Knowing your Customers - Who are the Customers?
Market research helps firms understand a little more about the kind of customers they have and how they can be reached out to. © iStock.com
A customer for a business is anyone willing to pay a price to acquire a good or service from a business. You might recognise customers as people milling around the supermarket but you might not think about them in the same way that a business might.
Customers, however, are much more than people you see in shops. Some firms will never meet their customers face to face. Some customers are not individuals but other businesses or organisations. The government can be a customer. Are you a customer to your school or college?
Some customers have many different wants and needs - some simple and some very complex. For example, when you go into a McDonald's, what your needs are tends to be fairly straightforward - you want your food quickly, of reasonable quality, and cheap.
A chemical company might have a customer that requires highly volatile chemical substances. They might want particular delivery dates, specific times of delivery, specific types of packaging, detailed advice and instruction manuals for use and care of the chemicals and the products made to very high quality specifications!
The information provided so far has made it clear that there are many different types of customers.
Get hold of a Yellow Pages or a Thomsons Local Directory for your area. Identify 20 different businesses and then write down what type of customers these businesses might have. We have done an example for you below:
|Type of business||Customers|
|Chimney sweep||Local households - families|
|Glass supplier||Shops, domestic households, churches, office buildings, greenhouse manufacturers|