Are Clients Customers?

Last Updated on August 7, 2022

Clients or Customers

There are clients and there are customers for some businesses. Due to their frequent interchangeability, you could easily become confused. Most dictionaries define “client” as also meaning “customer,” however when it comes to professional services, it has a different meaning. Based on the kinds of partnerships, the two phrases are frequently used in business in different ways. It’s important to comprehend these two words clearly.

It might be difficult to understand and sometimes contentious to distinguish between a client and a customer. The most accepted and fundamental way to explain the distinction is that a client receives services from a professional, like an accountant or lawyer, but a customer buys items or services from a business. The main distinction between these two terms can be found in this. However, if we so choose, we can look into the many fields or industries in which these phrases are used further.

Definition of a Customer

According to the dictionary, a client is any individual or group that purchases goods from a shop, store, or company. Consequently, it is clear that the term “customer” is most often used in relation to impulsive purchases.

Long-term partnerships are less important than one-time purchases. Even though consumers may be brand loyal and frequent them, the nature of their relationships is always transient.

Anyone who purchases a subscription to your product is a customer in a SaaS company environment. regardless of whether you have monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscriptions. Customers purchase products in order to benefit right away from them. If they are successful in getting the intended result, they remain; otherwise, they leave after the trial period or one or two billing cycles.

SaaS Customers

A SaaS customer only pays 5–15% of the total potential Lifetime Value upfront; the remaining portion will only come in as future revenue IF you are able to keep that customer. This is in contrast to traditional on-premise software companies, where the customers are constrained by extensive contracts and significant investments. They are not required to stay with you if they are not receiving value because there are no cumbersome agreements or commitments.

There are many software suppliers to pick from, and the switching cost is not that significant. Customers, or subscribers, are given the authority to dismiss suppliers at any time. To ensure that your clients use your product to accomplish their targeted business outcome, you should concentrate on customer success. To ensure client retention, you must place a strong emphasis on proper onboarding and a number of other criteria.

Definition of a Client

Let’s begin once more with a definition from a dictionary. A customer is someone who makes use of a business’s products or services. It is obvious that a client is a more “formal” version of a customer. But they continue to have close relationships.

A client is a more devoted patron. A client will keep up a regular relationship with you and your product, as opposed to a customer who will essentially make one purchase from you and never again. A client is a customer you develop a relationship with.

A client would want to establish a personal and lasting relationship with you and your business. In the long run, s/he seeks value. The client, as opposed to a customer, stays with you for a long time.

Similarities Between Customer and Client

Your services are used and purchased by clients and customers. Regardless of how long they’ve been together or how long they intend to stay, they both need your help with whatever problems they may be having. They both want the very finest customer service you have to give. Both are equally crucial to the development of your company, but the distinctions between them could indicate how vital your long-term success is.

Differences between Client and Customer


Customers may be one-time or recurring clients, but they rarely show loyalty to the business offering the goods or services. Retail establishments, eateries, gas stations, supermarkets, banks, and amusement parks all commonly refer to their clients as patrons. The fixed-form goods and services are priced to sell and satisfy the wants of the customers.

Patrons are frequently considered to be clients in situations when goods or services require extensive personalisation and customization. Over time, clients and business connections grow closer. Businesses that give clients with continuing advise and specific solutions include law offices, graphic design studios, talent agencies, accountancy firms, healthcare providers, and matchmaking services.

Customers Buy on Price and Value, Clients Buy on Experience and Trust

Customers may not always be the end user or consumer, but they do pay for purchases. For instance, a client might purchase a gift from a department shop for his spouse, making both of them customers. Advertising that aims to draw in new clients frequently emphasises cost and value. Advertising that is directed at consumers frequently places a strong emphasis on efficacy and quality. Customer-based businesses encourage people to place online orders, visit them for food, or do their shopping there.

Promotions intended to draw in new customers frequently highlight a business’s standing and experience in solving issues comparable to those of the potential customer. A law firm will promote how many years it has been in business and how confident it is in attaining results on behalf of a client, in contrast to a supermarket which may advertise low pricing and a large assortment of items. Client-based businesses present themselves to potential customers as persons who seek to persuade them to hire them and eventually refer others to them.


A client is someone who seeks and uses your professional advise in addition to your services, as opposed to a consumer, who pays you for your products or services. The focus is mainly on pitching the product or service while selling services to a customer, and you end up agreeing to the lowest price, which can reduce your profit margin.

The relationship you have with the individual makes a distinction between the two. You must always be looking for new clients if you want people to use your service. On the other hand, customers don’t need to be replaced until they don’t think your service is assisting them in achieving their goals.

In a nutshell, a customer is someone who utilises items and services in the present and pays for them. A client purchases long-term, individualised support or help from a corporate professional during onboarding.

Before you go…

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