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Internal customer misgivings about a brilliant idea in customer experience thinking
written by vikas joshi, September 2017

Unless you are a company of one, your firm has at least a few internal customers. Quite simply, internal customers are people in your company to whom you provide some kind of service. In a restaurant, the chef and the culinary staff might think of the waiters as their internal customers, who in turn serve patrons, the real customers. In a software services company, the HR department may consider project implementation teams to be their customers, who in turn may think of solution architects as their customers, and so forth up to the real customer.

As the idea of the internal customer has gained currency in modern customer experience thinking, the discourse around its benefits has grown louder. Proponents of the idea of internal customers argue that it can transform culture, minimize friction, and enhance operational efficiency.

When a company’s travel desk thinks of every traveling employee as a customer, it changes the cultural underpinnings of their interactions: The courtesy, service-orientation, and professionalism implicit in such relationship is palpable in those interactions.