My team and I develop software that our customers will use to interact with their customers. Additionally, we also eat our own dogfood and use the software ourselves to interact with our customers.
Therefore, it can sometimes be difficult to explain use cases and scenarios, as our employees can be operators, our customers can be operators, and our customers' customers can be visitors.
However, our customers can also be visitors interacting with our operator employees, our customers' customers can be visitors interacting with our customer or our employee.
Here is a model where:
A is an employee B is a customer C is our customers' customer X interacts with Y Operator --> Visitor A --> B A --> C B --> C
Because sometimes our customers can play different roles, it's sometimes necessary to refer to the specific role, Operator or Visitor, instead of Employee and Customer.
It's also a mouthful to say "customer's customer" all the time.
I was wondering how other development shops handle these semantic details when writing their use cases and scenarios.
- Are there any one-word, generic terms that can apply to any product that involves a third-level actor?
- Other than using the specific roles, Operator and Visitor, what words could be used to identify a customer of a customer?
The word would need to be short enough as to be adopted within an organization. If longer than a couple syllables, it's shortened form must still differentiate it from the other actors.