A customer is technically defined as anyone who makes a purchase of a product, or someone who avails the services of a business provider. In a general sense, a customer may be anyone who is offered service and any form of assistance to address specific needs and preferences.
In a business sense, a customer is the ultimate reason that a business is established. Every product or service that a business organization prepares is intended for the customers with a purpose of generating profit or revenue and making the business grow financially.
There are many different types of customers in various categories. Generally, two major types of customers in a business setting are the internal and external customers. Customers may also be categorized based on response or reaction toward the business.
Types of Customers by Source
Internal customers refer to the employees of an organization or company. Being the customers within the workplace, the company owner and management is responsible for addressing their needs and attending to their concerns so that, in turn, they will manifest good service to the external customers. Every working individual who is employed in a certain company is considered an internal customer of the business.
It is important that the relationship of these customers with each other inside the workplace is harmonious, professional, and healthy as this reflects the kind of treatment given to the external customers. So, a company must try to evaluate the satisfaction level of its employees being the internal customers. If they do not feel valued inside the organization, there is a tendency that they will also not make the clients or external customers feel valued.
The external customers are the people who take advantage of the company’s products or services. They are the buyers and the main revenue contributors. As such, they must have the best treatment. Aside from the buying public, anyone who makes transactions with the business is considered an external customer.
An example would be the suppliers that deal with the distribution and delivery of goods, items, and materials needed for the business operations. Clients in a BPO industry are also examples of external customers.
Types of Customers by Response or Reaction
In this category, the types of customers are divided into two primary elements in the matrix: satisfied/dissatisfied and open/hidden.
a. Satisfied – Open
They are called the “praisers.” They are vocal and open about the wonderful service they received. In fact, they make it a point to let the higher management know how satisfied they with the treatment they got and they recognize the efforts of the employee.
b. Satisfied – Hidden
They are happy with the service but they do not verbally express it. Instead of putting it into words, they just keep coming back and continue to do business over and over as a way of showing that they are satisfied with the service. The nice thing about these satisfied customers, whether vocal or silent, is that they spread the experience to friends and other people and persuade them to try the service as well, which only means more customers for the business.
c. Dissatisfied – Talkers
Similar to the expressive satisfied customers, these buyers or service users are unhappy about the service provided in a vocal manner. They make sure that the management knows about their complaints. They openly reprimand employees who do not treat them well.
d. Dissatisfied – Walkers
This type of customers are probably the scariest to deal with because they simply walk away and bring their business somewhere else without warning when they do not receive good service.
Dealing with Various Types of Customers
It is ideal to provide the best possible treatment and service to every customer, regardless of the type of personality or buying behavior there is. A business must manifest consistency in delivering quality customer service to just about any type of customer. It is equally important to remember that this quality customer service must start from within the business so the nice treatment that the employees are getting is exhibited as well when dealing with the external customers. Any kind of business that places high value on both its internal and external customers is guaranteed success and growth.