When Your Colleague is the Customer


As government leaders, we place a high priority on serving the public well, and rightfully so. But often our customers not only external to our organizations; our customers are often our colleagues in the next office, or in a nearby agency.  These internal customers deserve our best customer service, too.

What does really great internal customer service look like? It has a few hallmarks:

  • Be excellent. Treat colleague needs with the same great care and courtesy that we would a request from a constituent.
  • Communicate promptly and consistently. Don’t go MIA when waiting for information or while a solution is in progress. Provide regular updates, even when the news isn’t positive.
  • Empower the customer to meet her own needs. Make information available on the agency intranet, provide internal customer training, create an app, or take other similar steps to make it easier for the customer.
  • Listen to feedback, and re-think our workflow based on what we hear.
  • Apologize when things don’t go well. A sincere apology goes a long way toward mending fences when we’ve made a mistake.

What does your agency do to make life better for internal customers? Share your ideas with me on Twitter at @LoriSassoon.

Lori Sassoon is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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