Internal customers’ satisfaction key to Customer Centricity

Written by Kyriakos Katselis for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Nowadays, most of the companies around the world are focusing on Customer Centric Management and are presenting it to their employees, as a conceptual way of working in order to create added value that will result in a higher turnover. Employees, from their point of view, are trying to make the outmost in order to satisfy the company’s view, thus doing the outmost to meet their supervisor expectations towards the qualitative and quantitative targets, granting minor importance to the actual needs of the so called ‘external customer’.

But what is really Customer Centric Management? Is it a concept that companies and employees should have at the back of their mind and bring it on the surface every time there is a related subject or every time there is a customer complaint? Or should it be the company’s non-negotiable term of conducting business and behavior towards the internal and external customers?

Internal and External Customers
In order for a company to achieve and create a Customer Centric environment and make a ‘positive turn’ in peoples’ mindset, there is an important area that needs to be considered.

  • The way the company treats the internal (and external) customers.

Everything depends on the stimulations the internal customer is receiving from the company he or she is working for. Employees of a company need to be satisfied and motivated from the company they work for; this can be achieved through a top-down but also bottom-up approach. Internal communication and trust does not come easily between the personnel of a company. Many areas need to be reinforced so that the environment stays healthy, stable and sustainable.

How many times have we heard from many corporations or even from medium to small companies that:

  • Communication has to be strengthened.
  • Team-spirit has to be built-up.
  • Trust needs to be reinforced.
  • Customer satisfaction should be higher.
  • Products and services must be of high quality.

Companies are conducting customer satisfaction surveys in order to measure the satisfaction index from their customers, against their competitors, against the market trend, against productivity, against anything that would have an immediate and positive effect on turnover. But what companies are forgetting to do, is to run an internal satisfaction survey to measure the satisfaction level of their internal customers; if this index is high then it is almost inevitable that external customer satisfaction will also be high.

Satisfied & enthusiastic internal customers, create satisfied and enthusiastic external customers.

Conclusion
When talking about Customer Centricity and Customer Satisfaction, there is a need to fix the internal environment and initially create satisfaction to the internal customers; human psychology will then do the rest of the job and deliver the same view and the same stipulations of Customer Centricity to the external customers. Customer Centricity is not a concept that a company should adapt. At the end of the day Customer Centricity is the way of living and experiencing the daily interactions with customers; adapting those interactions and working with them in order to deliver the ideal and desirable outcome:

 Qualitative Solutions = Customer Satisfaction = Customer Centric Environment

When companies and employees overcome issues as stated above, becoming a Customer Centric company would be a ‘walk in the park’.

Employees must ‘reject’ the old mindset of: ‘Did I satisfy my supervisor with my performance?
And adapt the next level: ‘Did I satisfy my customer with my performance?

Both mindsets are correct but only the second one leads to Customer Centric solutions and ultimately to Customer Satisfaction.

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