Let’s face it: most companies are focused on taking care of their customers. Satisfying existing ones, winning new ones, re-activating those that have fallen off their client roster – they embrace the concept that clients are what keep the doors open. That’s true, of course, for without clients it would be very difficult to have a business let alone a successful and profitable one.
What about your employees, your internal customers? Yes, clients keep the doors open, but if you take care of your employees (your internal customers!) they will take ownership leading to better care of your external customers. That relationship leads to better customers who are loyal and supportive of the work that you do for them. It is all about “relationships”.
Serving your internal customers is a win-win-win all around. The employees feel appreciated and respected, they learn to be business partners as they take ownership of tasks and they go over and beyond to service the clients. These well-satisfied clients continue to work with your company not only because of your products but they genuinely like your company!.
Perhaps the Beatles said it best, “And in the end the love you make is equal to the love you take”.
I believe that it all comes down to the 3 C’s: communication, consideration andconflict resolution. Here’s what you can do to implement a culture that shouts “We are our own customers!”
Communication starts with us, the Business Owner / Executive. Be open, honest and approachable; staff reacts to our Lead! Remember the staff “is” our Customer as well!
A good rule of thumb for any office is to train employees to communicate with each other as if they are speaking with a client. It might seem a bit forced and formal, and a little bit of latitude can be taken here. Being rude, screaming in front of the entire office, peppering an internal conversation with obscenities, or providing just “half the story” when a co-worker needs more details are bound to undermine employee cooperation and lead to disagreements and anger. The result? An unhealthy work environment and shoddy work for the client.
Being considerate of co-workers seems fundamental to a smooth running company, and an employee that feels bullied or disrespected is more apt to treat customers in the same manner. Make sure that Managers and Supervisors are attentive to any signs of inconsiderate behavior by one employee towards another. And remember that being considerate is a learned behavior. Managers and Supervisors must be considerate of their team and serve up the actions and behavior that they wish to see mimicked.
Conflict is a fact of life and it is how you go about resolving the situation that can make the difference between a harmonious organization or one that is rife with disagreement and tension. When conflicts do arise, it is important that yourManagers and Supervisors know how to handle them with tact and skill. Here are three important things for them to remember:
Attack the issue, not the individuals involved in the conflict.
Work towards a solution that satisfies both employees. If only one employee feels satisfied, then the conflict will remain unsolved.
Make certain that the employees that are involved, focus on the future and the solution and do not dwell on what happened in the past.
Remember that attention to the three C’s starts in the “C” suite. Employees will follow the behaviors they observe or experience, so treating employees like the valued internal customers that they are is one way to ensure a more profitable company.
Taken from the August 2015 Unique Business Solutions Newsletter