Service Principles For Purchasing, Part II

PurchTips edition #32


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How To Prevent Service Disasters

In the last resource, you learned three principles to follow at the beginning of a project to deliver excellent service to your internal customers. If you follow those tips and all goes as planned, you've provided excellent service. But what if things don't go as planned? You could have a customer relations disaster on your hands if you're not careful. This resource will give you three more principles to help you handle adversity when serving an internal customer.

Principle #4 - Express Concerns Immediately

Sometimes it may not look like you're going to meet a deadline. Don't avoid speaking with your internal customer, fearing their wrath and hoping a miracle will turn things around. Be honest. Give them time to plan in case things don't turn around. They may be upset that their project is not on schedule, but their fury will be minor compared to the anger they would feel if they found out "at the last minute" as opposed to well in advance. Assure them that you will be stay on top of the project to try to get it back on track.

Principle #5 - Don't Make Excuses

If something negative happens with the project, accept responsibility. Tell your customer what you are going to do to minimize the impact of the issues. Don't displace blame by saying that your supplier is incompetent or that your boss took too long to review your work. People don't like to hear about problems. They like to hear about solutions. So take responsibility for whatever actions are required to satisfy your internal customer. Let them know you have something personal at stake.

Principle #6 - Follow Up

After you've met the project goal, touch base with your internal customer. Find out how your work is affecting them after the fact. And ask them about your service. It is rewarding to hear someone compliment your efforts - it doesn't happen too often for many of us! Plus, their words may give you ideas on how to improve your service for them and other internal customers in the future.

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Are You Getting The Most Out of Your NLPA Membership?

Members of the NLPA get more than just articles like this by email. As a member, you also get access to:

  • The Procurement Training & Certification Starter Kit
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