Companies spend days, weeks and months sifting through data to determine who their target demographic is, aka “The ideal client”. It could be a working mom with 2.5 kids or a single man who likes to fish, a young stud of 25 with a workout obsession or a sweet Grandmother with a hunger for crafting. It’s important to know your demographic so you’re able to provide them with the best product or service to meet their needs. Knowing your demographic will also ensure your marketing efforts are geared in the right direction. All these efforts target and reach your “ideal client” so, you should be done, right? Or are you? Is that really your only client?
From the examples provided, we view the client as someone outside of the walls of our business. A customer we’re going to provide a good and/or service to in exchange for monetary compensation. However, Merriam-Webster defines a client as a person who engages the professional advice or services of another. In that case, a client doesn’t need to be outside of your company walls. Clients can be those we work with each day, the Internal Client.
Determining the Internal Client can be easy in some cases. Core functions differ in each department, some fulfilling roles where the focus is not on driving sales. Human Resources and IT are great examples of departments that provide internal services, making each employee their clients. HR works with each employee starting in the hiring process, through benefit changes and finally their exit. Everyone in the office contacts the IT department daily to keep things up and running. But what about those positions focused on driving sales and customer satisfaction? Do they service an internal client? Of course, you simply call them your co-workers.
Each day you work alongside a large set of internal clients. It may not seem like much, but take a look at what you do. Are there situations where teamwork is a must? Do you work on projects together? Are hitting your sales goals contributing to achieving an overall company goal? There isn’t a time where you would fail to show up for a meeting with a customer, or fail to send them reports they require. Isn’t it important to give that same attention to your co-workers? Making sure you give your internal clients the same focus and attention you would to those outside the building walls, can be the difference between success and failure.
Having always been in an internal facing position, I have seen many cases where the internal client is over-looked. Taking care of your co-workers and employees goes beyond the occasional free lunch and water cooler niceties. Making sure you extend the same professional courtesy to those internally as you would externally, can make a difference in the commitment and success of your team.