Integrate Service Processes to Provide Superb Customer Service
A company’s so-called “external customer” is the person or company that purchases goods or services. But did you know your company is made up of internal customers as well? These are the people who depend on others so they can carry out their work. For example, procurement depends upon a smoothly running approval process to be able to procure the things they (and their customers) need. The administrative assistant can’t type up the memo or letter from the executive until he or she dictates it or presents a draft to work with.
Customer service representatives can’t keep external customers optimally satisfied if they have trouble getting approval for a price override or a refund. All these “internal customer” relationships affect workplace morale and motivation, and they have an enormous effect on how a company is perceived by external customers.
Why Serving the Internal Customer Is Critical
Making sure that your company’s internal customers are consistently served well is critical because it affects almost every aspect of business, including how employees get along with each other, how well departments communicate, and how motivated customer service team members are to take care of external customers. An attitude of “not my problem” can propagate throughout an organization and lead to apathy and low morale. But when people take seriously their obligations to co-workers, other departments, and anyone who depends on their work, s positive approach can propagate throughout just as easily. And there’s little argument that a positive workforce makes for a positive experience for the external customer.
Create Service Standards for Internal Customers
Just as you have standards you expect to meet in relation to external customers, so should you have reasonable expectations for meeting the needs of internal customers. It’s not unreasonable, for example, to expect a fast turnaround time for delivery of marketing material to a potential customer. Nor is it unreasonable to expect the packaging process to be completed within a reasonable amount of time so products can be shipped promptly. Defining what is “reasonable” for internal customer standards takes time, but the end results are well worth the time investment. When employees know their fellow team members are doing their best to uphold service standards, they can all proceed more confidently.
Remember the Importance of Training
Simply saying you want “faster turnaround” from shipping or billing isn’t sufficient. Expectations need to be clearly defined. And once these standards are defined, it’s absolutely essential to develop appropriate training to help team members meet the expectations placed on them. Again, this requires an investment of time up front, but the results are worth it. Training may involve teaching team members how their work interacts with the work of other departments, or training them to use software skillfully, or training them to follow-up so they can be confident a workflow carries on as expected after it is out their hands.
The Right Workflow Automation Software Is Necessary
Workflow Automation software can make all the difference when it comes to serving both the internal customer and the external customer. Use of a powerful, flexible workflow designer means that customer service reps can care for external customers proficiently, while departments within your organization can do their work efficiently and take care of their internal customers with expertise.
Overhauling manual, paper-based workflows is one of the most important steps an organization can take in serving both internal and external customers well. Not only does record keeping become easier and faster, error rates drop and retrieving information about completed processes is fast, no longer requiring a search through folders stored in a filing cabinet.
PerfectForms is Workflow Management Software that turns your process users into workflow designers. PerfectForms’ intuitive user interface and the fact that it doesn’t require programming mean that the people who actually use workflows on a regular basis can design them to meet their exact needs.
Once you automate that first clunky, paper-based process with electronic survey forms, you’ll instantly see countless ways to apply workflow automation software to the processes that go on in your business every day. We invite you to read over some of our case studies and see just how much flexibility and power PerfectForms brings to businesses in a huge range of industries.