Change management and organization development experts speak about’creating alignment’- aligning organizational strategy with daily business needs. And a big element of that is creating alignment between customer needs and employee actions as customer service providers. But we also have to take note of internal customers – the individuals within the business that service us – as internal customers and who we service as internal customers. “There’s an incredibly close and consistent link between how internal clients are treated and how external customers perceive the grade of your organization’s services. It’s extremely difficult to offer good external service if your organization is not providing good internal service.” R. Zemke and K. Anderson, Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, 1981.
And it’s not only about internal customers within the walls of your organization, additionally it is about those arms-length internal customers and customer service providers – suppliers and contractors – the individuals who either supply your organization directly or enter into contact along with your external customers, directly, as your representative. Telus webmail down These suppliers and contractors should be considered an intrinsic part of your organization and the service they provide should really be measured as accurately and frequently as you measure the service level you provide.
To my mind, servicing others, whether internal or external (customer, supplier, colleague, peer, supervisor, contractor), should reflect the values of your organization and the procedure to retain the best customers – again, whether internal or external – can be applied across these groups. Suppliers and contractors should really be selected and retained based on the commitment to servicing your visitors – and your employees – as you require them to be serviced. Although you don’t’own’these suppliers and contractors, you have the best to demand the equivalent level of service you provide to your customers. When selecting your suppliers and contractors, or measuring those you currently are connected with, these guidelines might help make certain that internal service meets the standard.
Recruit suppliers and contractors as you would your employees.
You ought to be seeking out the best person for the work, the high performer who will have a way to provide on your organization expectations and drive up results for your company. You will want to utilize a few of the recruiting tools you use when conducting a look for a worker? Consider it. You is likely to be paying this supplier or contractor to execute services for you personally or your visitors so you ought to expect them to be of the calibre you anticipate from a new employee. Consider requesting a resume of their qualifications and experience, customers they have serviced, certifications that could be required, and if available, customer testimonials. Interview them in a similar fashion to the manner in which you interview for employees. Check their references and make sure you put in place a contractual arrangement that clearly documents what you anticipate from their store and what they could expect from you (this is simply another version of position profiles and expectations for the role).
In these cases, you’re seeking high performers capable of servicing both your visitors and your employees. And you have a responsibility to offer them with the information, resources and possibly, tools, they should service both these groups accurately and professionally.
Provide clear expectations of performance.
Even though your suppliers and contractors have worked with your organization for a long time period, it is critical to periodically review your expectations of their role and how you anticipate them to service your customers. Customers are retained since they have developed a great relationship using their supplier and any contractor or supplier who’s dealing along with your customer directly, sometimes appears by the customer to be a worker of your company, and hence; representing your company.
When I was a general manager for an energy distribution company, one of our contractor service technicians accidentally slice the customer’s phone line. The initial issue for the customer was, obviously, the cut phone line and the inconvenience associated. The 2nd issue was that the contractor apologized but told the customer he would have to call our company to secure satisfaction regarding the price and inconvenience of having the line repaired. The third issue was the response the customer received from the Branch Manager when he called our company office to complain. He was told we weren’t responsible since it was a company that had slice the line! Yes, I too, was shocked when the customer got through to me to complain and said what the Branch Manager had said. A lot more distressing was the truth that the Branch Manager defended his position when I called him concerning the complaint!
No doubt we didn’t clearly identify to our contractor our customer service expectations. To me, they were simple. Apologize to the customer, call our office immediately to request an answer and then work with the customer to get the solution implemented. Simple to me but most certainly not to our contractor or, I quickly discovered, to my Branch Manager.
So my alternative was to create a company customer service agreement and produce a customer service training program to implement with both our employees and our contractors. We then implemented it across my region. We still had customer service issues with both our contractors and our employees, periodically,but this is a great first step.