What is the difference between Client, consumer and customer?

6 Answers

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  • James
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    Not much in a practical sense.  They are fairly interchangeable.  I suspect you have been attempting to follow a text that could have used the word "customer" instead of all three terms?

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  • RP
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    A client is someone who seeks or receives a service, contrasted with a consumer who is the person who buys a product or a service and a customer who also functions in the same manner as a consumer.

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  • Mike
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    A customer buys goods. A client buys a service. Consumer is a general description of a user of things. Unlike customers and clients who have a relationship with the provider of goods and services, consumer does not involve any individual transaction but is a figure on an economic analysis.

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  • blank
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    I see the difference as a matter of degree - and how personal / close one gets in a buisness relationship.

    Consumers.  Think retail.  The generally faceless throng/mass of people that rummage through your goods and then get rung up at a point of sale.  Only gets as personal as "have a nice day."

    Customers:  Think mom and pop stores, groceries, etc.  People come in, repeat buisness, regularly,  You see folks with enough consistency to get to know a little bit about them.  Possibly see their kids grow up.  You call them by name at some point from memory.

    Clients:  Think professional services.  In-depth, possibly life long interactions / relationships.   You know the person, the spouse, kids, possibly parents all by name.  You note special occasions:  birthdays, holidays, graduations, etc. 

    Friends:  (not on your list).   Some clients can acctually become friends.  The business relationship transends beyond the exchange of fees for services.  Personal spaces are no longer separate:  families get together and socialize (not just the "business lunch" between business parties).   True life long bonds are formed - as if the business relationship never existed.

    Source:  40+ years in professional service business.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    It is a subtle distinction. - consumers would be anyone who use or buy products or services and in that way they are another name for customers. Clients are customers of professionals and quasi professional service providers but even that is blurred. So a shop or a restaurant has customers but a hairdresser or a solicitor has clients. Banks have a conceit that they sell financial products so they have customers. Mental health professional have clients rather than patients.  In short it depends on the context which would be the most appropriate term to use, although punter as a term is rarely acceptable.

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  • 2 months ago

    You know, you could simply just look up those terms yourself. I you know how to use a computer well enough to ask this question, you are capable of doing this yourself, too. Also lookup synonyms for those words.

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