When it comes to your business and how you perceive customer service, what comes to mind first? You might think about how you and your colleagues interact with clients, vendors, and external customers. We tend to think of customer service as how we interact with those outside of our own organization. Perhaps a more effective way to approach customer service is to think of it as a flow from the inside of your organization out. To set your business up for service excellence, customer service should start from within. And a perfect place for it to all begin is with your Human Resources Department.
In Human Resources, service is ingrained in all that we do. We are a true service team, and we take pride in being able to provide the necessary support and guidance for our customers, who—in the HR function—just happen to be our very own colleagues. They are our most valuable assets, and partnering with them, taking care of them, and advocating for them is the most important thing that we can do. We work to anticipate our colleagues’ needs before they even arise.
We strive to provide the same standard of service excellence with each interaction, ensuring our employees know every time they reach out or need a hand that we will be there to support them. From start to finish, we strive continually to improve the “Employee Experience,” and we continue each day to find new ways to serve our organization effectively.
From the beginning, we are a springboard for our employees. The first impression starts with a candidate’s experience during recruiting and follows through the onboarding process, as we introduce them to our company culture and values. The service HR provides then continues throughout the entire employee life cycle, by providing employees with the tools they need to immerse themselves in all that our company has to offer, setting them up with the foundational tools they will need, and championing for them to become successful in their respective roles.
We work to understand what each department’s needs are across the organization so that we can assist teams to become more cohesive, efficient, and effective. We want to learn what training and educational offerings would be beneficial in taking them even further in their careers, and we evaluate what additional tools might be useful in the future to remain successful and grow within our organization. We partner with our colleagues across all levels to learn what would benefit them. And we continually act on delivering what our colleagues need most
We are a sounding board for our organization: we listen to our colleagues needs, we evaluate their feedback, and we work to provide the right options for them to be successful. We ensure appropriate supports are in place such as offering unique and robust benefits. We also become experts about our offerings so we can interpret them so employees can better understand what is available to them. We want to make sure our colleagues have the proper tools at their disposal at every stage to promote a positive work-life balance, which will allow them to perform at their very best.
When we succeed in providing effective customer service to our colleagues, when our colleagues feel that they are heard and that they matter and that they have the proper support that they need, they can execute their duties more effectively. The flow of service continues in their own roles, interacting with their own unique set of customers and ensuring standards of service excellence are met time and time again. When you start with customer service from the inside and work your way out, you set a strong foundation for a successful customer service model that consistently delivers.
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Stacy Connolly, SHRM-CP, is the Payroll & HR Administrator at A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Companies, specializing in benefits, payroll, employee relations, and day-to-day administration of the HR function. She has been in the Human Resources field since 2015 and is a member of the Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA) as well as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).