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What's Happening
The newsletter for switched on people
Issue 39 November 2001

Dreamboats and Tugboats

Many organisations have departments that are customer service dreamboats and others that are tugboats.

These tugboat departments are seen as synonymous with poor internal customer service. While dreamboats have a can-do capabilities and provide excellent internal customer service.

So what effect can these departments have on an organisation?

An organisation can be likened to the human body.  Its departments are like the internal organs of the human body.  If a body’s heart does not function, as it should, signs begin to show on the external body.  The same can be said about internal departments in an organisation who function poorly. Poor internal service will adversely effect the external face of the organisation and its external customers.

However, there are many options to turn the tugboat department into a dreamboat.

Service agreements
Individual departments meet to devise written agreements on they way in, which they are going to work together.  Expectations are discussed and solutions found. These agreements are regularly revisited to ensure each department is providing and receiving the levels of service agreed upon.

Best practice guidelines
It is difficult for departments to provide excellent customer service to their internal customers if they do not know what that looks like. Many organisations take part in establishing, implementing and measuring ‘Best Practice Guidelines’. Usually detailing competencies, these guidelines are usually a company wide initiative. They link in with the organisations strategic plan, marketing plan, training initiatives and incentive programs. These guidelines are a measuring tool, which enables an organisation to measure its service performance.

Industry bench marking
Organisations can band together to form associations who conduct bench marking studies to identify practices that improve the overall industry service levels. These ‘Associations’ identify ‘Best in Class’ processes across an industry which lead members to exceptional performance.

Opening up the communication lines
Many organisations have witnessed the bond that forms between internal departments when they are taken out of their office environment and participate in a Corporate Conference.  Teams are formed, ideas are discussed, issues are raised and understandings achieved.  Corporate Conferences enable internal departments to discover more about themselves and the effect their service or lack of has on other departments.

Improve people skills
There are many professional development courses available to improve individuals People Skills.  These courses guide people to build on their exiting people skills. They offer techniques to better communication skills enhance personal relationships and deliver better service.

Customer Surveys
In their commitment to providing excellent internal service some organisations conduct regular internal as well as customer service surveys. These surveys are geared at individuals to unveil problematic service issues.  The outcomes of these surveys assist in the development and implementation of processes to continuously improve internal customer satisfaction levels.

A combination of these processes and programs can ensure an organisation’s internal customers provide and receive exceptional customer service, which can only have a positive effect on its external customers and the organisations bottom line.


Personally Speaking

Well the next time you receive our monthly newsletter, ‘What’s Happening’, the Australian Federal Election will be over and our next leaders will arrive.  So let’s watch with interest and see who demonstrates leadership which can make a difference, just as it can in organisations. 

However the bigger leadership issue will be if One Nation or the Democrats control the Senate? Lets see who has the leadership qualities to work with The Upper House? 

Kind regards, Sam

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