VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Customer Care/Who are your Customers?
WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?
We have already pointed out that customers are the people who receive a service from someone else. Two categories of customers can usually be identified:
- External Customers;
- Internal Customers.
These customers are the easiest to identify. They use the services provided by your organisation/agency.
- You may meet your customers when they come to your place of work or when you go out on tours with them.
- You may interact with them through the telephone, letters or emails.
Now you may complete activity 7.
External customers can be further divided into different categories:
- Existing customers – individuals or groups of people who have done business with your organisation/agency on previous occasions;
- New customers who have approached you/your organisation for the first time; they may be visitors using a different language;
- Different ages – your customers may be children, elderly people or any age group in between. Whatever their age, they are all customers and are entitled to a high standard of customer service.
- Different cultures – your customers may have a variety of cultural backgrounds which should be respected in your dealings with them;
- Gender – male and female customers should get equal treatment in most circumstances.
- Special needs – we will look at the ways in which we should consider the needs of those with visual, hearing or mobility impairments later in this Unit.
Internal customers You may be providing a service to people within your organisation/agency. They are also your customers. We do not always think of these people as customers. Do you always treat them as you would treat your external customers? You should!
Your internal customers may include:
- Colleagues – you may provide a service to the people with whom you work;
- Supervisors – you may provide a service to members of management;
Your customers may also be individuals or groups of people in other departments of your organisation/agency.
Complete activity 8.
Every time we receive a service from an organisation, as a customer, we develop an experience. We are left with feelings about the organisation that we deal with. What we are experiencing is the standard of customer service that is provided. You will agree that these experiences help us
- get into the shoes of the customers;
- appreciate our customers’ expectations, needs and feelings.
Our experiences could have been satisfactory, bad or exceptionally good! When our experiences were satisfactory,
- there was nothing wrong with the way that we were treated;
- the service was what we had expected;
- we didn’t get excited about the experience but there was nothing to complain about;
- we would, most likely, deal with the organisation again although we do not feel any particular loyalty to them.
When our experiences were bad, we
- did not like the way that we were treated;
- were not happy with the service or product that we paid for;
- felt angry;
- might complain;
- told other people about the bad experience;
- do not want to deal with the organisation again.
When our experiences were exceptionally good,
- we were delighted with the service that we received;
- the staff of the organisation went out of their way to meet our needs;
- we told other people about this really good experience;
- we want to deal with the organisation again when we need their services.
You will be able to identify situations when the customer service you received was just satisfactory, bad or exceptionally good. Now complete activity 9.
Now complete activity 10.
If you have a bad experience, remember what made it bad and avoid doing something similar to your customers.
When you are pleased about the standard of customer service that you received, see if there is something similar that you can do to please your customers