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Customers in any business, for the most part, do not just refer to those who enter a location or place of business or who place orders over the phone or online. Customers could include those who are striving to meet organizational objectives. They are the staff. Both internal and external employees, despite playing distinct functions, are crucial to guaranteeing business profitability. Anyone who uses an organization's services or goods but is not a client is considered an external customer. A retail store owner can define an external customer as anyone who enters the store to make a purchase. An internal customer refers to any employee of the organization relying on assistance from other workers to fill his/her duties. A sales representative, for instance, is considered an internal customer when he/she requires assistance from a customer service assistant for an order to be placed (Johlke, & Iyer, 2013).
It is through external customers that the success of any business is oriented since these customers provide a revenue stream by purchasing products that the business needs to survive. When services are satisfactory, external customers make repeated purchases while referring the business to other people. This not only helps in polishing a firm’s reputation but also increases the overall potential profits margin by increasing customer (internal or external) inflow. Many business owners have a penchant to focus on the relationship involving external customers since they are the ones frequently making purchases at the company. Since the need of external customers deem more vital than internal customers, involving and aiming to improve external customer relationships is therefore mandatory. External customers ensure high quality products are manufactured as they are the first testers of ‘products’. In parallel, external customers in the production line together with the performance management team in ensuring quality services and products are created and delivered to consumers.
Johlke, M. C., & Iyer, R. (2013). A model of retail job characteristics, employee role ambiguity, external customer mind-set, and sales performance. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 20(1), 58-67.
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