The word suki is a Filipino term which means "loyal customer." This so-called "market-exchange partnership" can be developed into an agreement where one can be a regular customer and supplier.
The suki system is a system of patronage in which a customer regularly buys their merchandise from a certain client. In the merchandising business, Filipinos often buy from specific suppliers who will provide their customers reduced prices, good quality and credit as well. These factors are the usual components of becoming a "suki." The presence of trust and the development of friendship between the two parties is a vital aspect in the establishment of an economic exchange relationship. In some instances, regular patrons of restaurants, small neighborhood retail shops and tailoring shops receive special treatment in return for their patronage.
Customer satisfaction is essential to the survival of any business, small-scale or large-scale; and retailers know that satisfied customers are loyal customers. Consequently, retailers develop strategies to build relationships that result in customers returning to make more purchases. By responding to customer needs, business owners endeavor to meet or exceed customer expectations for their product or service. This increases the likelihood of gaining sukis.
The quality of after-sales service can also be a crucial factor in influencing any purchasing decision. In the current economic environment, businesses continuously strive not only for customer satisfaction, but for customer delight -- that extra bit of added value that may lead to increased customer loyalty. Any extra added value, however, will need to be carefully costed.
Usually, favors are returned or extended to both patron and clients. For example, this reciprocal arrangement typically involves the patron providing a means of earning a living or help, protection, and influence. The client in turn provides labor and personal favors, ranging from household tasks to political support. These relationships often evolve into ritual kinship ties, as the tenant or worker may ask the landlord to be a child's godparent. Similarly, when favors are extended, they tend to bind patron and client together in a network of mutual obligation or a long-term interdependency.