As it appeared in the daily nation of May 19th 2015
Last week I was invited to speak at an internal service awards ceremony. The awards launched about a year ago are part of a service improvement initiative. Having spoken at past events, I sought to find out what my client would consider interesting. The response was simple – something on internal customer service. Internal service relates to how we serve each other within our organization. It starts with basics such as being respectful, listening to one another, being courteous among others. I knew that we had covered these already and I thought of something more creative. I coined the topic “Deadly sins of internal customer service” and today I share the insights from this session.
I believe there are many sins committed daily at our workplaces. Some are minor while others are deadly. I chose four sins which I believe have a major impact on internal customer service. The first sin is “not loving our job”. Do we look forward to Mondays or do we thank God it is Friday? Loving our Job is seen in the passion and precision with which we do our job every day. It starts with feeling good about ourselves, our job, our colleagues and our organization. Steve Job says the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Do you love your job?
The second sin is thinking that we only go to work to get paid. A recent mention in this column of an article by Kathy Caprino highlighted that there is a group of people who just see their jobs as a way to make money. This negatively impacts how we serve one another because with this outlook, we limit our work to what we get paid to do. I believe we go to work to serve others. Harold Geneen adds to this by saying that we are also paid in experience and we need to take the experience first and the cash will come later.
The third sin is failing to build rapport with our colleagues. Rapport is the ability to relate well with others and it is anchored on creating trust and understanding. We build rapport through dedicating time to relationships. We seek to find out how our colleague’s weekend or trip was, we go out for lunch together and we wisely choose what to say, how to say it and when to say it. We also build rapport when we seek opportunities to collaborate with others to add value to the organization and when we recognise the efforts of others. In so doing we create goodwill. Theodore Roosevelt once said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Sin number four is when we do not do what we say we would do. This means that keeping promises is crucial to internal service. C.G. Jung once said “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”
Have you committed any of these sins? Please do not wait any longer, “repent” and take necessary action. Determine what makes you hate your job, choose to serve others wholeheartedly, start building rapport with your colleagues and only promise what you can deliver.
Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org/old or via twitter @kiruthulucy