It’s really simple. If the employees at your company aren’t also your customers, then you’re doing something wrong.

Here’s an often heard story: Your friend gets a job flipping burgers at a nation-wide fast food chain. Upon actually working behind the scene at said establishment, your friend proclaims that he’ll never, ever, eat at said fast food chain again.

Replace fast food chain (McDonalds) with consumer electronics retailer (Best Buy), and you’ll get the same story.

“I’ll never eat at McDonalds!”

“I’ll never get my computer serviced at Best Buy!”

When that happens, you sir, have a problem.

Yes, in some cases it would be inappropriate for your employees to be your customers.

Fine.

But let’s say they can be your customers. In fact, they are your customers. Everything’s peachy.

What happens though, if you take away the employee discounts? Will your Bank of America tellers really bank with you? Will your installers actually buy that GM vehicle? Will your service representative actually fly on American Airline? Will your AOL retention consultants actually have an AOL account?

If, even with all those benefits and discounts, your employees still don’t use your service or products—still aren’t your customers, then you really, really have a problem.

Maybe they see the actual workmanship that goes into the products. Maybe they know what type of service they’ll really get. Maybe they don’t believe in the product. Maybe they know for a fact, that it’s inferior to a competitor’s. Shrug, maybe they’re just fickle.

Probably not.

Alright, if you’re high enough up on the chain, you probably don’t have a friend that flips burgers, so you probably never hear the complaints. Still, there’s a problem and you need to address it. Your employees aren’t your customers and the solution is quite simple.

You ask them why.

“Why aren’t you our client?”

If they ask why in return, tell them it’s because you want to know. Once you get the reasons, it will probably be a good idea to do something about them.

The lower you go down in the chain with your questioning, the more important the answers are. Seriously.

P.S. Let the response be anonymous, it’ll work better.