Lean Six Sigma
Internal and External Customers
The most imperative part of a business or organization is the customers. After all, without customer interest and investment, a business simply wouldn’t thrive. Having a good relationship with customers is part of the ongoing circle of providing products, goods, or services in return for profit, which in turn becomes the resource for success.
Generally speaking, customers are people who are outside the organization. But this is not always the case. Sometimes customers can be internal people. Lean Six Sigma has ways to identify which customer is which, and what impact the difference has on a business.
These customers are people who are everyday consumers and towards whom marketing strategies are targeted. Depending on the type of business or organization in question, external customers are visitors to a hotel, diners at a restaurant, or buyers in a store.
Ultimately, external customers are the revenue raisers who bring profit. It is important for businesses to keep external customers happy and satisfied, as this is where the primary source of income is. This is why customer feedback and satisfaction is a vital aspect of running a business.
Another type of customer, internal customers have a less obvious important role in a business, but one that is important nonetheless. Internal customers exist within the company in the role of shareholders, stakeholders, managers, or general employees to name a few.
Internal customers are just as important as external customers, but their needs are not always prioritised as they already have a vested interest in the company, whereas external customers have their needs and preferences placed on a pedestal. Nonetheless, pleasing internal customers is just as important through ways such as creating a positive workplace or turning over high amounts of revenue.
Lean Six Sigma acknowledges that pleasing both internal and external customers is part of business success. Therefore, it is an integral part of the program and philosophy to ensure the needs of all with a vested interest in the company are taken into consideration when making decisions.
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