The term internal customer is used for the employees or members of an organization. The basic concept remains same for commercial as well as non-commercial organizations.
The term customer is for employees working for an enterprise to emphasize two important fact of organizational working.
- It is necessary to motivate the employees to behave in appropriate ways for the organizational success. Just as we need to convince (external) customers about the benefits of buying company's goods and services, we also need to convince internal customers about the benefits of adopting appropriate approach and behavior in their work in organization.
- Marketing efforts of an organization are most successful when directed towards internal customers also in addition to the external customers.
Associated with the concept of internal customers is the concept of three types of marketing - external marketing, internal marketing, and interactive marketing.
External marketing is the traditional marketing, which includes all the communications of the company directed towards the customers. Internal marketing includes all the communication of the company directed towards the employee to make them more customer centric. Interactive marketing includes all the interactions of the employees of the company with the customer. These interaction typically take place during the process of delivering goods and services to the customer.
The concept of internal customers ad these three types of marketing has much greater relevance for organizations providing services rather than goods. This happens because there is much greater interaction between customers and employees of a service organization as compared to a manufacturing organization selling goods. Also the employees of service companies play a significant role in customers buying behavior. Thus interactive marketing has more impact on sales of service organization.
Non-commercial organization are mostly service organization. manufacturing organizations operating on a non-commercial basis. However there can be some non commercial manufacturing organizations. For example, there are many ordnance factories in India, which are engaged in manufacturing and supplying different types of goods to Defence Services.
Effective management and control of internal customers has the similar impact on the success of an organization that a good human resources management system has. I would go to the extent of saying that internal customers is another name for the human resources of a company that emphasise the need to adopt a marketing approach towards the members within an organization also.