Customer Service: Internal and External

Practicing internal customer service can benefit your career

You can see how responsiveness is critical. The participating parties form both a chain and a cohesive team which must function seamlessly to meet the delivery date to the customer as promised. As we are all aware, failing to do this will likely result in decreased customer loyalty at minimum, potentially losing the customer all together as well as immeasurable unnecessary costs.

Respectfulness: Was sincere interest and cooperation shown? How are we communicating with each other? If verbally, do we treat our co-worker as we would wish to be treated? If communicating via email, before we hit send, do we re-read our email through the eyes and ears of the receiver? Is the message clear and not ambiguous? Is the tone receptive and friendly as opposed to argumentative, curt, or sarcastic? Have we communicated the desired intent?

Make it easy to do business with you or make it easy to work and cooperate with you: Evaluate your internal processes for gaps and areas where the ball gets dropped. Make accountability a priority. Place the right personalities in the right jobs. Hiring a front counter person who is a whiz at processing a transaction, but reluctant to talk to a customer is not the right personality for the job.

We are all human, and internal customer service failures will happen. Here are some suggestions for improvement:

  • Identify who your internal customers are
  • Ask your internal customers (co-workers) what is needed for them to do the job they provide
  • Ask them what disappoints them or makes it difficult to deliver what they provide and what might be done to make their job easier
  • Identify and address communication breakdowns

Most companies that have developed a reputation for excellent customer service did not achieve it without everyone in the organization adopting a customer service attitude. They have achieved it by fostering a customer service culture throughout the organization, one that supports the belief that customer service is not just a department.

Someone once said that if you are not working directly with the outside customer, you are probably working with someone who is. Virtually every skill and technique you have read or learned about general customer service applies to the internal customer as well as the external customer. By mastering this you become a more valuable asset to your organization by positioning yourself as a leader and role model for others to follow.

Bottom line is companies that practice outstanding customer service find it is easier to attract and retain customers and find it easier to attract and retain employees. Employees who practice outstanding internal service find it easier to keep and enhance their careers. AMT


DeborahAnn Cavalcante leads Diversified Aviation Consulting (DAC) and has firsthand experience in air carrier operations, private charter aircraft, general aviation operations, military/civilian interface, FBO management, maintenance repair station training, safety training, human factors training, and customer service training. For more information on DAC visit

DeborahAnn Cavalcante earned her Master of Aeronautical Science, with a specialization in Safety Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, FL, and her Bachelor of Science from VA Tech in Business and Risk Management.

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