Why Is Focusing On Internal Customers Important?

Focussing On Internal Customers

When we think of customer service, we often automatically think of our external customers – those who purchase our products or services. But what about this different kind of customer – the internal customer? Internal customer service is more than a marketing term; it is a vital business feature. So, who is an internal customer and why is it necessary for businesses to focus on serving internal customers? Let's get to the bottom of that question in this post.

Who is an Internal customer?

Internal customers are people within your company with whom you, as well as your staff, communicate on a daily basis as part of your duties and responsibilities. However, unlike conventional customer relationships, which are typically one-way, internal customers often flow in both directions. Consider pilots and flight attendants on a commercial airplane as an example. The flight attendants are the pilots' internal customers. The pilots must provide both information and guidance to the flight attendants in order for them to do their jobs properly.

Similarly, pilots are internal customers of the flight attendants. The pilots depend on the flight attendants to keep them informed of any problems in the cabin, to provide refreshments, and also to help protect the area when the cockpit must be opened when in flight. The trick to recognizing internal customers is to look for those to whom you offer some kind of "service" or manage. Subordinates should almost always be considered internal customers, as managers owe them the knowledge, direction, and support they need to do their jobs.

So, if you are a manager, your subordinates, your workers from other departments who we need to depend on to get your work done, can be considered as your internal customers.

What are the differences between Internal Customer and External Customer?

External customers place orders and eventually pay for a product or service, whereas internal customers do not. External customers don’t work for the company that delivers the products or services, while most internal customers do.

The external customer is the actual purchaser of the company's products or services, while the internal customer merely facilitates distribution to the external customer. Internal customers may be coworkers inside the business, such as employees in a different department. An internal customer may be a member of an external entity that is inextricably connected with the business by offering services such as goods distribution to the external customer.

Finally, an external customer will take their needs to another company if they are unhappy with the current one, while an internal customer is more likely to have a binding contract with their company.

Why’s focusing on Internal Customers Important?

It Empowers Them to Do a Good Job
Employees who receive encouragement and gratitude are motivated to do their best work for the company. They are motivated to support external customers and do everything in their power to help the business as a whole because they feel grateful and confident. Furthermore, by providing employees with the requisite tools, resources, and knowledge, you enable them to succeed in all of their projects and ventures.

It Increases Employee Retention
Seeking new hires is much more costly than keeping existing employees. It is also very time-consuming, taking workers' time and resources that could be better used focusing on profitable projects. Employees who are happy not only perform harder and more, but they are also more likely to stay in the company for a long time.

It Improves Cohesiveness and Streamlines Processes
The productivity in which your workers' work has a significant effect on the end result. Detours, blunders, and disorganization can result in not only time delays, but also costly oversights and subpar work. Employees who obtain a process and project road map have the resources they need to produce high-quality, accurate work that meets the company's and potential customers' goals.

How to improve internal customer service?

The key to having effective internal customer service is to apply some of the same principles to your internal customers as you do for your external customers. Improving internal customer service does not require rocket science knowledge; it simply requires the same attention and energy that you have already shown in the external customer service program.

Focus on your internal customers. Your external customer support efforts are focused on the needs of those who purchase your products. Likewise, your internal customer support efforts should be geared at internal "customers" i.e. the people in charge of delivering the deliverables that turn your mission into business realities.

Have empathy for internal customers. Many internal customer service efforts lack the integrity and empathy that are the core of effective external customer service. Internal customers, however, are just as vital to the company's success as external customers, and their needs deserve the same degree of empathy and respect.

Train your staff on internal customer service. Excellent internal customer support systems do not emerge out of nowhere. You can expedite the process by delivering company-wide training on what internal customer support is and how it should be in the workplace.

Satisfy internal customers’ needs. Make it your goal to meet or surpass your company's internal customers' needs. Perhaps better, make internal customer loyalty a focal point in your company's strategy.

Track your efforts. The output should be calculated. Reviews and quantifiable results should be used to assess success in the effectiveness of your customer service policies. By incorporating metrics into the process, you can enhance your internal customer service.

Final Words

To thrive in today’s business environment, it’s essential for companies to focus on serving internal customers as much as on external customers.

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