Client versus Customer

Client versus Customer

The different between client and customer is an important distinction in business. Client or customer is not determined by B2B or B2C. Client or customer is a mindset and impacts the way you do business. A client is a business or person who engages the professional advice and services of another. Client implies a long-term, strategic relationship based on service. A customer is a business or person that purchases a product or service because it is available. Customer implies a short-term, transactional relationship based on selling.

According to best-selling author and marketing expert/guru Seth Godin, “You need to choose. Customers hear you say, ‘Here, I made this,’ and they buy or they do not buy. Clients say to you, ‘I need this,’ and if you want to get paid you make it. The customer ironically, does not get something custom. The key distinction [between customer and client] is who goes first, who get to decide when it is done. The provider is rarely better than the clients he is able to attract. On the other hand, the creator often gets the customers [they] deserve.”

Unsatisfied clients can become customers or non-customers. The goal then is to build long-term, sustainable relationships with clients who value your professional advice and services rather than find customers who make one-time or infrequent purchases because you have what they need. Cultivate relationships so that you become indispensable based upon the experience (how you make people feel about the interaction), knowledge (what you know) and service (how you help) you bring to the table. When you do that, you build a client base, not a customer list.

All contents copyright © 2014, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


One Response to Client versus Customer

  1. Jay Hanley says:

    I really like to read short blog posts like this one. Very clear and well-written.


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