When it comes to business, the terms “customer” and “client” are often used interchangeably. However, there are subtle differences between the two that can affect your marketing and sales strategies. So in this article, we will try to explore customer and client differences with the help of a table and different key points. We will also focus on a few more related concepts so that we will be able to understand them in depth.
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What is a Customer?
A customer is someone who purchases a product or service from a business. They may have a one-time transaction or be a repeat customer. The focus for a business with customers is typically on sales and generating revenue. The word customer is basically derived from the term “custom” which means practice.
Besides the individuals, customers can also be the businesses that purchase and resell the products or merchandise. In such a scenario, they are only customers and not the consumers of the goods they buy because they are reselling them to the consumers.
Types of Customers
There are many different types of customers. But here we have mentioned five of the main types of customers for you. These are:
- One-time Customers: Customers who make a single purchase or transaction and do not return for additional business.
- Repeat Customers: Customers who make multiple purchases from a business over time.
- Loyal Customers: Customers who consistently return to a business and may even become brand ambassadors.
- Bargain Customers: Customers who are primarily motivated by price and are always looking for the best deal.
- Demanding Customers: Customers who have high expectations and are not easily satisfied.
What is a Client?
A client, on the other hand, is a person or company that has a longer-term professional relationship with a business, often involving an ongoing contract for services or a regular purchase of a specific product or service. The focus for a business with clients is often on building and maintaining the relationship, rather than just making a sale. Clients may have a dedicated account manager and receive tailored service and attention.
If the client is happy and satisfied with the services provided by the professionals, the temporary relationships turn into long-lasting relations. The services provided to a client may be health services, IT services(SaaS), marketing, and so on.
Types of Clients
There are many different types of clients. But some of the main types of clients are:
- Urgent Clients: clients who have a pressing need for services and require immediate attention.
- Unrealistic Clients: clients who have unrealistic expectations or demands, and are difficult to please.
- Repeat Clients: clients who have used your services in the past and have returned for more.
- New Clients: clients who are using your services for the first time.
- Referral Clients: clients who were referred to you by another satisfied client or business partner.
Customer Vs Client Service
Customer service refers to the assistance and support provided to customers before, during, and after a purchase. It is focused on providing a positive experience for the customer and resolving any issues or concerns they may have.
Client service, on the other hand, refers to the ongoing support and relationship-building provided to clients, typically in a business or professional setting. It is more focused on building and maintaining a long-term relationship with the client and ensuring their satisfaction with the products or services they receive. Client service often involves a higher level of customization and attention compared to customer service.
Customer Vs Client(Comparison Table)
The following table will help you understand the complete difference between customer and client.
Key Differences Between Customer and Client
While comparing customer vs client, here we have included some of the key differences between them. They are as follows.
- Meaning: A customer refers to someone who purchases both goods and services from different departments. On the other hand, a client refers to a person who receives professional services from a business or a company.
- The type of Relationship: A customer is typically a one-time or occasional buyer of a product or service, whereas a client has an ongoing or long-term relationship with the business or service provider.
- The level of Involvement: Customers may have minimal involvement in the purchasing process, whereas clients may have more input or decision-making power in the process.
- The level of Commitment: Customers may be less committed to the business or service provider, whereas clients may have a more committed and loyal relationship.
- The level of Service: Customers may receive a standard level of service, whereas clients may receive a more personalized and customized service.
- The level of Communication: Customers may have less communication with the business or service provider, whereas clients may have more regular communication and interaction.
- Business Type: The customer always engages in transactional businesses with the companies while on the other hand, a client is in fiduciary relationships with an organization or a company.
How to Concert a Prospect into a Long-Term Customer or Client
There are several strategies that businesses and service providers can use to convert a prospect into a long-term customer or client. Some of the strategies that you must follow as a business holder are:
- Build Trust: Develop a relationship with the prospect by building trust through open communication, honesty, and reliability.
- Understand their Needs: Learn about the prospect’s specific needs and tailor your products or services to meet those needs.
- Offer great Customer Service: Provide a high level of customer service to the prospect, and address any concerns or issues they may have.
- Provide Value: Show the prospect how your products or services can provide value and benefit them in the long term.
- Follow up: Keep in touch with the prospect after the initial sale and continue to offer support and assistance.
- Incentivize loyalty: Offer loyalty programs, discounts or other benefits for repeat customers or clients
- Be consistent: Be consistent in your quality, delivery, and customer service.
- Get Feedback: Seek feedback from your customer/clients, and take their feedback into account when making improvements to your product or service.
By following these strategies, businesses and service providers can convert prospects into long-term customers or clients who are committed to the business and willing to make repeat purchases.
In conclusion, while customers and clients may seem similar on the surface, there are important differences between the two that can affect your business strategies. Understanding the distinctions between the two can help you more effectively target and serve each group, ultimately leading to increased revenue and customer satisfaction.
It is important to note, that while differentiating between customers and clients is essential, it should not be at the cost of treating customers poorly and focusing more on clients. Both customers and clients are vital for any business and should be valued and treated with respect.
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