A few months ago on LinkedIn I decided to put a topic up for discussion in The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) official group. The topic was simply this. What is a customer? Curious? I sure was as I wanted to know what other marketing professionals thought of my question and what their responses would be.
I said a customer can be described in the acronym I created below:
Considers things before making a decision in regards to a product or service
Understands the product or service provided
Searches for the best deal a business can provide them
Takes in information given
Offers suggestions and feedback on the service received
Makes clear and precise decisions on a product or service
Evaluates the service they receive
Realises the product or service they need
From looking at the responses I received in the group, there was one that really resonated with me. It was this one:
“Customers are the difference between a viable business and a idea. It is by anticipating and satisfying their needs that we generate revenue and profit. While the goal is to maximize profits, this can only come from attracting customers and persuading them to exchange their cash for our goods and services”. (Kendell L. Garcia, Commercial Vehicle Sales; Toyota Trinidad and Tobago).
I agree with Mr Garcia but to add to this, and to the thoughts of fellow marketers who participated in the group discussion and even to the acronym I created; a customer is the lifeblood of a company. They are the ones who pump the blood that goes to the heart of the business. Without them, a business cannot survive.