Expanding Thinking – Who is the Customer
Depending on the sector and type of organisation in which you work, your 'customer' could be the client, patient, the end-user, a 'real' paying customer, a member of a network or society, a citizen, a resident, pressure groups, a student or pupil, or regulatory or statutory groups. There can be a problem for those operating outside the commercial world simply because some dislike the idea that they are selling their services or memberships to their users, members or associates. For those who don't quite get the concept of applying research in customer relations to their organisation, they should think of those who use their services as stakeholders.
The term Stakeholders encompasses customers, clients, citizens, users, donors, recipients, suppliers, regularity bodies, and we should validate their role because we cannot exist without their support. These are the variety of people or organisations we influence or receive something of value from us, including internal customers. It may be valuable to develop strategies that can be instantly applied equally to all customers by your vision, mission and market segment.
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