You know how important good customer service is. If you cannot satisfy your customers, you may not have a reason to be in business. Part of that customer service responsibility is also taking care of your internal customers. These are the folks you work with side by side every day. It is incumbent upon leaders to treat employees well in order to get employees to strive to do their best. After all, how can you expect good customer service from employees if they are not getting it themselves from their own management?

These ideas will get you started to ensure you are being supportive of your own staff.

1. Develop a new mindset and start to think about your employees as customers. The shift in perspective will help you recognize how valuable your employees are to your success and be more aware of what their needs might be.

2. Focus on the relationship. When your customers call, you are there to answer their questions and concerns. Be available to your employees as well. This means being accessible, patient, a good listener, and open to seeing things from their point of view.

3. Communicate well and often. This is, after all, your team we are talking about. Seek out their input, welcome their feedback, and give consideration to what you hear. Everything you gather is data; the important question is what you do with that information.

Paying attention to and managing internal customer service can boost company morale, enhance productivity, yield higher profits, and lead to better external customer service.

Mallary Tytel President and Founder Healthy Workplaces Sioux Falls, S.D.

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