How are External And Internal Customers Different?
What is the Internal Customer?
Internal customers have continuous and constant interaction with the company; The clearest example of this type of client is employees or the workforce. Any employee who is part of the company is an internal customer.
What is the External Customer?
External customers are not within the company and do not belong to the organization but have a professional, commercial or social link with the company.
Differences Between Internal and External Customer
The differences between internal and external customers are fundamental because they configure a customer profile that you want to communicate with and attract for different purposes.
It is a vital difference between internal and external customers. As mentioned, every internal client belongs to the company, has a solid bond, whether formal or moral; for example, an employee has a legal contract that makes him part of the company or an investor has a traditional and ethical commitment to the business.
Meanwhile, an external customer does not belong to the organization; he has links and interacts with the business but is not part of it. For example, a reporter covering the financial source has a relationship with a company to request an interview or gather information but is not a company member.
Internal customers fulfil a direct function within the organization; They are responsible for operating the business and running the supply chain. They are part of the internal processes of the company.
In contrast, external clients are not responsible for the company’s operation; they receive the results of said operation.
Internal customers are within a company or are part of its structure or organizational chart; therefore, they have a permanent presence in the business.
It is evident that external customers are outside the company and its organizational chart, so they tend to be temporary or occasional, even if they have had an ongoing relationship with the organization.
Internal customers have more significant interaction with the company. It could be said that they are exchanging actions, data and information; there is a constant flow between them and the organization.
On the contrary, interaction with external clients is variable; with some, it will be scarce, and with others, constant, but it can be modified according to contexts or seasons.
Internal clients have processes configured by the company that is aligned with the search for optimal work environments, while external methods are implemented without the participation of external customers.
Internal customers have more information about the company since they live it from within; it could say that they know the entrails of the business; instead, external customers see the surface, what the company itself wants them to know.
Type of Consumption
All customers consume different aspects of an organization: internal customers consume environments, flows, and relationships, while external customers consume knowledge, information, products or services.
Tips to Satisfy the Internal Customer
Create An Internal Communication Plan
If possible, develop an internal communication team or a department in charge of this activity whose vision is that all the areas and teams within your organization are your clients.
Create Collaborative Environments
Focus on generating optimal, healthy and safe work environments that help you promote collaboration between work teams. Today you have many tools and technologies to link your employees and guide them toward your business goals.
Motivate them And Encourage their Belonging
It would help keep your collaborators motivated, Recognize their work and make them a fundamental part of the company. It communicates how important each position or role represents to fulfilling the organization’s objectives.
Tips to Satisfy the External Customer
Generate Differentiated Strategies
External customers are more diverse in their profiles. Remember that these are not only individuals but other groups that are not looking for your products or services. For this, you need to generate differentiated communication strategies to meet the needs of each group.
All efforts you make to communicate and spread your organization’s messages must be honest and transparent, with the right tone based on your brand voice and maintaining the authenticity of your company. Any false information, deception or cover-up will severely damage the image of your company.
Develop Specialized Care Teams
The care, service, support, generation of information, training and also, education of external customers require specialization. A good practice is developing teams with deep knowledge to serve external customers.
An internal customer is defined as a client who works in the group and also, does not pay for using the company’s product or service.