BCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1177 times:
Dictionary definitions do not really help to clarify the difference between the two words, although they do highlight one or two specific meanings for each. The Collins English Dictionary gives the following for "customer":
Quote: "1. a person who buys 2. Informal. a person with whom one has dealings: a queer customer".
For "client", it gives:
"1. a person, company, etc., that seeks the advice of a professional man or woman. 2. a customer. 3. (in the US) a person who is receiving aid from a welfare agency
Therefore if you purchase a goods (like in a shop) or use a company's services (like the telephone/gas/electricty etc) you are a customer but if you engage the services of someone like a doctor, an accountant or (heavens forbid) a lawyer you are a client. But what about companies who provide a service as well as selling a product - e.g. banks? The preference in these politically correct days is for the word 'customer' hence you have 'customer service teams'.
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Airlinelover From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 5580 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1131 times:
Let's not forget one of the biggest mistakes that companies make.. Customers are -NOT- "guests". Target, wal-mart, sams club etc call their customers "Guests"... 99% of the people that go into these stores I can say I would not invite into my home.. Guests are what stay at hotels. Guests are those who are invited into your home.
Let's make a list..
Grocery stores, pharmacies, retailers have CUSTOMERS
Lawyers, accountants have CLIENTS
Doctors have PATIENTS
Airlines, rail have PASSENGERS
Hotels have GUESTS..
Care to add to the list??
Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
Quoting BCAL (Reply 1): Therefore if you purchase a goods (like in a shop) or use a company's services (like the telephone/gas/electricty etc) you are a customer but if you engage the services of someone like a doctor, an accountant or (heavens forbid) a lawyer you are a client. But what about companies who provide a service as well as selling a product - e.g. banks? The preference in these politically correct days is for the word 'customer' hence you have 'customer service teams'.
Customer: Someone that buys a product (normally physical object such as a keyboard, vase, coffee mug etc, but also non physical such as software, electricity etc)
Client: Someone who buys a service. Eg gardening, car cleaning, business consulting, tech support.
ScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1081 times:
In my mind a client is someone with whom you have a partnership. When I was a consultant I had clients, not customers.
I consider myself to be a customer at the grocery store or at the mall. I don't want to work with the shop - I just want to buy my stuff and get out of there.
Client seems to have an element of repetitiveness - you see your hairdresser often. Customer may, but often does not.
When we have open house at the curling club, I refer to people who come in to try it as 'guests'. Yes, they're paying $10 for a lesson and game, but we are a private club and so anybody coming in is a guest to me. It also sounds kinder to refer to people trying curling as 'guests'. I run the open houses and when I refer to someone visiting us that is the word I use. I don't feel embarassed by that term if someone overhears me.
PanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9170 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1076 times:
You are always a customer, regardless with whom you deal. As long as it is YOUR money you pay them with.That goes for the grocery store to the airline and the doctor, who runs a business as anybody else.
academic professions have clients, except doctors, who have patiemts but that is probably because you have to be patient, when you are a customer of a doctor.
A gardener however, never has a client, he always has customers.
Hotels treat their customers as guests (at least they should) and airlines call them passengers as well.
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