Four ways to treat your internal customers as well as your external ones


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The thing about business today, is that thanks to technology – people expect a lot. We’re plugged in, and we’re used to seeing results immediately. Word of mouth communication still exists, but now, it’s got a partner in crime: The Information Age. The status quo just doesn’t hold water anymore, and that’s a good thing. There’s a marriage of ideas going on: the technology driving our world has bled over into the office. We can do so much with simple thumbs up or a comment on an app; feedback and instant service create a better work environment. Forward thinking organizations have re-imagined customer service by treating their employees as trusted customers, and the results speak for themselves.

It’s easy to streamline your process and cultivate company culture – by offering the same easy to use systems that you’d extend your front facing customers. Check out these four ways to treat your internal customers as well as your external ones.

1. Make service simple
No one wants to hunt for answers. So when someone’s got an IT issue, why would you make it hard for them to request support? Offer your teammates a simple way to ask for help, by making your service desk easy to use and even easier to search. If it’s good enough for your external customers, then it should be good enough for those inside your four walls.

Offer self-service where possible, you’ll help people help themselves. Build an accessible knowledge base so employees can type keywords and find answers fast. A great example of establishing a knowledge base is HR and legal teams setting up their own service desks for onboarding and reviewing important documents, respectively. Everything is easily accessible and won’t require you going down the rabbit hole in search of answers.

2. Exceed expectations
Another trick to awesome service is always remaining ahead of the curve. If there are ways to implement changes in how your team solves problems, try em’ out. By being proactive and seeking out problems and fixing them before they become a serious issue, you’ll see a lot more happy faces. No one likes filing the same ticket over and over – but people love it when a known issue goes the way of the eight-track because the IT team moved on it. Just like tech companies drop updates for their products regularly, in-house teams should do the same.

3. Celebrate wins as a team
When someone nails a project, or a launch goes great, these things are worth celebrating. When folks do innovative and awesome things around you, it feels good to rally for their successes, but it’s an important way to build the team around a central theme: we’re in this together. Something as small as a team lunch to celebrate victory can go a long way. By fostering a team that cheers one another one, rewards teamwork and plays as a unit, it’s not unfathomable that innovation is just around the corner.

Another way to show others you’re paying attention is to give Kudos. Kudos can be a small gift like a bottle of wine or a gift card to a favorite online store to say thanks to a colleague for help on a project. Random acts of recognition at unexpected times (or very promptly after an outstanding performance) show that you’re paying attention to your team’s efforts. Culture is a huge factor in how teams succeed.

4. Champion personal growth
When companies invest in people, they’re investing in their bottom line. By fostering a culture of continued education and constant growth, employees feel like they’re growing alongside the company and rarely feel like they’re trapped under the glass ceiling.

Most employees want to excel in their careers, and by championing education you’re making an investment in employee retention. The biggest factor in employees leaving is due to personal growth and feeling like they’ve peaked. When companies allow the staff to grow alongside them, the employee is excited about their future because they feel valued, and they’re excited to share what they’ve learned with the team at large.

By bringing in thought leaders, or allowing employees to attend conferences, or workshops, employees are more apt to put their passions into practice. Because the team is smarter and taught new tricks, they’re excited to use them – all while empowering the brand in the process. So if your IT team lead has been dying to learn more about DevOps, it’s a good investment to let them take the class. It could change your business for the better.

And there you have it. By treating staff like your customers, you’ll see the returns quickly. Invest in your employees, because even in IT, the impact may be small, but it will be mighty.

Sidharth Suri
Sid Suri is the Vice President of Marketing for JIRA Service Desk. Prior to Atlassian, he worked in various marketing roles at, Oracle (CRM), InQuira (acquired by Oracle) and TIBCO Software. He has an MBA from the Haas School of Business.


  1. Too many times people (and companies) forget about their internal customer. Some people don’t always realize that other people depend on you to do their job, which may be to take care of a customer – or another internal customer. Either way, don’t forget that your internal customers are just as important as external customers. Maybe more so! Thank you Sidharth!


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