Do you have customers or clients?

In business, the words “customer” and “client” are often used interchangeably, but the way I see it, they really aren’t the same.

A customer patronizes our business, buys our products, or uses our services. Think of your relationship with the water or electric company. It’s distant and impersonal.

On the other hand, the dictionary defines a client as “the party for which professional services are rendered, such as by an attorney… one that depends upon the protection and advice of another.”

From a marketing and business perspective, a customer is someone with whom we have transactions. However, a client is someone for whom we are responsible, and with whom we have an ongoing relationship.

It’s wise to make sure your clients receive what they really need, rather than simply selling them a product and waving goodbye. By taking care of your clients’ needs, you’ll build a mutually successful and profitable relationship for many years.

You may find it helpful to ask yourself if you have customers or clients. How you answer may have a dramatic impact on your long-term success!

You may even enjoy asking this of the vendors who serve you. Do they see you as a customer or a client? Or you can tell based on how they look out for your welfare!

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