consumer, so it is said, is the king...each is a voter who uses his money as
votes to get the things done that he wants done. Paul A. Samuelson
are the people or groups for whom the organization ultimately produces products
or services. We define customers as those who have the choice as to which
products or services will be used, but they are not necessarily the ones who
actually use the products or services themselves. For example, a terminally ill person going into a hospice may
well have the choice of hospice made for them by their relatives. The hospice
may thus consider the relatives as the customer since
they are exercising the choice and could, if dissatisfied, remove the patient.
terms. Depending on the industry or profession, other terms to
'customer' may be used, e.g. client, patron, patient, user, audience,
member, parishioner, passenger, student, consumer, etc.
the customer. Customers
may deal directly with the organization - as diners in a restaurant; or
indirectly as consumers - as when homeowners buy furniture from a store.
However, the furniture manufacturer still thinks of the homeowner as a
customer whom they must satisfy, even though they have no direct contact with
them. Consumers may not be directly or even indirectly
customers, for example an out-of-town motorist using the roads maintained by a city
council; viewers watching a television programme paid for by advertisers; or
users of equipment or services paid for by an employer.
does the customer want? The
Church of England commissioned a survey to find out what its 'customers' wanted
from their church and priests. However,
one senior Archdeacon remarked, "It is not for so-called customers to
decide what they want". In a sense
this is very true. The public would never
have suggested that hula-hoops, thick cumbersome
platform soles on shoes, or the use of off-road vehicles for the school run were
what they really wanted!
want good value products and services which do what they are supposed to, are safe and easy
to use, delivered at a convenient time and place, with prompt and courteous
service, followed by competent and reliable support. >>>