Essential Elements of Internal
By Nancy Friedman Telephone Doctor
During a busy fall season, it can be easy
to forget some of our most important customers. Our co-workers. We
dedicate this column to the inside customers, the folks we live and
lunch with each day; the people who often feel like family, whether
giving or getting our unconditional support.
Here, from our Telephone Doctor’s six
steps to help you be sure you're paying attention to the “lost
customer,” the internal one – the person you work with every day.
Keep these by your desk and learn them step-by-step. You'll be glad
Mission of Your Organization and
Those of us who are in a small department of a large company often
times miss the big picture. If you don't know the Mission of your
organization – ask for it. Keep it at your desk. You'll start to
understand the “why” of many things you're asked to do. It'll help
you with that big picture. Your role is important; no matter what
you do. Someone is depending on you and what you're working on for
the company. You just may not be aware of how much you’re needed.
Service is Everyone’s Responsibility.
This includes management. Internal customer service isn’t just for
the worker bees. It’s for everyone. If management isn’t doing their
part, often times the entire customer service program can go out the
window. No double standards. Internal customer service is for
everyone. As we say at Telephone Doctor, “It starts at the top.”
Employee Differences. Cub Fan? Sox Fan? Republican? Democrat? Rock Music? Classical? Whatever.
Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t make you right.
Differences are crucial for an organization. Differences are the key
to understanding people. If everyone thought the same way, most of
us wouldn’t be needed. Don’t argue just because a co-worker isn’t
doing it the way you do; or thinking the way you do. Learn to
respect them for what they do. That’s why we have chocolate and
vanilla ice cream. Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.
the Personal Space of Others.
Simply put; this boils down to the ‘Golden Rule.” Those who can work
with a radio playing music may disturb others around them who aren’t
able to concentrate. Loud voices around someone who’s on the phone
with an external customer can be annoying also. If you’re in a
cubicle or a sharing area, recognize there are others around you. Be
sensitive to their wishes too.
Resolve Conflicts. Who
hasn’t had ‘words’ with another employee? Perhaps they weren’t kind
words. Or maybe you and a co-worker strongly disagree on a project
or idea. Not trying to make it work can only lead to more stress and
frustration. Work it out. Even if you need to call in a mediator;
another co-worker or someone not involved and who can keep an open
mind. I doubt that you’ll need a professional negotiator, but
someone from HR or another trusted employee can usually be of help
on conflict resolution.
Appreciation. I saved this
for last so you’ll remember it. Everyone wants to be appreciated and
you can show you care with a genuine “Thank You.” It can be a note,
phone call or just stopping by an office and telling someone they
did a great job or that you enjoy working with them. This makes a
huge difference in internal relationships. There are surveys upon
surveys that show how much a genuine pat on the back of appreciation
is thought of as a welcomed non-monetary reward.
Internal customer service is critically
important to everyone – including your external customers. Yet many
companies pay big time attention to customer service for their
external customers and the internal folks sometimes get lost in the
Stop today – right now – and turn to
someone in your office and tell them, “I enjoy working with you.”
You'll be glad you did.
Read other articles and learn more
the author for permission to republish or reuse this article.]