Many organizations do not realize that emphasizing collaborative, positive internal communication translates to delivering excellent external service to customers. Organizations are rewarded when they treat their employees like they would their best customers. This strategy requires creating a healthy culture and work environment where every team member feels respected, listened to, and valued by their co-workers and leaders. Once the internal team’s needs have been met, they will proudly represent the organization as a genuine brand advocate.
Through our work conducting Disney service training with business professionals around the world, we have seen that too many organizations tend to focus on service primarily as an external-facing effort—with exceptional experiences reserved for paying customers and clients.
At Disney Institute, we believe an organization must cultivate internal customer service with the same intentionality as external customer service. Not just the job of a single department, providing great service is everyone’s responsibility in the organization.
In fact, we have found over the years that the quality of service employees provide to each other within the organization, is critical to the way service is provided externally. The two are interdependent, creating a “virtuous cycle” that feeds off each other.
Here are two reasons to consider this “virtuous cycle” in your workplace:
- It comes down to respect – People really do want to work somewhere they feel they’re appreciated and treated with respect. When employees are more friendly, helpful and supportive of one another, overall employee engagement tends to also be stronger, and the quality of internal service can begin to differentiate your organization as an employer of choice.
- You can’t give what you don’t have – It’s nearly impossible for exceptional external service to exist without exceptional internal service. Your internal service environment should be viewed as part of a value chain that drives your external service experience. When you take great care of your fellow employees, you can reasonably expect that they will go above and beyond to take great care of your customers.
You might be wondering, “So, where should I start to improve my organization’s internal service?” The answer is fairly straightforward—start the same way you would to create exceptional external service.
At Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, we start by recruiting and hiring people with a heart for service, because it’s everyone’s role to provide great service, not just the “service department.” Then, train everyone in the same customer service values, framework, and skills, including those working in “heart-of-house” operations and support functions. Finally, remember that your external customers can sense if and when employees truly care about them as an individual. If this is true, then the best way to create that sense of genuine care with your customers is to create the same sense of genuine care amongst employees.
I learned a great lesson on all this a few years ago from a colleague who ran one of our Cast cafeterias in what we refer to as a “backstage” area. He made sure that everyone in that location knew, “our back door is someone else’s front door,” and they deserved to be treated with the same respect as any other guest.
In that sort of environment, where everyone pitches in to help find the right materials, the work tends to get a whole lot easier for employees, and customers and clients seem to always get their packages on time. That’s a win for everyone, including your business.
So, whether you’re planning an executive retreat, a board of directors meeting, or a conference for thousands, Disney Institute can inspire your attendees with key takeaways and new ways of thinking that can be adapted and applied to their own careers and organizations. To learn more about engaging Disney Institute for professional development content for your next meeting or event held at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, submit a Request for Proposal or Contact Us to speak directly with a Disney representative or Sign Up to stay in touch with Disney Meetings.