Change management and organization development experts speak about’creating alignment’- aligning organizational strategy with daily business needs. And a large part of this really is creating alignment between customer needs and employee actions as customer support providers. But we also have to pay attention to internal customers – those individuals within the business that service us – as internal customers and who we service as internal customers. “There’s an incredibly close and consistent link between how internal customers are treated and how external customers perceive the grade 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 only about internal customers within the walls of your organization, additionally it is about those arms-length internal customers and customer support providers – suppliers and contractors – those individuals who either supply your organization directly or come into contact together with your external customers, directly, as your representative. These suppliers and contractors should be considered an intrinsic part of your organization and the service they offer should be measured as accurately and frequently as you assess 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 process to retain the best customers – again, whether internal or external – could be applied across some of these groups. Telus webmail down Suppliers and contractors should 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 right to demand very same level of service you provide to your customers. When selecting your suppliers and contractors, or measuring the people you currently are related to, these guidelines will help make sure that internal service meets the standard.
Recruit suppliers and contractors as you would your employees.
You need to be seeking out the best person for the job, the high performer who will have a way to supply on your organization expectations and drive up results for the company. Why not utilize a number of the recruiting tools you use when conducting a search for a worker? Consider it. You is likely to be paying this supplier or contractor to execute services for you personally or your visitors so you ought to expect them to be of the calibre you expect from the new employee. Consider requesting a resume of these qualifications and experience, customers they have serviced, certifications that could 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 ensure you put in position a contractual arrangement that clearly documents what you expect from their store and what they could expect from you (this is just another version of position profiles and expectations for the role).
In these cases, you are 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 need to service both these groups accurately and professionally.
Provide clear expectations of performance.
Even if your suppliers and contractors have caused your organization for an extended time period, it is critical to periodically review your expectations of these role and how you expect them to service your customers. Clients are retained since they allow us a great relationship making use of their supplier and any contractor or supplier who is dealing together with your customer directly, is seen by the customer to be a worker of your company, and hence; representing your company.
When I was a broad manager for a power distribution company, among our contractor service technicians accidentally cut the customer’s phone line. The very first issue for the customer was, needless to say, the cut phone line and the inconvenience associated. The next issue was that the contractor apologized but told the customer he would have to call our company to secure satisfaction regarding the cost and inconvenience of getting the line repaired. The third issue was the response the customer received from the Branch Manager when he called our company office to complain. He was told we were not responsible since it absolutely was a company that had cut the line! Yes, I too, was shocked when the customer got through in my experience to complain and explained 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 didn’t clearly identify to the contractor our customer support expectations. In my experience, they certainly were simple. Apologize to the customer, call our office immediately to request an answer and then work with the customer to have the answer implemented. Simple in my experience but definitely not to the contractor or, I quickly discovered, to my Branch Manager.
So my next step was to construct a company customer support agreement and produce a customer support training program to implement with both our employees and our contractors. We then implemented it across my region. We still had customer support difficulties with both our contractors and our employees, periodically,but this was a good first step.