The Coworker is Always RIGHT

Talking About The Value of Internal Customer Service

What pops into your head when you think about customer service? Maybe you think about how it is important to be friendly and smile when dealing with a customer or perhaps the saying “the customer is always right” may have crossed your mind. Everyone seems to understand the concept of customer service, however, why is it that when we provide internal customer service it seems to be a bit lacking?

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Last week, I witnessed an example of terrible internal customer service as I watched a manager berate and ridicule her employee in front of customers. Not only was it an awful representation of how to treat a customer, but it made the  entire company look bad too.

Internal customer service is at the heart of a business, because how can a business properly function if the coworkers are not working well together to accomplish the business objectives? What if we were to change the saying to “the coworker is always right”? I have thought of some main principles to consider when thinking about the internal customer service that one provides with the acronym RIGHT.

Respond to emails within one business day.

Even if you can’t respond within a day because of needing information, let the person know that you will respond to their email within a certain time frame. No one likes having to send multiple emails to do their job.

Inquire about their day or how they are doing

A little conversation goes a long way when working with others. Being personable and trying to get to know someone helps establish a good working relationship. Really listening to someone can make his or her day.

Gather the facts and remain objective during a disagreement

It’s easy to see things your way when you get into a work conflict, however, take a step back and think about the real situation at hand. Most conflicts arise due to personal issues as opposed to work issues. You can both disagree on something and both still be right, so focus on the real concern.

Help someone out if you can

Everyone likes a team player and you can use this to your advantage. If you have the time to help out another department or coworker it shows you are committed to the overall organization and likely coworkers will more than likely want to help you in the

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Treat others how you want to be treated

It is easy to take things personally in the workplace, but remember at the end of the day you aren’t friends with everyone at work. On the other hand, just because you are coworkers doesn’t give someone the excuse to be rude either. Remember that how you treat others is a reflection of who you are as a person and an employee.

The moral of the story is to revise the saying and remember that the coworker is always right. Although the customer is not always right, we treat the customer as if he or she is and are willing to meet their needs by listening and treating them with respect. Hopefully you will reconsider sending that email or dismissing your coworker, so that ultimately you can be a better employee who values customer service inside and outside of your organization.

Learn more about how you can use these customer service tips with your well earned business degree.