How to be A Good Customer
There are many definitions for a good customer. However, it is important to realise the definition which actually works for us as people - buying what we need and not getting too much dragged into unnecessary shopping.
A “good customer” from the perspective of retailers and companies is a consumer who is not only a frequent visitor but also a frequent purchaser. According to experts on Business Law Ethics, a “good customer” from the ethical perspective is one who is conscious about the environment and its surroundings.The customers contribute to the well being of their community and never try by their purchases to harm other stakeholders.
From the angle of most governments, a good customer is meant to be a person who pays their bills and taxes, and follows the laws regarding the transactions they are involved in.
These perspectives discuss the responsibilities a good customer has towards others. Some companies try to provide protection for customers in general, but none of them provide sincere and specific guidelines for customers to be "good”.
What then, should the term good customer mean? If the viewpoint of the aforementioned perspectives is considered valid, it would mean that customers do not posses character or personality and that they need an authoritative source to tell them the difference between right and wrong.
This master-follower theory is present in many forms and places and the notion of the “purchasing power of customers” is a myth. Customers see what others – opinion leaders – do and imitate them. Customers who really have purchasing powers are opinion leaders, and they only have it in certain areas.
So, should opinion leaders be role models for ordinary customers, or should they be considered good customers? Indeed, opinion leaders can be the kind of customers who are innovative and look for novelty all the time; they can be free to some extent from any boundaries and they are trusted.
However, they are not opinion leaders in all the categories of products they buy; they can be considered opinion leaders in the case of one product and followers in others. Moreover, opinion leaders are used by marketers to market a certain product; they are sometimes paid to purchase a certain product so others can emulate their purchasing behavior using people’s trust.
Therefore, for customers to be good, they need to disassociate themselves from any perspective; they need to be free from others' opinions and reflect their choices on their own needs and wants.
Basing one’s needs and purchasing behaviors on others strengthens the master-follower theory, which means a customer can buy products based on an impressive advertisement they saw on television or can consider themselves good customers as long as they pay their taxes.
To be sincerely a good customer, you need to be honest with yourself, which means developing a purchasing pattern that suits your own lifestyle, your own needs, and your own perspectives. As humans, we should not wait for other perspectives to give us a meaning for the term good customer – as it should be derived from ourselves.