Friday, December 7, 2012

Who are your customers?

Who are your customers?

It may be obvious to you, but is it really?

I have previously noted that there is a big understanding regarding who Google's customers are. Hint: if you're performing a Google search, you are NOT one of Google's customers.

InformationWeek recently made that point in another area. Two recent columns - one from Chris Murphy, and a second from Rob Preston - encouraged company Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to get to know their customers. Since M comes before P, I'll let Chris Murphy explain what they're talking about:

So here's what I propose for 2013: Make IT measurably more relevant to your customers. I'm talking about end customers, the people or companies that buy our stuff -- not IT's internal customers, a.k.a. employees.

In actuality, it's more complicated than that.

Are Google's customers its advertisers, or the people who use its services? Yes.

Are IT's customers the company's employees, or the people who buy the company's products? Yes.

Perhaps you can come up with a fancy name like "stakeholders" to cover all the different types of people impacted by your work, but at the end of the day, you have to pay attention to all of their needs.

So ask yourself - who are your customers?
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