How to treat your (internal) customers in the best way to grow your (external) customers

All too often when an organisation thinks about its customers, it thinks about those that come into a shopfront or online to purchase goods or services.  They however are just our external customers, what about the internal customers? How can we keep our internal customers happy? What impact will happy content internal customers have?

The saying goes that a happy workforce = a happy bank manager; there must be an overall impact on the growth of an organisation if the workforce are operating well and happy while doing so.

Create a workforce that contributes to high levels of customer service

The organisational basics can make a difference to the quality of employees that you attract and the ability to retain them over your competition.  Remember, you are not just competing with other companies over your product / service but also your employees.

Pensions , sick pay, bonus schemes and other benefits

Your organisational offering plays a part in why a potential employee chooses you above others.  Two similar roles will often come down to what perks are available to employees.  It is often worth benchmarking against competitors to see what they offer.  Where do you sit on that scale? Is it where you want to be? Perhaps you aim to have the best offering, wish to be among the average or are fully aware that is not your focus right now.

Consider increasing your offering if it is affordable, to not only make your organisation more attractive but also to show current employees that they are appreciated beyond receiving a salary.

Something to consider is whether you offer tiers to your benefits, would you offer your senior management a more attractive package? Would that create any ill-feeling amongst other workers and how would you negate that?

Additional training and promotional opportunities

Not every employee will stay with you forever, that does not mean however that you should not invest in their future.  Overall skills levels across the UK are lower than they should / could be from the basic abilities surrounding Math and English to higher level skill-sets.  Be a part of the talent growth.

Not all of the skills you teach will directly improve abilities for that role, however they can be a stepping stone when considering your talent pipeline and the role people may wish to progress to next.

KPI’s and Performance Management

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are an effective way to ensure that employees know what they should be focusing on to do their job well, and should be used by management to understand what is working and what may not be.  Are they achievable? Are they reasonable? Are others achieving them?

If your employees are not achieving what they should be then your customers are probably not receiving the level of service that they expect.  That accounts for both internal and external customers.  The payroll department may struggle if HR are not operating as they should be, employees not being trained accordingly will offer a standard of service that is below your requirements.

At this point it may be necessary to implement performance management to drive up the skill levels or reassess if what is being asked is achievable by all.

Mystery shopping and spot checks

What works for you internally may not be what the external customer sees, in the same way what your manager sees may not be what your customer sees.  Implementing mystery shopping or spot checks on outcomes can help identify areas for improvement or where success needs to be celebrated.

Celebrating departmental achievements

How do you reward a job well done? What are your measures?

Never forget that without your employees there would be no organisation! The level of recognition you give can vary from a generalised department of the month, a team trip, events or parties.  Perhaps set a budget and put the ball in their court to decide what they would like to do.  It could be something you incorporate yearly for all, a team trip or Christmas parties.

If you would like to discuss or implement any areas that you have read about please send us an email.

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