Many employees don’t think of themselves as customers to each other within an organization. And many employees who don’t directly interact with the paying customer think that customer service does not apply to them. How untrue this is! There is a direct correlation between internal customer service and external customer service. So, when employees are unresponsive, inattentive, or rude to a fellow co-worker, it has a ripple effect to the external customer.
A huge opportunity for many organizations to begin laying a foundation for better internal customer service is in their meetings. Departmental meetings, staff meetings, general assembly meetings, project meetings, etc. all are extremely important to how an organization communicates and efficiently gets things done. By establishing guidelines on how individuals are to behave in meetings and holding everyone accountable to the guidelines, you can have a noticeable effect on the culture of service excellence within your company.
Here are ten guidelines to give employees to show great customer service to each other in meetings.
1. Be prepared. If you receive an agenda or support material beforehand, read it.
2. Show up on time.
3. Don’t talk just to talk. Make your point, be brief and be done.
4. Sleeping, sighing, slouching in your chair, reading your ipad or iphone, leaving the room, eating loudly, making rude gestures or facial expressions are all distracting and disrespectful.
5. Having a side conversation while someone else is speaking
6. Don’t make others (boss, co-workers) look bad. Disagreeing is fine, but be respectful. Don’t contradict them, expose their mistakes in a condescending way or ignore their points altogether. If you have something to debate, do it in private and don’t waste everyone’s time.
7. Turn cell phones to vibrate or silent. If you’re expecting an obligatory phone call, either skip the meeting or let everyone in room know in advance the call may happen and excuse yourself quietly when it does.
8. No clicking/twirling of pens, no filing or biting of nails, no gum chewing, no knuckle cracking – all nervous habits and distracting.
9. Clean up any drinks, cups, or food you have consumed when meeting is over and push in your chair.
10. If confidential information was shared in the meeting, then keep it confidential and don’t share with others outside the meeting group.