Difference Between Client and Customer

In today’s day and age, with the advancement in the business and service industry, people use clients and customers in a similar fashion. They although, in colloquial terms, they have come to mean the same, there is quite the difference between both the terms.


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Test your knowledge about topics related to business

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A person who risks both time and money to start and manage a business is called ___________.

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The six Ps are collectively known as the Marketing Mix. They are ways in which organisations differentiate themselves. They include

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Wages and taxes that a company pays are examples of:

4 / 5

The Standard of living is the number of goods and services people can buy with the money they have.

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Cash flow is:

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Client vs Customer

The difference between a client and a customer is that a client is someone who wants a professional service from a business professional or enterprise, whereas a customer is someone who wishes to buy the goods and products from a shop or business.

Client vs Customer

A client is usually someone who has relations with an enterprise for longer periods, whereas a customer always has short relations as they last only until their purchase. The client is a more formal term of the word customer in a business setting.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonClientCustomer
DefinitionA client is a person that looks for professional services and advice from a business professional or organization.A customer is a person that buys goods from a shop, store, and organization.
RequirementProfessional advice and guidance.Purchase of required goods.
The time frame of relation with the organizationLongShort
Formal agreementsYes, e.g., deadlines, expected results, responsibilities, etc.No, a one-time purchase needs no agreement.
RelationA strong professional bond to meet expected resultsNone
AttentionMore attention is given as its a long term professional relationship.Less attention given as no professional relationship is sought.


Who is a Client?

A client is someone who pays for the services and advice of a professional or an enterprise. The companies can also be clients of an enterprise or organization.

Clients usually have a long term relationship with the seller. This is because they work for a long time together to meet the required and expected result for a mutually agreed goal.

The client enters into an agreement with the seller before that mentions the terms and conditions of working, the deadlines, agenda, the time frame of achieving expected results, etc.

The agreement also has clauses about termination in any specific scenario. This agreement can be used to take legal steps in any case of breach of the contract.

The client receives more attention as their demands are more than a customer. The client also works for a long time and brings in more profit than a customer.

The client meets the seller repeatedly whenever required and asked by the seller. For all these reasons they are given slightly more attention than the customers.

Companies that are service-centric focuses on the services provided to the clients rather than their goods and products.

An example: when a person seeks legal advice from a lawyer, he is a client of the lawyer.


Who is a Customer?

A customer is someone who buys the goods and products from a shop, store, and organization. The customer values the quality of the product they are buying than the services provided by the company.

The customer has a particularly short relationship with the seller. The customer has relation only until they are in the store to make a purchase.

They don’t require any legal agreement with the seller before making a purchase.

Their purchase is usually a one-time thing, and hence the seller doesn’t give them his undivided and undisputed attention.

The customer is many times manipulated with flattery by the sellers because they don’t have any strong professional bond.

The seller isn’t concerned with the expected results of the customers as opposed to with clients. They are more profit-centric.

The seller doesn’t maintain relations with customers because the company has many customers.

The loss or gain of a customer doesn’t make much of a difference to the company or the profits made.

The customer has services such as a complaint box and feedback boxes to leave a suggestion for the seller for better services, but the seller isn’t bound legally to act on the same.

An example: a student buying books from a store becomes the customer of the store.


Main Differences Between Credit Client and Customer

  1. The client is someone who looks for buying the services and advice of an expert or from an enterprise, whereas the customer is the one who purchases products from a shop, store, and organization.
  2. The client is in a long term relationship with the seller as opposed to the short term relationship of the customer with the seller.
  3. The client has a legal agreement with the seller to reach mutually agreed goals, whereas the customer doesn’t have a legal agreement with the seller to make a purchase.
  4. The goals with the client are to provide the proper and authentic advice, whereas a customer is sometimes manipulated to make a purchase with flattery and exaggerations of the usefulness of the product.
  5. A client receives more attention than a customer due to the longevity of their relation.
  6. The customer services are more profit-centric than the services and advice provided to a client.
  7. The customer has the right to services like feedback forms and suggestions, but the client does not.
  8. An example: when buying a product, the person becomes a customer, but the shopkeeper is the client of the franchise of the brand whose product he is selling.
Difference Between Client and Customer


  1. https://academic.oup.com/bjsw/article-abstract/39/6/1101/1677129
  2. https://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000183
  3. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1987-19711-001
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