Glossary definition

What is an internal customer?

Internal customers are people within your organisation who receive goods or services from another part of your business.

They are stakeholders who might be employees, subcontractors, partner businesses or individuals or – by some definitions – suppliers.

In HR terms, treating employees as internal customers can help improve their experience of working at the company.

It means encouraging everyone in your organisation to treat colleagues with the same respect as customers and to strive to give them excellent service, just as they would for a customer.

For the HR or People team, workers in the business are their direct internal customers.

Treating them this way means the HR team is a service provider aiming to satisfy and delight, rather being a purely administrative organisation.

Instead of imposing policies and systems on employees, these HR teams seek to understand and meet or exceed employees’ needs and preferences.

This helps organisations to be truly valued employers who attract and keep the best talent, and whose loyal employees are positive external ambassadors.