It’s an “Inside Job” — Internal Customer Service

WRITTEN December 15, 2011 Author: Rich Atkins

Who are my Internal Customers?

Take a moment to examine your Customer Service policy. You treat your customers well; even going out of your way to “take good care” of them, right? But what about your Internal Customer Service?

What is Internal Customer Service?  You are valuable and so are your coworkers.  You all deserve to be in a positive work environment, where people are treated with respect.  If you’re in a rut, don’t “move in and decorate!”  It’s time for change—to move yourself and your organization forward.

Most people recognize and understand who/what an external customer is. An internal customer is someone within your organization who depends on you (or others in the company) to accomplish her/his job. What can you do to show your internal customers that you value them just as much as your external customers?

Take ACTION by creating a list of Internal Customer Service Guidelines for your organization. Be specific about individual as well as corporate responsibility to improve Internal Customer Service. Be sure that your Guidelines reflect your overall Customer Service Values.

If you treat your Internal Customers just as well as your External Customers, you will get the best from them. Here are some great Internal Customer Service practices:


  1. Repeating the same behavior and expecting different results is insanity.  Changing means trying something different, and being motivated to increase value.
  2. Organizational progress depends on staff motivation.  Managing by using fear and coercion will get only minimal compliance.  To get employees to invest in the job and go the extra mile, they need to feel valued.

What this means is that if you treat your Internal Customers just as well as your External Customers, you will get the best from them. Here are some positive Internal Customer Service practices:

  • Manage staff positively – give them more autonomy and praise them for their accomplishments.
  • Make them  feel like they are a valuable part of a important organization.
  • Find ways to communicate the value that each employee brings to the organization as a whole.
  • Assume that your staff has useful ideas about how to improve their jobs and the workplace.
  • Elicit and listen to staff feedback.  It shows you value them—and you’ll get some great ideas.
  • Communicate to staff that you understand their position/opinion even if you don’t agree with it.
  • Listen without judging.  It doesn’t mean that you have to act.  Just listen.

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