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Know Your Customer

Learn how to know your customer so you can meet their expectations.
Do you know who your customers are?

In this article, you will learn how to know your customer.

Who is our customer? The first thing that comes to mind is the person who pays for the end product or service we provide. Yes, and we would describe this as the external customer!

Know Your Customer

Good, however, what about the internal customer?

This is the person/persons or department that is next in line to receive your product or service. Remember, we are not just discussing manufacturing environments, we also include services providers, office environments, training establishments, etc.

When you carry out your daily task and pass it on to the next part of the process, you become a supplier, and the person receiving is your customer. Like any customer, they will have expectations that you must achieve, otherwise, you will have a dissatisfied customer. Alternatively, the next person in the process may be pretty accepting of whatever you give them, however, they need to ‘fix’ the problem you have given them, so they can pass it onto the next stage of the process and satisfy their own ‘internal customer’, but this ‘fix’ takes time, they are now rushing to complete their own task in the allotted time, they also make mistakes and pass them on and so on.

It becomes a snowball effect which results in the external customer receiving the poor product, then making complaints to the company, potentially affecting their reputation and future business, not to mention the added cost of route cause investigation and rework, having to make the product again etc etc. If we recognise ourselves as the internal supplier » customer and we ensure we meet their requirements ALL of the time, we should reduce if not eliminate external customer complaints resulting in good reputation, business longevity, profitability, and job security. Therefore with support, good communication, training, and development from the organisational management, this goal is more than achievable.

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Introduction to Business Improvement: Lean Six Sigma, Kaizen, and Problem Solving

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