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Internal Customer Service and the Chain of Events

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Last week I had the grocery shopping delivered. Lovely driver, who someone was remaining cheerful inspite of the torrential rain. I had asked for my groceries to be delivered in bags - they weren't. I commented to the driver who replied "They just do what they want...putting things in bags takes longer".

So, the supermarket packers had decided to ignore my request and take a short cut. No real harm done - my shoping was all there afterall... BUT this is a classic case of people acting WITHOUT thinking about their internal customers, and the impact they have on them, and so (eventually) the impact on the external customer. The chain of events had not been considered...

Because the shopping had not been packed properly:

  • It took me longer to unload it, which meant that
  • The driver had to stand outside in the rain for much longer, which meant that
  • He was getting soaked (which could affect his health, or he could be getting miserable, which would affect the experience of the next customer), AND
  • He could be made late for future deliveries as unloading took longer than expected, which would result in compalints from other customers.


  • Items were damaged as they hadn't been packed properly, so I had to send them back, which means that
  • I didn't spend as much in the store as I could have, which means that
  • Sales and profitability are effected, which ultimately
  • Jeopardises the jobs of those packers!

So, next time you take a short cut, ignore a request or let a colleague down, think about the chain of events that could lead to negative outcomes for the external customer, AND your business!

If you want to open the eyes of people within your company to the importance of internal customer service, why not run this excellent one-day Internal Customer Service workshop from Keystone Development?

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