Who is your customer?
That question can elicit many different responses from employees on all levels within an organization. And we believe that lack of consensus leads to confusion, challenges with collaboration, and missed opportunities for achieving ultimate customer service.
NEWS FLASH >>>> Your company only has ONE customer.
We don't agree with internal/external customers, and it is discussed in length in, Why Managing Sucks. Here's why.
Every organization is serving ONE customer. And every organization needs to make clear who the one customer is. Everyone else is a resource or a partner to help you please the ultimate customer.
If you are my internal 'customer', I work to please you, even if you may be doing something that's a waste of time and not going to make any measurable or positive impact on the ultimate customer of the organization. I pleased you, right? So that's all I think about. Now if everyone is focused on ONE customer, then the system becomes self-correcting. I align my behavior and hold everyone else accountable to making sure all activities are the best use of time to serve the ultimate customer.
Bottom line? One customer that everyone focuses on and serves. Everyone and everything else? A resource or partner.
What do you think? We'd love to read about your own experiences with defining who the customer is, in the comments below!