Customer Or Client Relationship

12 Apr 2017

When I get curious it’s time to Google.

My question of the day – what is the difference between a Customer and a Client? There seems to be a grey area when talking about both depending on the industry you are in.

Here is what I found when Googling our question:

  • Strictly defined, a customer is someone who buys goods or services from a store or business.
  • The word “client” can also mean “customer,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary,
  • but it has a separate definition as someone who receives professional services.

In the auto industry we seldom talk about a customer being a client once they bought. However once they buy do we treat them different?

In Real Estate when you have an inquiry from an individual, they are a customer. Only once you have a signed agreement do they command the full authority of a client. As a client of a Real Estate Agent you now receive fiduciary duty.

Here is what fiduciary means according to Google:

  • A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care.
  • A legal obligation of one party to act in the best interest of another.
  • The obligated party is typically a fiduciary, that is, someone entrusted with the care of money or property.
  • Also called fiduciary obligation.

So are you dealing with customers or clients? Are  you a professional service or providing a product for sale? Whether dealing with a customer or a client remember it is a relationship. Relationships built on trust and respect will always last longer then relationships built for the benefit of one side or the other. Build strong relationships which is mutually beneficial where both parties move forward.

Thanks for joining me today, and have a great day.


Tim Marvel

Motivational speaker and author, Tim Marvel, CSP believes if life doesn’t stop teaching, he shouldn’t stop learning. From living on a submarine in the Navy to spending thirty years in sales, Tim sees life as an adventure. He’s participated in marathons, ultra-marathons, triathlons, and 100-mile bike rides. When he’s not traveling or encouraging others to be their personal best, you can find him hitting the gym, hanging out with his family, and playing with his dog, Jake. But what he looks forward to the most is his weekly date night with his wife, Rockie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *