cumulus
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Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:26 am

Airlines, Shops, Taxi Drivers, etc have Customers and Estate Agents, Hairdressers and Prostitutes have Clients - what's the difference?
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BCAL
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RE: Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:52 am

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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BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:57 am

In the travel business, we prefer "punters" !  Wink
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wunala
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RE: Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:13 pm

Clients are strategic partners. Customers are not.

Customers spend small amounts often.

Clients spend big amounts sometimes.
 
airlinelover
Posts: 5287
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RE: Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:56 pm

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??
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nighthawk
Posts: 4789
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 2:33 am

RE: Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:08 pm



Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 2):
In the travel business, we prefer "punters" !

i thought you prefered "bums on seats"?

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'.

Close. IMHO

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.
 
cumulus
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Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:39 pm

RE: Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:08 pm



Quoting Wunala (Reply 3):
Customers spend small amounts often.

So Ferrari has no customers?!
What Goes Up Must Come Down, Hopefully In One Piece!
 
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nighthawk
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RE: Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:07 pm



Quoting Cumulus (Reply 6):
So Ferrari has no customers?!

neither does airbus!
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:13 pm

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.
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PanHAM
Posts: 8538
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: Clients Or Customers - The Difference?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:31 pm

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.

However,

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.
 Wink

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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