Internal Service Enhancement

Brand Equity is defined by experts as the trust plus the identity associated with a company’s brand name. Companies make huge investments on building external brand equity with the objective of winning and retaining customers. Then again, little attention is being paid to the effects that poor internal brand equity has on customer satisfaction.

It all starts within the organization! Understanding that all employees should work together to achieve one objective – continuous and sustainable growth and success is very important. If the employees ways of serving each other internally is weak and deficient, sooner or later the ripple effect reaches customers and sometimes with devastating effects.

To really make good on the service excellence promise, the commitment must be made to improve internal brand equity first. This in turn, should match the company's external focus on brand equity-building. All employees must develop the understanding and appreciation of working together as reliable “brand custodians and company advocates.” This will make it easier to achieve the greater goals and celebrate successes leading towards better performance for the whole company and its external customers.

Module I – Customer Service from the Inside-Out 
A.    The Need for Excellent Internal Customer Service
        1.    Brand Equity and Company Success: What’s the Connection?
        2.    Differentiating Internal and External Customers
        3.    Getting Rid of Factions and Territorial Walls
        4.    The Proactive and Reactive Mindsets in Customer Service 

Activity: The Internal Customer Service Quiz

B.     Key Requirements for Internal Customer Service Excellence
        1.    Clear Expectations
        2.    Specific and Communicated Internal Customer Responsibilities and Internal Service Provider Responsibilities
        3.    Ability to Negotiate on Service Priorities

Module II – Improving the Workplace for Service Excellence
A.    The Problem: Poor Employee Relations = Poor Customer Service
        1.    Why is it hard to work together?
        2.    The Enemies of Internal Customer Service Excellence
               a.    Selfishness and Jealousy
               b.    Power Struggles 
               c.    Poor communication 
               d.    Negative Attitudes and Behavior 

        3.    The Common Complaints among Employees and Co-workers

B.    Steps to Resolve Customer Service Problems
        1.    Analyzing your Customer Satisfaction Initiative
        2.    Reverse the Finger Pointing
        3.    Focus on Solutions not Complaints
        4.    Analyze Best Practices within the Organization
        5.    Take Responsibility for Complaints and Results
       6.    Turn Internal Customer and Supplier Relationships into Internal Service Partnerships

Module III – The Elements of Excellent Internal Customer Service
A.     Factors of Internal Service Excellence
        1.    Customer Touch Point Analysis
               a.    Receiving Inquiries and Requests
               b.    Understanding their Concerns
               c.    Attending to their Needs

        2.    Customer Dialogue
               a.    Non-Verbal Communication
               b.    Verbal Communication
               c.    Active Listening 
               d.    Meta-Messaging

        3.    Customer-Friendly Processes
              a.    Sensitivity and Attention
              b.    Reliability and Dependability
              c.    Accuracy and Speed
              d.    Empathy and Understanding

        4.    Customer Feedback System
              a.    Negative and Positive Ways to Getting Feedback
              b.    Negative and Positive Ways of Receiving Feedback

B.    Committing to Internal Service Excellence
        1.    Don’t Focus on Complaining, Help others Solve their problems
        2.    Focus on their Needs and Wants, Not Yours
        3.    Know that Every Customer is Different
        4.    Dialogue with them, don’t just do a monologue
        5.    Put on your Customer’s Shoes

Module IV – Creating your Internal Customer Service Improvement Plan
A.     Identifying Areas of Customer Service Improvement
        1.    Analyzing Specific Problem Areas and Probable Root Causes
        2.    Stating Specific Actions you will take to implement positive changes
        3.    Writing your Internal Service Excellence Plan

B.     Evaluating the Results
        1.    Specifying What worked and What didn’t
        2.    Analyzing the Reasons for Success or Failure
        3.    Developing Corrective Actions to Take