2.1 - Describe the difference between internal and external customers

Internal Customers

An internal customer can be anyone within an organisation. It could be another department, another kitchen or even a co-worker.

Many departments deal with customers within an organisation. For example, the Marketing department of a company creates materials that are used by areas of the same company.

The people using the marketing are the customers of the Marketing department.

Just as external customers are important to an organisation for its success, the internal customers must also be kept happy for the well-being of the organisation.

High customer satisfaction is as important for internal customers as it is for external customers.

The difference is that internal customers don’t have a choice. If the work of a particular department isn’t acceptable by another department, they can’t simply fire the department and look for another to finish the task.

For a successful internal customer service, all departments must be able to work together productively and co-exist peacefully, to meet common goals, which will lead to better quality products and service for external customers.


External Customers

An external customer is one who isn’t a part of an organisation. They are one who receives a service or product from the organisation.


They are the ones who pay for a service or product and can make or break an organisation. If we lose them because of bad service, the business loses income.


They have a choice and influence over whether they buy from the company or not.