5 Ways To Look After Your ‘Internal Customers’

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To truly get a sense of how important your employees are, it’s helpful to think of them as ‘internal employees’.

And why not?

Your employees help your business grow. They interact with you often and they need regular support to create value for your business.

When you place employees and other stakeholders in the context of internal customers, it will transform how you approach their welfare and management.

And the benefits of creating a great employee experience are many.

  • Your employees will perform better
  • You’ll develop an attractive brand that draws in talented people
  • It becomes easier to deploy changes when everyone’s cooperative

But most importantly, happy employees will make for delighted external customers. So, are you keen to learn a few helpful ways to cater to your internal customers? Awesome! Let’s get started.

Create Communication Channels

There are few things as frustrating as working for a company that does not listen to you. When employees feel like their concerns and ideas aren’t heard, they’ll develop apathy towards work.

Offering the means to communicate effectively will help support them just the way you do your external customers.

You need to add communication channels to address their concerns and to enable them to talk to their peers.

Today, there are new platforms that allow your employees to use an instant messaging format to share information. Tools like Slack are awesome since they allow you to have team channels and general channels all in the same space.

You can combine intuitive technology with the ease of use you get from a social media-type platform. Using modern and user-friendly tools alongside emails, conferencing tools, and phones will create a communicative culture that’s necessary for this age.

Build a Journey Map

Building a journey map for your employees will offer you insights and ensure that you don’t miss important steps in their interactions with your business.

You’ll need to create a map from the time a potential hire hears about an opening until they leave. Or even after they leave since it’s not uncommon for businesses to hire former workers.

Segment Your Employees
Your journey map needs to start by segmenting people based on their roles, functions, or even teams. Since cross-functional teams are very common, you’ll need to consider multiple roles when building different journey maps.

Identify Touchpoints and Pain Points
It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your employees to identify key touchpoints. This will enable you to think of ways to improve the experience at these interaction points.

Make sure that you include pain points as well so that you can resolve them. Of course, your journey map and how well it does needs to incorporate feedback on what’s happening at each stage. We’ll discuss the matter of getting feedback in more detail later.

Set Up Performance Metrics
One of the most important steps you can take is to set up performance KPIs for your employees. This gets everyone in the business on the same page when it comes to what needs to be done and when.

KPIs also set up quality standards that people will know they have to live up to. Keeping everyone on track means they’ll be accountable, feel in control and they can make changes too.

This is a start to journey mapping for internal customers. Remember that you need to keep referring to the feedback you get and look for ways to improve your employees’ experiences.

Collect Feedback

Beyond creating communication channels you also need to keep collecting feedback from your employees. There are a few ways to do this:

Hold Company Town Halls
The concept of a town hall is built on a very old practice where the citizens of a place came together to discuss concerns that impacted the entire population.

Your town hall meeting can work similarly by giving a platform for employees to raise concerns that are not directly related to their work. It can be about the state of the company, benefits, future projections, or anything else. Holding a town hall meeting is a great way to have a broader perspective of what’s happening and how to improve.

Use Survey Forms
Using survey forms at touchpoints will give you an easy way to collect feedback in a timely manner. At the very least, consider doing regular surveys several times a year. Doing a one-time or sporadic survey won’t give you relevant information. A more frequent means to collecting feedback will allow you to get real-time feedback to manage current issues.

Make the Right Tools Available

Enabling your employees to do their jobs well can truly enhance their experience. People need to feel satisfaction from their jobs and to grow from what they do. And the right tools can make all the difference.

Work together with your employees to understand what they need and the kind of benefits these tools can bring your business. A great tool won’t just make your employees’ work easier to do, it’ll lead to measurable benefits that impact your company.

Some examples of the types of tools and platforms that will help:

  • Communication and messaging platforms like Slack
  • File storage and sharing. For example Google Drive
  • An HR platform to ask for PTO, to track benefits, and to remember work anniversaries and birthdays
  • Project management platforms like Asana and Trello
  • Task-specific tools like Photoshop for designers, or access to stock photography

Offer Training and Learning Opportunities

Today, employees seek growth and personal development along with compensation. As a business, one of the best ways that you can create loyalty and enrich your employees’ experiences is by offering them opportunities to learn.

Consider using a Learning Management System (LMS) to create your own course. You can simply create a membership site on WordPress with an LMS plugin.

Another way to help is to give people the opportunity to lead in a project or to create a mentorship program within the organization.

You’ll help them build their skills which can be applied to your business. What’s even better is that you’ll create goodwill and the desire to stay with the organization.

Conclusion

No doubt you’ve put a great deal of effort into looking after your normal customers. However, everything you do and every interaction an external customer has with your brand relies on your employees’ performance.

It makes sense to enrich your employees’ experiences as much as you would your customers’. Thinking about the people who work for you as internal customers can help you reshape how you view their management.

We’ve looked at a few guidelines to help you look after your internal customers. Explore them and use them to help you boost your business.

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