What is a Customer Market?

H. Bliss

"Customer market" is a term for the portion of available customers who currently patronize a business, usually for a product or service. Most frequently used in business marketing, it can sometimes be called the market or customer base for a business. This group of customers can grow and shrink due to changes in the business environment. Maintaining a stable or growing market ultimately depends on keeping the existing paying customers of the business happy.

Businesses are able to turn the non-paying market segment into part of their customer market by marketing efforts using radio spots, online advertisements, and print materials, like newspaper circulars.
Businesses are able to turn the non-paying market segment into part of their customer market by marketing efforts using radio spots, online advertisements, and print materials, like newspaper circulars.

Paying consumers choose where they shop and what products they purchase for a variety of reasons. There are many types of customers in a customer market, including loyal customers, customers who shop at a discount, customers who buy things for fun, and those who shop to browse. A customer base can also include employees who use the product or service they make, as well as indirect customers who use the product or service although someone else purchased it at the store.

Grocery stores are just one example of retail businesses that require a loyal customers base to make up their sustainable customer market.
Grocery stores are just one example of retail businesses that require a loyal customers base to make up their sustainable customer market.

An important part of maintaining the customer base is good customer service. As good deeds carry a business by word of mouth, word of bad customer service spreads quickly. Because each customer usually has a circle of friends and family who are either customers or potential customers, a bad customer experience has a greater impact on the potential customer base of a business than the loss of one person alone. By training associates at a customer call center to handle complaints well, a business cannot only achieve effective customer retention, but can also grow through increased loyalty and customer recommendations as a result.

Customer service surveys are a tool that businesses use to keep their customers happy and a part of their customer market.
Customer service surveys are a tool that businesses use to keep their customers happy and a part of their customer market.

Customer marketing is designed to help a business understand customer complaints by tuning in to the voice of the consumer. Businesses often give surveys to their clients to get feedback that gives them a clearer understanding of how they think. Keeping in tune with the desires, complaints and experiences relayed by customers helps a business better streamline the consumer experience.

Instilling loyalty in customers is helped through good customer service.
Instilling loyalty in customers is helped through good customer service.

Growing a customer base means tapping into some of the non-customer market. This non-paying market segment is the portion of available consumers who do not currently use a product or service. Non-customers can be reached in many ways, including advertising online, in print, and on the radio and offering low prices to introduce the business. The definition for non-customer used in this sense differs from that used in retail store management. In retail, a non-customer is sometimes used negatively to describe an unprofitable patron who may steal, sample without the intent of buying, or demand goods or services at an unreasonably low price.

With a customer call center to handle complaints, a business can retain customers and create customer loyalty.
With a customer call center to handle complaints, a business can retain customers and create customer loyalty.

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Discussion Comments

comfyshoes

@Latte31 - I just wanted to say that this toy store always asks me for my phone number along with my reward card every time I get to the register. They did send me a lot of coupons and I saved a lot around Christmas time because the more you spend the more coupons they send you.

I really don’t mind giving them my information because I do a lot of shopping there throughout the year, but I don’t like it when I go to a retail store that I rarely shop and I start getting asked for all of my contact information. I just tell them that I am not interested, but it is annoying.

latte31

I know that companies often create tracking programs in order to conduct custom market research. When you go into a store the clerk may ask you for your email and zip code or may even ask you to fill out a rewards card that offers you discounts on current and future purchases.

The companies then use this information to create a segmentation market strategy and determine the spending patterns of their current customers. With this information, for example, a grocery store can track the percentage of customers that buy items on sale, the percentage that use coupons, and the percentage that pay full price.

They also can use this data to form a customer relationship marketing strategy and send you targeted coupons that will work based on your purchasing habits. Sometimes this even happens at the end of your order.

My grocery store prints coupons related to your purchases in back of your receipt so that you will come back and use the coupons on your next purchase.

I always try to use the coupons when I remember.

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