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What is the Difference Between a Client and a Customer? featured image

What is the Difference Between a Client and a Customer?

When you think of “customer” and “client”, do you think of the same thing? It’s not surprising if you do…but, they’re actually very different. According to the dictionary, a customer is a person who buys goods or services from a shop or business. However, a client is a person or organisation using the services of a professional person or company. Their definitions aren’t worlds apart, but in business, the two terms are often applied differently based on a variety of factors. 

So, what is the real difference between client and customer when it comes to business? 

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Who Is Loyal? 

When it comes to loyalty, there is a big difference between customers and clients. Although customers could shop with you more than once, they often lack loyalty to the company providing the goods or services. Establishments such as retailers, restaurants and service stations would be more likely to consider the people buying from them as customers. However, where products require personalisation and companies have to interact, the people purchasing these goods are more likely to be seen as clients. They build relationships with these people and become a relied upon service. 

Who Is Your Target Customer? 

A big difference between customers and clients is whether they are part of your target audience or not. For example, a customer might buy from you for someone else, making the person they’re buying for your end consumer (and who you’d want as a client). A businesses’ advertising strategy can also tell you a lot about who they are trying to attract. Offering price and value is often a way to reach new customers, whereas offering quality and effectiveness is a reach for consumers, who will hopefully turn into clients. 

Who Are You Promoting To? 

When a company is trying to attract new clients, it will often focus on showcasing its reputation and experience. For example, an insurance company might talk about how many years they’ve been in business for, rather than promoting their prices. Client-based rather than customer-based businesses want to attract prospective clients, who will eventually refer them to others. 

Customer or Client? 

The most important difference between customers and clients is that you want customers to turn into clients, not the other way around. To achieve this, companies have to work on building relationships with their customers so that they will become loyal to their business. Building these kinds of relationships takes time and perseverance, but if successful, the outcome is worth it. 

People are invaluable to your business’s success, whether they are customers or clients. But, what they have to offer your company is completely different, that’s why it’s important to be able to differentiate between the two. I hope this article helped you with that!


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