Tuesday, 15 September 2015

I am delighted to start a series of articles on customer service on this blog. In this article today,  we shall be looking at the different definitions of customer and  type of customers. The understanding of this basics  will enhance any organization customer service delivery programmes.


       From   business   point   of view, a
customer is a person or an organization who buys or patronize our offerings, either tangible products or intangible services.
A customer (sometimes known as a client, buyer, or purchaser)   is the recipient  of a good, service, product, or idea,  obtained from a seller, vendor,  or supplier for a monetary or other valuable consideration – Wikipedia online.
From the marketing point of view, a customer is a person or organization that a marketer believes will benefit from the goods and services offered by the marketer’s organization. This definition suggests,  a customer is not necessarily  someone who is currently purchasing from the marketer but the totality of people who will have need for the products and services.
Business organizations have two major offerings- products and services and the person or organizations that buys these products and services are the customers. The main criteria of becoming a customer is the need for the product or service offered, the economic power and authority to make purchase.


Generally speaking, customers can be broadly divided into two; internal and external.  Internal are members of staff, suppliers and those who do business with the firm other than buying or purchase  the products or services but contributes toward the services provided to external customer. The internal customers are very critical in the production of goods and services and also in the delivery of the products and services

The external customers are those who buy the products and services and not in anyway involved in the production process.  This group are the user of the products and services. External customer fall into one of the following customer groups :

Existing/current customers – as the word implies,  these are customers that have/are  currently purchasing the products or services.  This group of customers are the most important because of the current relationship they have with the business, current  customers represent the best market for future sales and provide hope for the survival of the business. Getting current customers to come back and make repeat purchase is more significantly less expensive and time consuming than finding new customers. To retain these group of customers is to consistently deliver excellent products and services and always meet their expectations.

Former customers –  this group of customers consists of customers who have formerly patronized the business in the past but no longer do so due to some reasons,  one major reason most existing customers become former customer is as a result of their  expectations not being met. Former customer may now be patronizing the competitors as a result of your failure to meet their expectations. It will be more difficult and expensive to persuade them to come back compared to an existing customer. Customer retention strategies must be adopted to stem the trend.

Potential customers –  these customers includes those who are yet to make purchase but possess what it takes to become a customer. These group of customers are the group that marketing and promotion activities should be directed at to make them see the need to   make purchase   and   become a customer.

The importance of customers to any  business organization cannot be over emphasized. Without the customers there is no hope of success and expansion for the business.  All businesses must work very hard to find, retain, and satisfy their  customers through provision of quality products and services and above exceed the customers expectations on a continuous basis.

…to be continued.

Watch out for the concluding part of this series on thebrandradioblog and tips on marketing during tough and down times.

Olaoluwa Joseph is a seasoned hospitality manager and a professional chef. He loves flower gardening, wellness and writing.

Contributed by: Olaoluwa Joseph (Columnist)

Edited by: Jimmy Adesanya

Posted by: thebrandradioblog.

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