When most businesses think about customer satisfaction they are probably thinking about external customers – the public or at least people not a part of their organisation.
These tend to be the focus of customer satisfaction surveys, yet it is important to remember that they are not the only customers whose satisfaction should matter to business leaders.
Those who deserve just as much attention are your internal customers – now when was the last time you assessed their happiness?
Who are internal customers?
Most businesses are made up of smaller departments or groups and each with their own responsibilities yet engaged in relationships with other teams as well.
There is a kind of transaction that occurs when these departments interact, and in most cases one side are in effect 'customers'.
For example, when someone has a computer problem, they need to seek the services of the IT support team – thus they become an internal customer.
Why do they matter?
While external customer satisfaction is quite rightly a priority for most organisations, neglecting internal customers can have a detrimental effect on all aspects of a business, including customer service.
That's because even though perhaps just one department deals with customers, that department likely deals with many others within the business, and so the quality of their performance is directly affected by that of others.
What can be learnt?
By implementing an Internal Customer Satisfaction Survey, you can take a magnifying glass to the relationships within your business.
Finding out how satisfied staff are with the performance of other teams and the processes in place to facilitate efficient interactions can be a critical method in finding ways to improve systems and behaviours.
This can then be remedied with targeted training and further surveys to monitor the implementation of new strategies.