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Serving Your Internal Customers
Even if you are not in sales you still have customers: internal customers (IC's). Other departments, other employees, your boss, your subordinates, suppliers, vendors; all are your customers. All have needs you can help them meet, all have problems you can help them solve.
Your job security depends on how well you serve the needs of your IC's. Want to achieve real success? Try these strategies.
1. Ask yourself "Who is my customer?"
As Dave Coughlin says "You better be serving the customer, or serving someone who is." Who do you work directly or indirectly with who has direct contact with an end user? Whose job can you make a little easier? Whose load can you lighten? Your job is to make the company a better place for the end user to do business with.
2. "Dig your well before you're thirsty."
Courtesy Harvey Mackay, you must recognize value in your customers. You must "see value long before it's recognized in the marketplace." IC's have benefits they can offer you (job security). But they only have a limited amount, and if you want to be the one who remains employed after the next "right-sizing" you need to serve them now and often.
3. "The only two things people ever buy."
"Good feelings, solutions to problems." Are you working to discover what good feelings your IC's want? Are you busy discovering or inventing the solutions to your IC's problems? If not, go back to number 2 and focus on how much you want to keep your job the next time the market tightens your company's payroll.
4. Focus on Listening Skills
The greatest gift you can give is to listen to another person. Each individual has distinct things they want to share, and usually no one wants to listen. You can often begin to serve their needs by first listening to what their needs are. No one else has, or this would not still be a need.
5. "To keep customers for life, ask the platinum questions: How are we doing? How can we get better?"
Part of the effort is the simple act of letting your internal customer know you care. Ask simple questions, positive questions. If you ask questions in a positively worded manner, you get positive answers. Do not ask negatively worded questions.
6. Smiles Are Contagious
Everyone will see and learn from your actions and attitudes. Think what a great place it will be to work when everyone is serving the needs of others. Think of the business you will have when the end users notice how service-oriented your company is. The mood inside the company dictates its long-term success.
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© SMBC Incorporated 2007