Customer vs. Client
Both clients and customers are the primary reason why the firm exists. The clients and customers satisfaction is the ultimate goal of every company.
Customer is an individual who buys products or services of the company. The customer does not engage himself in the company's activity, nor receives any highly advanced service. He/she is simply a recipient of products or services in exchange for money. Thus, he/she does not receive customized products. The customer accepts the goods as there are, without any adjustments.
Customer is usually perceived as a transaction, with the economic component in its centre. Being a customer of a given company usually is a short adventure, and finish just after payment. The focus of companies' effort is to sell and encourage customers to return.
Client is a recipient of professional services offered by the specific firm or professional. Clients requires service that meets his/her needs, thus the final outcome is customized. The engagement of clients, although is not determined in term of time-horizon - usually is a long term.
The client can be perceived as a relationship with the quality as a key component. The clients require quality adjustments of the existing product or a completely new product. Companies' efforts are oriented toward serving and binding client with a company as long as possible.
So, in summary:
Both clients and customers are recipients of certain goods and services, but provided by different units. So, if you go to the supermarket and buy goods, you are a customer, but if you hire an advertising company to help you with promotion, you are a client. If an economic transaction transforms into a long term relationship, the customer may become a client.
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