Who is the customer? This seems like a question with an obvious answer. However, it is not as simple as it seems.
Of course, the customer is somebody who purchases a good or a service from you, but a customer can be more than just that.
I view a customer as someone we owe a duty or obligation to in an organizational context. You can have external customers, those we normally think of as customers, but you can also have internal customers who are people in your organization or subcontractors even that you provide goods or services too.
If you are a manager at a warehouse, perhaps your customer is the sales team and you need to keep them up to date on inventory challenges so they aren’t selling things that won’t be in stock.
Don’t just think of a customer as someone who buys something from you; it’s someone you owe a duty to and that person might be the person handing you their credit card or it might be the person sharing a table with you in the employee lounge.
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.