Lesson 2 – Who Are Your Customers?

Who Are Your Customers?

For many of us, customers are easy to identify. They are the individuals who purchase something from us, or we provide a service to them in some way.  But some people will say, “I do not work directly with customers.” Before you accept this idea, I suggest taking a closer look at who your customers are.

In most organisations and companies, customers take two forms: internal and external.

Internal customers are those people, departments, or agencies served by what we do. The only person who might have no internal customers is the individual who works completely alone. For the rest of us, internal customers are a fact of life. A word processing clerk or copy centre worker within an organisation serves other workers’ needs for documents.

As individuals, we all have at least one internal customer: our employer. We may also have internal customers in the form of colleagues we supervise. They rely on us to meet their needs.

External customers are those individuals, departments or tenants who are the end users of our organisation’s products or services. This is, of course, the traditional use of the term customer.

What do people want? Well, at the simplest level, our customers have some basic needs.

  • They want to be understood.
  • They want to feel welcome.
  • They want to feel important.
  • They want to feel comfortable.