Livingsta shares her positive experience in business administration, customer service and education.
This is a unit at Level 3 with a credit value of 3. Candidates who are doing their NVQ Level 3 or Level 4 Certificate or Diploma in Business and Administration may have this unit as part of their qualification if this comes under their job role. This unit helps one understand or tests one's understanding about providing customer service to internal customers and also how to continuously improve the quality of services to internal customers.
On completion of the unit, the candidate will have a thorough understanding of what internal customers are and will also have knowledge about the different products and services provided to internal customers depending on the organisation they work for. The candidate will also have knowledge as to how services have to be delivered to meet the expectations of internal customers, the standards of service, the timescales for service delivery, dealing with complaints, collecting and evaluating feedback building working relationships and also to monitor and evaluate the quality of customer service provided to internal customers.
This unit for most of the part focuses on only internal customers, so focus within your organisation, and only on the internal systems and procedures, internal departments and internal customers while preparing for this unit.
This unit is quite a complicated unit. Pardon me if there are any repetitive points as the questions sound too similar and there are answers or points that are relevant for / common across a few questions.
I have also broken down this unit into 2 different parts, as it is quite lengthy. So please use the link below to follow on to the rest of the questions
Any confidential and sensitive information has been removed.
While preparing, please sit down and make notes of all the internal services provided by your organisation, because when it comes to internal services, different organisations have different services and they are dealt with differently. The questions here are a bit confusing, and so, please take time to think and write down the main points, before you start writing down the answers.
1.1 Describe What Is Meant By Internal Customers
Internal customers can also be internal service providers and they are customers within the company / organisation or directly connected to the organisation or from an organisation that provides shared services. It can be a co-worker, a different department or a colleague from a different department, a service provider or a colleague from a shared service organisation, or a distributor who provides us with products or services so that we serve an external customer.
Internal customer service needs to be excellent in order to provide excellent external customer service. There should be good communication between departments and between internal customers, they should work together with a positive attitude following policies and procedures and agreeing on them wherever necessary. This will ensure that goals are met and high-quality service is provided to external customers.
For the question below, write down the list of internal departments and partners that your organisation works with and write down briefly what services they offer and how you are served / supported by them or how you serve / support them as internal customers.
Also I have only mentioned the general task of each department, as detailed description can be very lengthy.
2.1 Describe the Products and Services Offered By Your Own Organisation to Internal Customers
Internal customer service is service provided to internal departments in our organisation or to employees in our organisation but a different department or to our service providers or suppliers who work with us to complete certain tasks and achieve certain goals within the organisation. By helping our colleagues and other departments, we are helping the company / organisation succeed. It also helps you develop your personality.
Our organisation deals with all the areas of work or service in the (____________) and the (______________) that I work for is (______________). When we take the organisation as a whole, the number of departments and services offered are more than a hundred and hence I have restricted the discussion to the (_______________) that I work for and to the most prominent services. We constantly liaise, provide and receive help from the following departments and services.
Customer Service – Customer service department is the backbone of any organisation. We work very closely with them, as they are the first point of contact for clients and they filter them according to departments before passing them onto the different departments. There are queries from them all the time and we get in touch with them all the time regarding (____________) that come to us. We always keep them updated of the staff details, their absence and annual leaves, so that it is easier for them to deal with customers when there are queries for particular members of staff.
Finance Department – This department works on the finance information related to clients’ case or (______). When (______) are set up, the finance team does an assessment on the client to check eligibility criteria. We provide them with all the client information including (___________) in order for them to carry out their tasks on time. They also deal with budget monitoring, opening and closure of accounts, accounts receivable and payable, insurance, internal audit and risk management.
Welfare Rights – This team works closely with the Finance department and there are advisors who we pass the cases to where clients require advice on welfare and finances.
Human resources – This department looks after the staff starting from recruitment until retirement. They work for the welfare of the staff and any issues to do with employees are dealt with by this department through advice and support. We are their customers and all employees of the organisation are their customers and they support us with all the employee relation issues and manage change programmes. They balance the needs for all customers. They provide proactive solutions that are customer-focused also maintaining the policies and procedures of the organisation.
Direct (_________) team - This team provides payments for clients to arrange (______) privately rather than arranged by the organisation. We provide them with all the client details and assessment details for them to make a decision as to whether the client is eligible for (_________).
(_________) team – This team works closely with us as they are the team that sends out regular (___________) for a temporary period of time or when there are emergency needs. They are always available when we call and we support them with all the necessary information required to carry on their daily tasks.
(__________) Services – This is another department where we refer clients to. They help clients with access to better (_____) which includes disabled and young clients and clients whose needs are complex.
Support (_____________ services) – This department works with our clients who need temporary (_______) needs. They assess the clients and arrange a (____________) for 2 or 3 months initially and later do another assessment to see if the client’s situations have improved. If not, a long term (______________) is arranged after all the assessments are completed. In order for them to deal with the client’s needs qualitatively and on time, we provide them will all the updated details that we have available.
(____________) team – This team deals with (______________________)people. When we receive (_________) from either the (_________) or other sources that there is doubt of (__________), or information that a person is (_______) to someone or something, we get the (___________) team to investigate along with the staff from our department. They also audit the case files of closed cases from each team to see if they are qualitative and carry out monthly audits on the system to check for errors. Audits are also carried out for ongoing cases and the results are fed back to the relevant manager. They also carry out practice surgeries to support (_____________) with queries.
(___________) services – This team deals with educating, protecting and providing opportunities for (________). Professionals work together from all disciplines and deliver (_________) that are targeted at (________).
(______________) team – This team deals again with the needs of the (______) who have some form of (______)
(______________) team – This team looks after (______) and we get and provide help regarding client services for that team.
(______________________) Team – These teams work together as (_______) and the (_______) needs of these clients are looked after.
All the above teams work together as they are all closely related and have cross services.
(___________) Support Unit – This team deals with contracts and payments towards (_______) packages and all the business related things to do with (__________).
(___________) Team – This is a team dedicated to clients who have (___________) and they closely work with (____________) services and (_________) services, sharing information about (________)
Occupational Health – This department looks after the health of internal customers and makes sure that the employees are fit for work. They do a pre-employment screening for all internal customers; look after attendance management, health and well-being, health risk monitoring and ill-health retirement. Internal customers who have work-related health issues can contact this department directly. Also, all display screen equipment users are entitled to a free eye test.
(______________) – This team deals with (_______) services and other professional services for external customers. As internal customers, we liaise with them all the time when our clients need (___) services.
(___________) team – This team provides (______) and we liaise with them at all times for our clients’ services.
Review Services – We get help from this team to perform annual reviews for clients who are on (________) and for clients with (___________).
(______) Services – Our organisation also works closely with (__________) services, as we need their support all the time.
(____________) Team – This team deals with emergency calls out of office hours and we constantly are in touch with them to pick up (________) that have come through to them during out of office hours.
ICT - The ICT team helps us with our day to day operations on the system. They deal with issues on computers, networks, laptops, mobile phones, PDAs, and other peripheral devices connected to the network, and also help with any problems with applications in the systems. They also deal with data security which is of huge importance, and with data storage and retrieval and many other tasks within their department
SAP support – This team helps us with payments of invoices and other issues related to processing purchase orders, blocked invoices, etc. They work closely with the payments team, and hence deal with queries relating to, purchase orders, invoices, Imprest claims and other payments we deal in the business on a day to day basis.
3.1 Explain the Purpose and Value of Identifying Internal Customer Needs and Expectations
In customer service, in order to provide quality service, one needs to first identify the requirements and needs of customers and decide on what services or tasks can be provided for the best possible results, without which customer service will be of no use. In order to achieve this, one needs to communicate with the customers to find out ways to satisfy their needs and expectations in the best possible way. You also need to constantly receive feedback and monitor progress or development and use this information while making important decisions.
3.2 Explain Why Customer Service Must Meet or Exceed Internal Customer Expectations
Internal customer service is service provided to internal customers, which means it is service provided to the employees of your own organisation. In order for the employees to perform well, be happy and satisfied and improve performance and productivity, they need to be given importance and looked after well, and this can be achieved only through exceptional internal customer service.
The purpose and value of identifying internal customer needs and expectations are:
- You will gain a competitive edge where you attract more customers and internal customers help the organisation bring in external customers
- The profit increases when we act based on customers’ needs and expectations, because when internal customers are happy and satisfied, they do their best and beyond. They will go that extra mile to get things done.
- You provide the right product or service that meets customers’ needs and expectations
- It shows the customers that the organisation cares for them and improves the quality and reputation of the organisation and also customers become loyal
3.3 Explain the Value of Meeting or Exceeding Internal Customer Expectations
Customers are important part of the organisation. They are the assets of an organisation and without them the organisation cannot run. Meeting or exceeding customer service should be the goal for every organisation otherwise customers will move to organisations where they receive attention. When customer expectations are met or exceeded, they will feel positive about the company and share their experiences with other people, friends and family, thereby increasing customers to your organisation. This increases the chances of expanding the network of people available to help us when there are needs. Communication within internal customers is very important which will help understand the skills and talents each possess. These help with advancement and progress which in turn will help the organisation progress and grow.
Customer service must meet or exceed internal customer expectations for the following reasons:
- The main reason is, it will help with the organisation’s success
- It will increase satisfaction of the employees
- Improves staff morale
- Boosts customers’ motivation
- Employee acquisition costs are lowered
- Employees stay with the organisation and the organisation does not lose out on experienced employees thereby saving on recruitment costs
- There is cooperation between team members and departments and it brings the organisation together and helps all the departments function as one through mutual support
- Customers or employees are satisfied and content
- Performance of Employees or customers increases
- Performance increases productivity of employees and hence the productivity of the organisation increases, which benefits the company’s turnover
- Employees or customers are happy and hence they like coming into work and will go that extra mile to finish off tasks and achieve goals.
- Quality of customer service decides whether customers will stay with the organisation or leave.
- Finally it all sums up to good publicity and reputation for the organisation
3.4 Explain the Purpose and Value of Building Positive Working Relationships
Working relationships cannot be just ignored. A person spends a lot of time at his/her work place and one needs to build positive relationships at work, otherwise it will have negative influence on our life both professional and personal. We should not just ignore any negative things that happen at work, convincing ourselves that we can just cope with it or resist it or ignore and move on. We need to make sure we look into the issues and try to build a positive working relationship.
Poor customer service experience will also be shared by customers to other people, thereby stopping customers from taking service from your organisation.
Some customers have desires, which can be “exceeding” customer expectations. So when customers’ expectations are met, customers are likely to stay with us, when customer expectations exceed from time to time, customers will be pleased and stay with us, and also bring in more customers, but when expectations are not met, the customer will be disappointed and the organisation will fail. Internal customer satisfaction will lead to external customer satisfaction. Internal customers will satisfy external customers or in other words, internal customers will meet or exceed external customers’ expectations, if their expectations are met or exceeded by the organisation. There will be high job satisfaction and fewer conflicts between the departments. When the organisation gives more than expected, they will receive more than expected in return from their internal customers.
Meeting or exceeding customer expectations helps the customers gain confidence in the organisation, feel valued and cared for and they are loyal and innovative. This will encourage teamwork and will also help promote the ethics of the organisation. In order for internal customer service to be excellent, employees need to support each other and working towards a common goal. The way the employees serve each other in internal customer service is the way the internal customers will serve external customers. Customers will recognise that the organisation is good and keeps the customers happy and the benefit of valuing the customers will be quality customer service. The organisation will grow rapidly and the business will become competitive with superior quality products.
The purpose and value of building positive working relationships are:
- We learn from one another which add to our knowledge and understanding.
- We are exposed to new ideas, information and perspectives.
- We acquire the willingness and skills to work together and respect each other and work towards a common positive purpose
- We learn to listen to each other and hence improve our listening skills and make decisions after observation and understanding.
- There is mutual understanding and we know how to get closer with our colleagues and organisation and work better together
- Win-win solutions are possible which will always be the goal.
- Helps with team building and joint activities
- We build a good rapport and there is trust between colleagues
- There is flexibility in the work we do and we can motivate each other
- There is a boost in self esteem and self awareness
- We can identify each others strengths and weaknesses, understand each others beliefs and values
- We are open to many opportunities at work
We have so far looked into what is the meaning of internal customers, the services and products offered and received by internal customers, what is the purpose of identifying the needs and expectations of internal customers, why their needs and expectations must be met and the values and benefits of building positive relationships.
In the next section, we will look at the quality standards for internal customers, why these standards have to be agreed, why timescales have to be agreed, how they are set and agreed, the types of problems internal customers face, the complaints procedure for internal customers, ways to deal with problems effectively, benefits of monitoring customer satisfaction, how it is monitored, how and why feedback is collected and finally the benefits of continuous improvement. Please follow the link below for rest of the information.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2013 livingsta