"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.
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.
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 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.
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.