I've heard from a number of Customer Service Tip of the Week subscribers who have recently been promoted.
It can be challenging to go from an individual contributor to managing people who were once your coworkers. You've probably heard the advice that you should take time to re-establish positive relationships with new subordinates.
There's another group of people you should immediately develop solid relationships with after getting a promotion. These are your key internal customers.
An internal customer is an internal stakeholder who you provide a service to. Examples include:
Colleagues in other departments
Chances are you have several key internal customers who can really help you succeed in your new role. These customers may be willing to help you if they feel you are helping them.
Perhaps an influential executive will mentor you if she sees that you are supporting her initiatives. A finance leader might help you make sense of your budget if you provide timely updates to your variance report. Or a production manager may be able to get some of your orders out faster if you work with your team to reduce the number of errors in shipping addresses.
Whoever these key internal customers are in your organization, it's important you do three things after you get promoted.
Identify your key internal customers
Identify what they need from you
Proactively build relationships with them
Creating strong relationships with these key people can speed up your learning curve and lend you a hand when you make a mistake. And believe me, all new leaders make mistakes.
Here's a short, <3 minute video that can walk you through this exercise and provides more examples of key internal customers.