Not Your Customer

August 18, 2008

The Sales team is not your customer. Customer Support is not your customer. Finance and Accounting aren’t your customer, either. The other Marketing teams? Nope, not your customer. The Enablement teams, the developers, other business units, the senior executives…not your customer.

The only way you have an “internal customer” is if you have a tapeworm with a credit card. Unlikely. People who talk a lot about “internal customers” are generally scared to death of the external ones.

Your customer pays you money in some fashion. It’s a market-based transaction with free will on both sides. If the customer isn’t happy with the value you provide they go elsewhere. Then you go find a customer you can satisfy so you can get paid.

If you think about the customer as the person who pays you money, you’ll do things differently than most of corporate America. You won’t think of Sales, Customer Support, Finance, Accounting or anyone else as “internal customers.” You’ll think of them as teammates. You’ll start working together to serve the customer. You know, the one who pays you money.

Thanks to Neil T for the photo


2 Responses to “Not Your Customer”

  1. […] had some good offline & Twitter responses to my Not Your Customer post a couple weeks back. Some people got was I was saying, some didn’t. To summarize, I was […]

  2. […] a Regulator, Your Regulatee Is Not Your Customer January 12, 2009 I’ve blogged time and again about the danger of using the popular oversimplification “internal customer.” […]

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