Internal Customer Centricity

An internal customer is “anyone you count on or rely upon to complete a task or a function or to provide you with information so that you can get your job done…and anyone who counts on you to complete a task or function or to provide them with information so that they can get their job done.

–Rosenberger, 1998

The best place to start with a customer centricity strategy is in your own backyard. Below is a sampling of some reasons for the above –

  • A way to get people to look out beyond the ends of their noses and recognize that they are part of a larger work process
  • Can dramatically improve the odds that the process’s ultimate output will hit the mark
  • Helps bring organizational focus on partnerships as opposed to transactional exchanges
  • Internal customers are an integral part of the service delivery system that ultimately effects the external customer.
  • Outstanding internal customer service is simply good business. Excellent service to the external customer is dependent upon healthy internal customer service practices.
  • By helping other people within your organization, you enable it to succeed. Great internal customer service improves people’s morale, productivity, and external customer service, and ultimately makes your organization more financially secure. Giving great service to your internal customers means that people you work with can see, hear, and feel that they are valued. When employees value one another, the result is increased performance, which contributes to the success of the entire organization, and creates a positive and productive working environment.
  • While most companies aren’t in the habit of regarding their employees as customers, those seeking to instill a customer-centric culture should rethink their stance. Customer-centricity needs to come from the inside out.
  • Customer-centric organizations value and respect internal customers as much as external customers. If you’re not serving a customer, you’re serving someone who is.
  • Implementing an internal customer strategy provides a chance for the external customer facing teams to experience first hand great customer service. This also opens their minds to possibilities of implementing the same to external customer interactions.

4 thoughts on “Internal Customer Centricity

  1. The concept of ‘internal customer’ can be very dangerous because it has a tendency to place ‘internal customer satisfaction’ and loyalty to internal process ahead of external customer satisfaction and challenge/transformation of processes. Better to work together as colleagues and focus on external customer need and how best to meet it.

  2. Yes – this could be a pitfall ..internal customer satisfaction becomes the priority.
    # Does this risk outweigh the benefits?
    # Is there a way to avoid this & yet reap the benefits?

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