Do you have clients — or customers?
Read an interesting article last week (though I’ve lost track of it now) that asked the question if consultants have “clients” or “customers”. At first, the question seemed like on of terminology, but it really goes to the point of how you treat your business partners.
I’ve historically used the term client. My clients. Why? I don’t know why. It’s just industry slang I’ve picked up over time. I represent them. I work for them, but I’m not an employee to their business.
However, now, I’m in agreement that they are customers. For one thing, I am performing a service for them and am (hopefully) doing it in a way that makes them want to come back to me for future work. They are attracted to my business through referrals or finding my work online. That’s a customer to me, but also sounds like a client.
The difference? We aim to *satisfy* our customers. We merely *work* with clients.
From now on, my clients are now my customers.