Well, we’ve made it to July. That means we are officially half-way through the year. It also means that this is Internal Service Month. You may not have heard of this celebration before, and that’s ok. In fact I doubt anyone reading this has celebrated it before. But don’t feel bad.
I just created it.
That’s right. I decided, all on my own, that we need to take a few weeks to honor those who toil away behind the scenes. We need to recognize the men and women who work hard so that the rest of us can look good in the eyes of the customer.
A quick Google search shows me there are 854 million hits for “customer service.” The vast majority of them focus on frontline service – that’s the interaction between an employee and a customer. Volumes have been written about this subject and you can’t make it through a company meeting without someone waxing poetic about the importance of customer service. There are awards and conferences dedicated to customer service. There’s even an entire week of emphasis coming up in October.
Sadly, we often neglect to address the service that takes place behind the scenes. I guess out-of-sight truly is out-of-mind. The fact is, though, none of us would be able to service our customers without these magicians behind the curtain. Our support teams provide the foundation from which we are able to deliver those WOW moments to a customer. I feel it’s time they received their due.
When you think about it, there are really only two types of jobs. There are those that support the customer, and there are those that support the people who support the customer.
Have you ever seen acrobats at a circus, or cheerleaders in pyramid formation? The focus is always on the person at the top of the formation, and understandably so. They’ve put themselves up high, in a vulnerable position, where everyone can see them. When they stretch their arms out wide, the audience gets the payoff and applauds.
But they’re always standing on the backs and shoulders of several teammates. Those who form the base of the pyramid, and who form the link between the base and the performer up top are just as critical to the successful completion of the pyramid. Remove either one and guess what happens…the team experiences failure. The pyramid collapses and the customer misses out on a potentially extraordinary experience.
Think about the work done by these miracle workers:
• They support the products you sell.
• They create the resources you use.
• They maintain the systems you utilize to do your job.
• They handle every aspect of the customer experience that you don’t.
So yeah, I’m declaring July Internal Service Month.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share the stories of some unsung heroes – people who acted behind the scenes so that their teammates could succeed. By learning of their sacrifice, perhaps we can pick up a few lessons to help improve the service we provide to our own coworkers.
In the meantime, I challenge you to recognize the internal service heroes around you. Take the time to let them know how much their support means to you. Write a note…send an email…make a phone call, but let them know you care. I promise you one thing, it will mean a lot to them. Let’s make sure they know how much we appreciate the service they provide to us!