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In the 'Jump Starting Internal Customer Relationships' podcast Mike said that speaking with customers could lend you credibility with your own team. When debriefing your team you get to say, 'this is what our customers are telling us guys, so what are WE going to do about it?'

That's powerful. There's a subtle transfer of ownership of the problem there. It becomes a shared opportunity.

MY DUMB QUESTION: So can this technique be applied to external customers as is or must it be modified first?

aspiringceo's picture

Hi Nigel,

I've been think along similar lines to you and feel that this is an incredible and powerfull tool. I was thinking about using it to talk to our funders who are also our customers in the new year and so far feel that I only need to change the suggested email slightly. Any thoughts on this from other members would be appreciated.

Edmund

bradleymewes's picture

You guys are thinking along the same lines I am. I have two questions I would like some recommendations.

First, what is the definition of an internal customer? Is this someone within your organisation who buys from you? Do they HAVE to be part of the same company? For example, I run a large collision repair facilityin Southern California. All of our work is insurance refered, but our customer is the vehicle owner. Yet, we have agreements with our insurance partners, and they pay for the majority of the cost of repairs. Is the insurance company an internal or external party?

Second, I love the recommendations listed. However, is this approach still valid when you have a customer/partner who uses EVERY opportunity to grind you on price? My biggest fear is that I will contact my insurance parters and the only result will be additional requirements put back on my company to lower costs or else... Any input would be greatly appreciated.

brad

aspiringceo's picture

Hi Brad

I could be wrong here but my definition of internal customers is any member of staff or departments in your organisation who require your and your teams help and assistance in order that they may serve external customers. I would say that the owner of the car and the insurance company are external, and the mechanic, panel beater, receptionist etc are some of your internal customers.

edmund

tviemont's picture

I am currently adapting these 'casts to use as part of an customer satisfaction improvement program for my 70 hospital clients. In my sales role, I know that I can drive more revenue

To me the definiation of internal vs. external is simple. Who pays them? If both groups both paid by the same company and you deliver service to them, they are internal. If they are paid by a different company, they are external. That is not to say, internal customers are more captive than external customers.

mwojtow's picture

tviemont, I like your definition.

I have always considered external to be ouside of / apart from the organization; and internal as being within / part of the organization.

Also, I have started to think about how the "jump starting internal customers" model could apply to external customers. As part of this analysis I need to listen to the feedback podcasts; as managing feedback I believe is critical to the process.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts and hearing about your experience.

:D

Mark's picture

Folks-

We have a different model for external customers. This one is fine if your firm is doing nothing...but just because YOU aren't doesn't mean your firm isn't. Care is recommended here.

Mark

mwojtow's picture

Mark,

Are there plans to do a "jump starting external customer podcast"?; or
Is this part of an existing podcast? :?:

Are there additional resources? :?:

Thanks,
Max