How internal communications affect your external customers

How internal comms affect external customers

March 14, 2016

Customer service is essential for any organisation. It can raise profits, increase market share and enhance reputation.

According to customer service expert and bestselling author Ron Kaufman, good service is based on 12 building blocks. Effective internal communications can help cement each one.

1. Common service language
A common vocabulary focuses attention and behaviour. Help embed your desired language by using it consistently.

2. Engaging service vision
Organisations with a clear vision achieve better customer satisfaction. Establish yours with clear, consistent communication.

3. Service recruitment
Unexpected change makes people resistant, so announce and explain new appointments.

4. New staff orientation
Don’t just give people a welcome pack. Find exciting ways of communicating your culture, values and goals.

5. Service communications
Service communications educate, inform and connect people, so make sure your processes and channels let you reach the right people.

6. Recognition and rewards
Share people’s successes in newsletters, emails, noticeboards and team meetings to inspire and motivate your team.

7. Voice of the customer
Don’t just capture feedback. Share it! Relay negative comments as well as positive ones, but be diplomatic in your approach.

8. Measures and metrics
People need to know their work is achieving something. Make sure the people on the front line know how their organisation is performing.

9. Improvement process
Employees will be the driving force behind any improvement effort. Engage and motivate colleagues with consultancy workshops and regular updates.

10. Recovery and guarantees
Empower people to recover from bad service delivery by sharing advice and anecdotes on bouncing back.

11. Service benchmarking
What are the top performers in your sector doing to achieve great service? Share what you learn and ask colleagues to contribute ideas.

12. Service role modelling
Provide examples of what ‘good’ looks like and incentivise people to set a good example to others.

Support your service building blocks with good internal communications and you’ll create a strong foundation for great customer experiences.

In an interview for the FORTUNE Growth Summit, Kaufman said: “The fundamental foundational definition we teach is that service is taking action to create value for someone else.

“You can actually create an entire culture inside an organisation where every department, every person, every role, every function realises that their purpose is to take action to create value for someone else; internally as a partner or externally as a customer.”