The spirit of good Customer Service is good targeting. Customer Service is more than just giving the customer what they want. It is also giving them what they need.

To win a customer, you’ve got to know this customer better than any competitor,” Your goal is to make sure that customers can get the information they want quickly and easily. Every company, large and small, has various thoughts about pleasing customers faster, better, and cheaper than their competitors. Becoming an efficient sales person is very important, having a commitment and dedication for treating customers well; however, honesty can also Improves Customer Service. You need to figure it out what are the particular needs of customers, when they need it and how they want to get it. That is just a basic part of good customer service today.

A good Customer Service is what brings the consumers and customers back in businesses. Customer service isn’t just a job, but it is a team game in the business world that entrepreneurs and employees have to master in order to attract more customers. It is a key element to win over customers and attain success over the competition. A good Customer Service system obtains more customers through word-of-mouth advertising.We live in a customer-centered market economy; hence build your business around customer satisfaction. The success of education system and the rise of internet, the customer have access to so much information that was unavailable to them in the past, which resulted in the customer the power to choose. People are emotional, and they can be satisfied only as the result of their interactions with other people.

Everyone in the organizations is committed to treating customers well. A good customer service agent can have a tremendous impact on a businesses success ratio. The reputation of your business lies upon the hands of the customer service agent. The agent handles a query or complaint affects how that person perceives your businesses performance. With this customer service you are sure to have more satisfied customers, more referrals and definitely a more profitable business.

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Should You Beware Of Free Sample Cover Letters For Customer Service Jobs?

Customer service jobs are at the forefront of the best companies in the world and are probably responsible for creating the best economies and yet, people who apply for these jobs think it can be done using free sample cover letters. People who want a career in customer service often turn to these free cover letter samples because they seem to offer the quickest and most convenient solution. And the fact that they’re free also doesn’t hurt. Or does it?

Customer service jobs are specialized jobs

There’s more to customer service jobs than meets the eye and many people simply don’t realize this, choosing to see these jobs as merely a set series of tasks that are designed to make customers happy.

On the contrary, customer service jobs are what keep many businesses afloat. Think about it: if customers are unhappy, would they stay around and do business with a company? That makes customer service jobs a highly vital component of the whole system that runs a company. So why on earth would you place your bets on a free sample cover letter to apply for a customer service job?

It’s like bad advice

You know what people say about bad advice, right? And when something is for free, you know that something has got to give. So why take your chances when you are on an important quest to land a customer service job? You want to be perceived as a quality candidate, so why not make sure your cover letter spells quality as well?

If you truly want that job, you must aim to get your foot in the door. But that in itself is difficult enough, so why ruin your chances with a free sample cover letter? These types of cover letters just don’t cut it for customer service jobs.

For one, customer service jobs are all about the details. When you use a free sample cover letter, there are certain elements there that you will have to change in order for you to find the right tone and the right combination of words to make that free sample as your own.

Problem is, many of these free sample cover letters are locked in their own time and quality zones. They are so generic that it’s almost impossible to try to integrate your personality into them. Sure, they provide a faster and quicker way to create a cover letter, but it will be so difficult to let the hiring manager see that you are so much more than those strangely familiar words and the hacked phrases.

If you use a free sample cover letter for customer service jobs, your letter could come across as highly impersonal, without concern for details two elements that spell disaster for customer service. So if your potential employer can’t see any potential customer service mark in your cover letter, why should they bother looking for it in you?

There’s nothing wrong with using free sample cover letters and in fact, many have used them in the past, to varying results. But when you’re job hunting for a customer service job, you want positive results, sure results that will assure you of getting noticed by your potential employer. Remember that a cover letter is not a jigsaw puzzle you put together to create a whole. It should speak about your experience and convince your potential employer that you are exactly what they are looking for.

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