Working in the customer service field requires patience, tactfulness and respect for your customers at all times. Working in an environment where your peers are also your customers is particularly challenging as your co-workers know that the company's goals and tactics may not work in their favor. Customer service consultant Tom Vander Well notes in his QAQNA blog that these internal customers have different needs and expectations. Oftentimes, the internal customer expects more than a traditional customer.
Treat your co-worker's issue with the same urgency you would an ordinary customer. Just because your co-worker is part of the company doesn't mean he deserves partial customer service. CustomerServiceManager.com notes that servicing internal customers ultimately impacts the way representatives provide lasting customer service to external customers.
Keep the conversation professional. Chatting with your co-worker wastes time and does not work toward resolving her problem.
Be honest when asked for your opinion on a product. Even if you are not personally a fan of a product, you can find positive things about the product that may speak to your customer. While this honesty is important for all customers, co-workers in particular will remember if the advice you gave was ill-advised.
Stick to company policies that apply to all customers when providing a solution. Because your co-worker knows more about the way your company operates then a customer off the street, he may try to convince you to ignore procedures to get something done quickly when it is not his decision.
Ensure your co-worker's issue is resolved promptly and give her any information she may need to check back on the progress of her situation. As a customer, she deserves to know that her issue is being handled promptly.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not be afraid to transfer your co-worker to a manager if he is not willing to listen to what you have to say. Sometimes hearing the same information from a different person will help him gain a better understanding of the situation.
- If specific training procedures and strategies are not set in place for internal customers, make a suggestion to your supervisor to create and use employee-specific customer service strategies.
- Inform your manager of any issues or concerns you may have regarding a co-worker who is abusing her work knowledge as an employee to gain access or discounts as a customer.
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