When we think about service and support, it is very easy to think only of our customers, of the folks who have purchased our products or processes – we answer their questions, ensure their happiness, and so forth.
It’s worth considering that we cannot provide excellent service to our customers without first providing excellent service to one another – it’s always been my position that the very best way to serve a customer is not to put them first. Rather, there are a few groups of people who must be served with excellence and hospitality before we even reach our customers. In a restaurant, these are your vendors and your co-workers. This is sometimes called internal service – as opposed to customer-facing support or service, which would be external service.
This mindset applies to any business, especially in the tech sector – if your internal communications are flawed, if you don’t have a culture of mutual respect and support, it is impossible to extend really excellent hospitality toward your customers.
2 thoughts on “Internal and External Service”
Well said. I try to see bad customer service experiences as a sign of a flaw in the systems of the company or the culture created.
Disappointed customers are almost always the result of misplaced expectations – it is our job not just to help them when they’re disappointed, but to work hard to set up expectations and understandings in the right way.