Change management and organization development experts talk about’creating alignment’- aligning organizational strategy with daily business needs. And a huge part of that is creating alignment between customer needs and employee actions as customer care providers. But we also need to pay attention to internal customers – those people within the corporation that service us – as internal customers and who we service as internal customers. “There is an incredibly close and consistent link between how internal customers are treated and how external customers perceive the quality of your organization’s services. It’s extremely difficult to offer good external service if your organization isn’t providing good internal service.” R. Zemke and K. Anderson, Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, 1981.
And it’s not merely about internal customers within the walls of your organization, it’s also about those arms-length internal customers and customer care providers – suppliers and contractors – those people who either supply your organization directly or enter into contact along with your external customers, directly, as your representative. These suppliers and contractors should be considered a built-in part of your organization and the service they supply should really be measured as accurately and frequently as you gauge 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 method to retain the very best customers – again, whether internal or external – can be applied across some of these groups. Suppliers and contractors should really be selected and retained based on their 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’ve the best to demand the equivalent level of service you provide to your customers. When selecting your suppliers and contractors, or measuring the people you currently are connected with, the next guidelines can help make sure that internal service meets the standard.
Recruit suppliers and contractors as you would your employees.
You should be seeking out the very best person for the task, the high performer who will have a way to deliver on your company expectations and drive up results for the company. You will want to utilize a number of the recruiting tools you utilize when conducting a seek out an employee? Consider it. You is going to be paying this supplier or contractor to execute services for you personally or your visitors so you should expect them to be of the calibre you anticipate 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 an identical fashion to the method by which you interview for employees. Telus webmail not working Check their references and make sure you put in place a contractual arrangement that clearly documents what you anticipate from their website and what they are able to expect from you (this is just 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’ve a responsibility to offer 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 long period of time, it is important to periodically review your expectations of the role and how you anticipate them to service your customers. Clients are retained because they have developed a great relationship with their supplier and any contractor or supplier who’s dealing along with your customer directly, is observed by the client to be an employee of your company, and hence; representing your company.
When I was an over-all manager for a power distribution company, one of our contractor service technicians accidentally cut the customer’s phone line. The very first issue for the client was, obviously, the cut phone line and the inconvenience associated. The 2nd issue was that the contractor apologized but told the client he would have to call our company to secure satisfaction regarding the fee and inconvenience of having the line repaired. The next 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 absolutely was a contractor that had cut the line! Yes, I too, was shocked when the client got through to me to complain and told me what the Branch Manager had said. Much more distressing was the fact that the Branch Manager defended his position when I called him in regards to the complaint!
Without doubt we did not clearly identify to our contractor our customer care expectations. In my experience, these were simple. Apologize to the client, call our office immediately to request a solution and then assist the client to have the clear answer implemented. Simple to me but certainly not to our contractor or, I quickly discovered, to my Branch Manager.
So my alternative was to build a contractor customer care agreement and produce 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 is a good first step.