Let’s stop calling them customers

Customers. It’s such a horrible word, such an unhelpful catchall.

Given their importance to any enterprise, it’s a wonder the word hasn’t been outlawed.

It dehumanises people. It presumes there’s no difference if young or old, girl or boy, black or white, fat or thin, brown or yellow, rich or poor, dumb or smart. Everyone is a customer as long as they buy something.

A better word would be people to remind us they’re human. A smarter word would be audience so we remember we have to delight them as part of the transaction. (Today the competition is for attention and the latest Hollywood diversion just a swipe away on our phones. Every story is a screen story.)

Better yet let’s call them by their ever changing roles. A mother who flies overseas becomes a passenger then a traveller then (depending on her itinerary) anything from an adventurer to a guest to a visitor to a swimmer to a shopper to a patron and more. So much more than just a customer.

Creating contextual personas helps us to better empathise and better understand their individual attitudes, motivations and behaviours.

Imagine being able to connect our story on an individual level, on a personable level. How incredible would that be? How mind blowing would that be?

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