If everyone is an internal client of everyone else in your organization, then who are your customers?
First, they create top-of-mind lists of internal clientele they serve. Next, we conduct the forensic portion of this exercise.
Why? Because the majority of these spontaneously-generated lists of internal customers are composed of members of these professionals’ teams or departments. In other words, the people everyone interacts with on a daily basis.
Yet co-workers may not really be your clients, defined as the people actually utilizing and benefitting from the services you provide. Consider that your co-workers just may represent a group of individuals with homogeneous professional skills and resumes. Your co-workers are hired to provide the same or similar services that you provide.
Thus, your departmental co-workers have the same KPIs to fulfill that you do. Also, they report to the same manager that you do. Consequently, is your manager your only internal client? I don’t think so either. 😉
Consequently, the next question becomes: who are the internal clients you serve outside of your department or team?
At that point, level of engagement changes. Primarily because the quality and quantity of responses initially is smaller. At this point, attendees start looking around the (virtual) room for clues about the identify of this next tier of internal customer. Where oh where do these internal customers live?
As a result, the subsequent internal customer lists generated have two characteristics. For starters, these lists lack breadth and depth. Next, attendees are perplexed about why this exercise is so difficult for them.
Which sets the stage for me to ask the third question: outside of your team or department, who knows who you are and what you do?
When the definition of the internal client (s) you serve is limited to direct and indirect reporting relationships and employment tiers, then you underserve everyone. Including yourself. In addition, the quality of service delivery across the organization becomes less rich, robust, and valuable. Consequently, the strategic business and human capital value of what you bring to your organization is underutilized by both internal and external clients.
Ready to discover and define your purpose-driven professional value? So you better define and serve your internal clients, first. And consequently better serve external clients, together. One millimeter at a time. Contact me here to get started.
Then take these next steps.
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I specialize in professional innovation, cross-functional leadership and client retention. Together with professionals like you, I translate across communication and collaboration disconnects separating people and professional disciplines. My One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person speaking programs and workshops leverage Voice of the Customer design methodology and storytelling to move individuals, teams, departments and organizations one millimeter beyond yesterday’s tools and today’s comfortable professional habits and mindset. Why remain an order-taker when you can develop into an innovator and revenue-generator? Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant and strategically valuable to your organization. One millimeter at a time. My playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact me here.
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