Client vs Customer

June 8, 2023, 6 Comments

Exploring the Real Difference Between Client vs Customer

When it comes to businesses, the terms “client” and “customer” are often used interchangeably. But they actually have a distinct difference between client vs customer. A client refers to someone who seeks professional services or advice on an ongoing basis. They typically have a long-term relationship with a company and rely on their expertise. On the other hand, a customer is someone who purchases goods or services from a business on a transactional basis. They may not have a continuous relationship with the company. Understanding this difference helps tailor the approach and level of engagement with these individuals.

‘Client’ and ‘customer’ have different meanings, which will be covered in this article.


Is there actually a difference, or is this just a joke? 


There is a difference, and it’s quite significant.

Despite the frequent confusion between these two terms. There are clear distinctions between the two identities, particularly in the SaaS sector. 

Here, I hope to clearly explain what these two terms mean. Why they are important and how you can use this knowledge in your business plan to produce more effective work. 

Let’s start with a brief definition and work our way up to a more complex one. So that we can better understand the entire client vs customer argument.


Who is a customer?

A customer is a person or company that makes purchases from a certain business. With the help of this definition, we can see that the term “customer” is typically used to refer to recurring transactions. This makes sense given that the word’s etymology is Latin “custom,” which, in its most basic definition, means “practice.”

As a result, we recognize that a potential client is a person who often makes purchases or has developed a buying habit.

However, if you operate a SaaS company, the term “customer” would then refer to anyone who purchases a subscription to your service. 

Choosing the precise service they wish to pay for instantly at this point is what distinguishes a client from a non-customer. They demand an immediate exchange of value in exchange for the money they spent. This demonstrates that while all SaaS clients are customers, not all SaaS clients are customers.

Characteristics of Customers

Customers: are individuals or organizations that engage in transactions by purchasing goods or services. They play a crucial role in generating revenue for businesses. Customers can require personalized marketing strategies to meet their needs and expectations.


  • They could appear and disappear rather fast.

Customers pay money for the exact SaaS solution they require in order to immediately benefit from it. This indicates that they will probably obtain what they want and depart after a free trial period or possibly a few paid packs. In other words, people may have transient demands and cease to appreciate or be interested in your offer as a result. 

  • They are here for convenience.

Customers typically don’t depend on the benefits that a particular company, store, or organization delivers; instead, they are very likely to purchase wherever it is more convenient and offers a better deal. This makes it significantly more difficult for you to satisfy your customers because their demands and preferences might differ greatly. 

  • They are quite clear about what they require of you.

Businesses that provide a single service and physical commodities or products rather than ongoing services are more likely to have clients. People purchase from food chains, for example, but they don’t typically have a long-term relationship with them. As a result, they’re much more likely to choose a new store that is nearby or has lower prices. This is due to the fact that these customers select the products or services they need and pay right away. Yes, they may return to the same store later, but trust me when I say it’s always for an immediate exchange in exchange for their money.

Who is a client?

Clients, at their core, are people who use the services of a business or organization. They are individuals or companies that seek assistance or expertise from a professional service provider. Clients often enter into a contractual or professional relationship, relying on their expertise. Solutions provided by the business to meet their specific needs and objectives.

What do you think of this place right now? 

A client, in my perspective, resembles a customer more consistently. This is the case when a client is very involved in specific service and product purchases. 


What exactly does this mean?

In other words, a client is a customer, albeit a more devoted one. They are clients you work with on a professional level. As long as they are able, the client will continue using your business and your services. 

In that way, a customer is quite likely to make a long-term investment in your goods. They want to establish a personalized and trustworthy relationship with your brand and business. So they can continue to benefit from it. They are more concerned with being a part of the big picture and how the specific product can assist them in continuously and progressively achieving success than they are with the immediate exchange of money for services.

Your client-client connection might seem more like a partnership, be more fruitful, and be more successful in many ways, all of which can boost customer satisfaction and business performance.

Characteristics of Clients


Characteristics of clients refer to the distinctive attributes or qualities exhibited by individuals or entities who utilize the services of a business or organization. These may include factors such as specific needs, expectations, preferences, communication styles, and the potential for establishing long-term relationships based on trust and mutual satisfaction.


  • They have reasonable expectations.

Since most clients are responsible individuals who have done their research prior to meeting you, they are recognized as having realistic expectations of your job capability. This is a crucial factor that makes working with them quite simple. 

Once you and your customer have agreed upon the relevant specifics, such as the project’s budget and end goal, working on these profiles will be a lot simpler.  


  • They have great faith in your knowledge.

A good customer is proactive in advancing the project and does not hesitate to express their needs, desires, and ideas in a way that is obvious and helpful. Their attitude makes it possible for you to meet deadlines and provide a successful outcome that they will like. In order to see how you handle problems, they like to get engaged but still leave you in command. Just watch out there.


  • They welcome suggestions.

You won’t need to go against the grain and defend every choice you make if your clients respect and trust you for your knowledge. 

Even though your client may come to you with a preconceived notion of what they want. Having them accept your recommendations can make dealing with them much simpler. 


Top Differences Between Customers Vs Clients

Bottom line: A customer often makes a single transaction, whereas a client relies heavily on your ongoing and individualized services. This is the easiest way to perceive and grasp the fundamental difference between a client and a customer. Therefore as a business owner, you have two choices. Either you develop items to satisfy client expectations. You deliver continuing services in accordance with their specifications. 


Regardless of how long they have known you, it is true that both of these identities occasionally buy things. And while you must certainly give each of these customer relationships the same degree of personal attention and excellent customer care, this little distinction may help you succeed over the long haul.

The Client Vs Customer disagreement, particularly in the SaaS sector, is crucial to the development of your business strategy. 


The solution is really fairly easy.


The relationship you have with your customers will frequently require resources devoted to their success since they will be willing to pay for your goods for a much longer period of time. 

Since they will be your most devoted clients. It only makes sense, and it is important that you work to retain them for as long as possible. Customer retention is said to be five times less expensive than customer acquisition, emphasizing the value of highly customized services and supportive customer assistance.

In the future, you might even think about offering your customers more specialized help, especially if they are “enterprise” or top package users.

The attention, commitment, support, and excellent service provided by your company to these clients will be everything they require for them to succeed to the fullest. 

To make sure you fully understand the differences, I’ll also discuss them under three different headings since I really want this one to stick with you.

Customers Are Aware of the Value and Price

This one has already been discussed.

Customers are known to make one-time purchases and are typically not acknowledged as consumers or end users. For example, a prospect might purchase a gift from a department store on his child’s birthday, turning both him and his child into customers. Because of this, most advertising intended to draw consumers in frequently focuses on price and value. Advertising that is directed at consumers frequently pays attention to quality and efficacy on an individual basis. Customers must go to their stores, eat at their restaurants, or make online transactions for customer-based firms. 

Client Value Reliability and Experience 

You must emphasize your company’s track record and expertise in handling issues comparable to those of potential customers if you want to win over new customers. Consider how a supermarket may promote its low costs and the high quality of its fresh produce, whereas a legal firm might promote the number of years it has been practicing this type of job and its confidence in obtaining favorable outcomes. It now makes sense, yes?

As a client-based business, you must market yourself as a group. That seeks to persuade potential clients to work with them. As a result, recommend them to others.

How do you convert prospects into lifetime clients (customers)?

There are several strategies to build stronger, more enduring, and more intimate bonds with your consumers that will ultimately result in them becoming devoted patrons. As an example, consider Starbucks or Nordstrom. With the aid of creative rewards programs that are progressively becoming more personalized for each consumer thanks to smartphone technology, they have been successfully fostering customer loyalty. 

You can reply with individualized services, recommendations, and special offers on products catered to each customer’s needs by maintaining direct contact and soliciting ongoing consumer feedback. With each customer, this results in the first blossom of a lasting relationship; try it and observe it for yourself.


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