Customers vs. Users

Adaptive Path:

“Customer” is a status someone receives by virtue of having conducted a transaction with you. “User” means something more—a direct engagement with your product or service in a concrete and meaningful way. If anything, “customer” is the abstraction here…

You say that you don’t want to be thought of as a user. But you should. Because a user is the person to whom value must be delivered. A customer is simply the person from whom money must be acquired. Which one is more dehumanizing? Besides, we already had an era in which organizations focused on their customers—it was called the 20th Century. Look where that got us: a world full of products and services that collectively grind at us in order to shape our behavior to their requirements.

October 19, 2012