Question: How can I handle demanding internal customers?

Answers from frontline reps —

Track issues as they arise. Requests from internal customers can cause confusion and stress, especially when both parties don’t share the same expectations. 

When this is the case, I suggest a brief conversation with your internal customer to talk over expectations and come to an agreement. If you can’t work things out one-on-one, then it’s time to call in your manager to sit down with the manager of the other department.

The basis for successful resolution of any inter-departmental problem is accurate information. You can help by keeping a log — similar to a complaint log — of service or response issues that you have with other departments.

With that information, you’ll be able to show the individual or manager in another department, the level and frequency of the problem, and this will help resolve issues quickly. 
Kim Sheppell, Welter & Kreutz

Treat everyone like a customer. It can feel overwhelming when external and internal customers need your help. But if you let the stress fuel you instead of stifle you, it is amazing what you can achieve. 

It is important to remember that your coworkers are customers too. They are your internal customers. Applying the same courtesy and timeliness to all requests is essential to managing the workload. 

From time to time you may find an internal customer who does not have a good understanding of the demands of your job. In these cases it can help to set expectations. For example, when a request comes in, take the time to acknowledge it and to offer a time frame for completion. If you miss your completion date, provide a quick update and revised timeframe. It is just as important to keep internal customers up to date on their requests as it is with external customers. 
Megann Wither, Doc’s Doggie Day Care

Make the process seamless. While it is true that your callers are your customers, so are the representatives from other departments. It takes a team to ensure that your customers are being taken care of. You must put yourself in their place. You wouldn’t be able to do your job efficiently if you weren’t receiving data from other areas. It can be easy to forget that you will also need to reach out for information from others from time to time. Building that relationship makes the team better and will always help in making your job easier. That is what makes a difficult and complex process appear seamless to your callers.
Rachel Dillon, Assurant

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