Change management and organization development experts speak about’creating alignment’- aligning organizational strategy with daily business needs. And a big element of this is creating alignment between customer needs and employee actions as customer care providers. But we also have to observe internal customers – those people within the organization that service us – as internal customers and who we service as internal customers. “There is a remarkably close and consistent link between how internal clients are treated and how external customers perceive the grade of your organization’s services. It is extremely difficult to supply 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 just about internal customers within the walls of one’s organization, additionally it is about those arms-length internal customers and customer care providers – suppliers and contractors – those people who either supply your organization directly or come right into contact with your external customers, directly, as your representative. These suppliers and contractors is highly recommended an integral part of one’s organization and the service they provide ought to 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 one’s organization and the procedure to retain the best customers – again, whether internal or external – could be applied across these groups. Suppliers and contractors ought to be selected and retained based on the commitment to servicing your customers – and your employees – as you require them to be serviced. Although you do not’own’these suppliers and contractors, you’ve the best to demand the equivalent degree of service you provide to your customers. When selecting your suppliers and contractors, or measuring the ones you currently are connected with, these guidelines can help make certain that internal service meets the standard.
Recruit suppliers and contractors as you’d your employees.
You ought to be seeking out the best person for the work, the high performer who will have the ability to supply on your business expectations and drive up results for your company. Why not utilize a number of the recruiting tools you utilize when conducting a look for an employee? Think about it. Telus customer service You will be paying this supplier or contractor to do services for you personally or your customers so you need to expect them to be of the calibre you expect from the new employee. Consider requesting a resume of the qualifications and experience, customers they’ve serviced, certifications that may be required, and if available, customer testimonials. Interview them in the same fashion to the way in which you interview for employees. Check their references and be sure you put in position a contractual arrangement that clearly documents what you expect from them and what they are able to expect from you (this is merely another version of position profiles and expectations for the role).
In these cases, you’re seeking high performers capable of servicing both your customers and your employees. And you’ve a responsibility to supply them with the data, resources and possibly, tools, they will have to service both these groups accurately and professionally.
Provide clear expectations of performance.
Even if your suppliers and contractors have caused your organization for a lengthy time frame, it is important to periodically review your expectations of the role and how you expect them to service your customers. Customers are retained since they are suffering from a great relationship making use of their supplier and any contractor or supplier who is dealing with your customer directly, is observed by the client to be an employee of one’s company, and hence; representing your company.
When I was a broad manager for a power distribution company, certainly one of our contractor service technicians accidentally cut the customer’s phone line. The first issue for the client was, needless to say, the cut phone line and the inconvenience associated. The 2nd issue was that the contractor apologized but told the client he will have to call our company to secure satisfaction regarding the price and inconvenience of having the line repaired. The 3rd issue was the response the client 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 cut the line! Yes, I too, was shocked when the client got through in my experience to complain and explained what the Branch Manager had said. A lot more distressing was the fact the Branch Manager defended his position when I called him about the complaint!
Undoubtedly we did not clearly identify to our contractor our customer care expectations. In my experience, they were simple. Apologize to the client, call our office immediately to request an answer and then assist the client to obtain the perfect solution is implemented. Simple in my experience but certainly not to our contractor or, I quickly discovered, to my Branch Manager.
So my next step was to build a company customer care agreement and create a customer care training program to implement with both our employees and our contractors. We then implemented it across my region. We still had customer care problems with both our contractors and our employees, periodically,but this was a great first step.Read More