As a leader I often become frustrated with wanting to lead a high-performing team that really makes a difference in the lives of our external customers. But sometimes, I don’t know how to unite and motivate our people. Maybe you have this dilemma, too? The Nside/Outside™ principle is one way that I’ve found to move the needle with my team. And it can help you too!
The Nside/Outside principle states:
Our service to our external customers can only be as good as our service to each other. – Bobby Albert
When I introduced the Nside/Outside principle at our company-wide half-day workshop, I had our people break into small table groups of no more than eight people to discuss two questions:
- What are the characteristics/behaviors/attitudes of good internal suppliers?
- What things can internal customers do to help internal suppliers serve them better as a team?
The results found at each table were amazing because our people discovered more about their own behaviors and attitudes.
They learned they were not only part of the problem, but they were also part of the solution as well.
What was even more amazing was how much our employees enjoyed the process of working together to give input.
This is proof that a very profound proverb from the bible can be helpful in improving workplace culture.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 NIV
After implementing the Nside/Outside principle, our employees began to realize the importance of developing a spirit of internal teamwork. Everyone in the organization started to recognize that every contact with every external customer represents a chance to hit a customer-delight home run – or a strike out.
Below is a summary of the blog posts that I have written about the Nside/Outside principle to help motivate and unite your team!
The evidence, and our own experience, are clear: How we are served as customers is the main factor that determines our satisfaction with a supplier.
We can create a culture of customer service excellence by 1) Seeing through the lens of the customer, 2) Examining how everything speaks to them and 3) Serving our customers with little WOWS! Be sure to check out my Everything Speaks Worksheet offered as a free download in this post.
Discover the internal customers in your own organization. And learn why serving them is key to serving your external customers! Internal communication and information flow is so important. Download a free instruction sheet for a game that you can use to illustrate the importance of clear and accurate communication.
Do you feel like you and your team are “dropping the ball” when it comes to operating like a team and serving your customers well? Don’t despair. There is hope. When you consider the impact of the Nside/Outside principle, you’ll discover a way to equip your team to deliver excellence!
Involve your people in a simple exercise that clearly identifies the internal customers (and suppliers) within your own organization. Leaders need tools to lead effectively. In this post, I provide you with a valuable tool in the form of complete instructions to the exercise that I used with my own company.
When you focus on the inside people and processes, you reap the rewards on the outside, with enhanced customer service and delight! Discover the three questions that every internal supplier should ask their internal customers. Download the free leadership tool that will help you equip your people to uncover what their real job requirements are!
Once you implement the quality improvement ideas generated from using the Internal Customer Questionnaire, your team will perform with more efficiency and unity. Sure, you’ll have problems that crop up. But issues will be quickly identified and corrected, creating a new level of service to your external customers.
The only way to adopt the Nside/Outside principle is to genuinely listen to your people. You will be amazed at the issues known to your front line folks that you never knew existed.
By the way, if you ignore their contributions and input, you’ll wind up frustrating them and your leadership team!
Sometimes simple phrases have a way of distilling our thoughts and beliefs down to their very essence. Discover the foundation for my success, and how you can follow in my footsteps. It all boils down to:
Can you just imagine what your relationship would be like with your external customers and external suppliers if there were no contract? I’m talking about an agreement that is approved only with a handshake or with “a man’s good word”! This type of relationship is possible, if you focus on being the best internal and external customer.
The Nside/Outside principle is a unique approach to customer service. I have found that you can achieve the excellent levels of customer service that you long to deliver, if you take time to roll out and fully implement the truths shared here.
Do you struggle to motivate and unite your team to consistently deliver excellent customer service? What impact do you think the Nside/Outside principle would have in your organization? I would love to hear your thoughts. You can share them <here>. Please share this post with someone who would benefit from this powerful concept.