What Is Internal Customer Satisfaction?

Felicia Dye

Internal customer satisfaction refers to an increasingly popular philosophy that businesses need to treat staff and other associates in much the same way as they treat their customers and clients. Staff members are increasingly being recognized as internal customers. and there are numerous benefits that are believed to result from ensuring that they have good interactions with one another. These benefits include better external customer satisfaction, higher morale, and better retention of good employees.

Overly demanding customers may lead to poor staff satisfaction.
Overly demanding customers may lead to poor staff satisfaction.

Customers and clients rely on businesses to provide them with goods and services. Businesses have long realized that they must focus on ensuring that these individuals have a good experience during these interactions. Within a given a business, however, staff members also tend to rely on one another, creating another category of customers. Historically, these individuals' satisfaction was not a priority for most companies.

Staff members are being increasingly recognized as internal customers.
Staff members are being increasingly recognized as internal customers.

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More businesses are beginning to focus on the experience that their internal customers have when dealing with their peers. An employee who needs a human resources representative to process paperwork for her benefits is an example of an internal customer. Another example is a team member who needs a file from her colleague.

Constant exposure to combative customers may cause low employee satisfaction.
Constant exposure to combative customers may cause low employee satisfaction.

When good service is not rendered internally, employees' best interests may not be served and individuals may not be able to get their jobs done. Problems that interfere with these exchanges can have an even wider range of negative effects. These may become obvious externally and thereby diminish overall customer satisfaction.

Happy employees may be motivated to give good customer service.
Happy employees may be motivated to give good customer service.

On the contrary, there are believed to be a wide range of benefits for those organizations that commit to doing a good job with internal customer satisfaction. Productivity will likely improve and a company is more likely to retain and attract good employees. Furthermore, morale tends to be higher and organizations experience a higher degree of efficiency.

Companies are increasingly exploring the experiences that internal customers have when dealing with their peers.
Companies are increasingly exploring the experiences that internal customers have when dealing with their peers.

Internal customer service extends beyond staff members. It is important for organizations to realize that the concept of providing excellent service must also apply to other associates, such as suppliers and contractors. To achieve optimal internal customer satisfaction, a business should prioritize instilling customer service skills in all of its staff. In many organizations, these skills are still considered something that are needed only for those staff members who deal with the public. Those businesses that have made the connection between internal customer satisfaction and the potential gains and losses for their organizations have largely changed their approach.

Helpful and knowledgeable customer service departments are important to customer satisfaction.
Helpful and knowledgeable customer service departments are important to customer satisfaction.
Businesses may use customer surveys to help identify what needs to be done to improve customer satisfaction.
Businesses may use customer surveys to help identify what needs to be done to improve customer satisfaction.

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