Who Is Your Customer?

Life isn’t always what you think it is.

It might seem obvious that if I am shopping in a grocery store that I am the customer. It might be equally as obvious that if I am developing an enterprise software system that the management of the company is the customer. But the obvious might not be true.

If I am following a grocery list that my wife has given me, then my wife is the customer, even if I am the person paying. A shopper could also be shopping for a specific list of requests for a birthday party. In that case one of their kids are the customers.

With enterprise software: it could be that the CEO who has heard something from one of their connections, or that a single Director is for, or against, the software. The true customer isn’t the management who might be responsible for the results of the software. The true customer is someone else.

Even though the customer might not be the obvious person, you still have to solve the customer’s problem. The CEO might feel that a colleague or competitor has become more stable because of the software. Or my wife might need very specific ingredients for a recipe. In both cases your offering can solve the problem, but you have to make sure that both the newly identified customer, and the person who is making the purchase (myself at the grocery store) are on board with the purchase.

Find your customer. Define what their real problem is(ask them.) Offer and deliver a solution.

That is business.