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The Difference Between Customer and Client | Learn English for Free with Max

531 ratings | 7777 views
Do you sometimes not know whether you should use "customer" or "client"? The words are very similar, but we use them in different contexts. Many languages have one word to express this concept: cliente (Spanish), client (French), Kunde (German). It's therefore very common for people learning English to not know whether they should use "client" or "customer". In this video I explain the general rules which should clear up any confusion. English subtitles available (click CC). For more English lessons, visit my channel, English with Max. All of the videos are free. These include free English vocabulary videos, English grammar videos, English pronunciation videos, English tips, and various other English lessons. This channel aims at helping people learn and improve their English - whether they have been learning English for a while or have recently started. I am a native speaker from Australia. I mainly speak British English. Follow me: https://www.facebook.com/EnglishWithMax/ https://twitter.com/EnglishWithMax https://www.instagram.com/englishwithmax/ Portuguese (Brazil) subtitles: Ivair Alcântara
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Text Comments (148)
English with Max (1 year ago)
If you would like to add subtitles in your own language, please click here! https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?ref=player&v=V3_en3IcIas
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thank you :)
mr samy (1 year ago)
English with Max good job
ROSHANI PIPLODIYA (2 months ago)
Nice information
Snehal Hedau (3 months ago)
We provide building hardware parts. Therefore that company, which is in Chicago, is our customer. And another company, whom we provide service after the sell, is our client.
English with Max (3 months ago)
👍👍👍
In Brazil we use cliente for all.
English with Max (4 months ago)
Cool :). I'm learning Portuguese!
Mauricio Naranjo (4 months ago)
Thanx Max, your videos are really helpfull for me to learn mor new thigs every day. Greets from Colombia.
English with Max (4 months ago)
I'm glad they're useful, and thanks for watching!
Tim Song (4 months ago)
Hi max
English with Max (4 months ago)
Hi!
Paolo Marzano (6 months ago)
Does a prostitute have clients? Wikipedia uses both words: «client» and «customer».
English with Max (6 months ago)
I would probably say "clients" ;), but I don't think "customers" would be incorrect.
Cole Breda (6 months ago)
crap this was more complicated than I would have ever thought
English with Max (6 months ago)
Are you a native English speaker? :)
P. Wagner (7 months ago)
In portuguese we also have two similar words: "Cliente" and "Consumidor". They are used exactly the same way you explained referring to the english words "Client" and "Customer", and in some cases they can also be used interchangeably. :)
English with Max (7 months ago)
Cool, thanks! The word "consumer" also exists in English, but it's mainly used in formal contexts or when people are talking about the economy ;).
Aimanno Mourad (7 months ago)
Thank you for your great efforts.
Erika Gonzalez (9 months ago)
Hi,would you please do it a video explaining when to use another and other, up,it,(leave it)for example...please. Thank you.
English with Max (9 months ago)
Hi! I can't promise when I'll be able to do them, as I already have several other videos planned, but I'll definitely add them to the list ;).
47Sukhoi (10 months ago)
Hi Max, Thanks for such piece of info. In my language, Arabic, we do have the two words and by far are used in the same way you have mentioned. Regards, Ahmad,
Misto Babaoglu (10 months ago)
I say thank you for those videos
English with Max (10 months ago)
You're most welcome 🙂
Omar Jordan (1 year ago)
Thanks Max, I watched some of your videos with my daughter, we both like your way of teaching. In Arabic (my first language) Customer is "Zbuoon" زبون but Client is "A'meel" عميل.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi Omar! Thanks for your comment. I'm happy to hear that! It's interesting to see that there is another language which has two different words.
Ms Hibberts To u (1 year ago)
Beauty salon? Client or customer?
English with Max (1 year ago)
Ooh, that's a tricky one. I think you could say either. The owner of the beauty salon would probably decide!
Shady Muhammad (1 year ago)
I know that my comment is too late but I hope that you're still following If an organization is outsourcing with a contact center company so the former can make value of their business of product, what will the former organization be called. Could they be called client ?
English with Max (1 year ago)
It's not too late :). In that case I would call the organisation a client.
Shady Muhammad (1 year ago)
sorry. business or product
Mohammed Massoud (1 year ago)
Customer = زبون = "Zaboon" in Arabic Client = عميل = "Ameel" in Arabic
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Mohammed!
Ahmed Samy (1 year ago)
I love English with u
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Ahmed :).
Thomas Schmitt (1 year ago)
In german you have 2 words too. "Kunde" and "Klient". Most of the time, like 90%, you use Kunde, but sometimes it would be weird to say Kunde. Klient is used often when its about getting advice. Kunde sounds more like bizness, money, buying and so on. So Klient focuses more on the advice/relationship aspect. Of course you pay and get a service, so its always about money, but Klient is used to hide that fact a bit. For example when you talk about lawyers. You always say Klient when you speak about lawyers. I think lawyers would get offended when you would say "Kunde" to their "Klienten". Another profession is psychological therapist. They avoid to say "patients" because that sounds so much like illness, need for help and so on. Thats why therapists say "Klienten" too.
English with Max (1 year ago)
That's true. But "client" is used a lot more often than "Klient" ;).
emilio campagnoli (1 year ago)
so useful! thanks a lot! XD
abdelkader hamadi (1 year ago)
thinks a lot Max, you are doing a good job, your teaching method and your style make you the best, i also like your accent, is it australien? which region. by
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks very much! Yes, I'm Australian. I'm from New South Wales, but accents don't change much from region to region in Australia. There are stronger accents and weaker accents, but you hear them everywhere. You might find this interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variation_in_Australian_English
Master perfect (1 year ago)
thank u for ur interesting to my comments
English with Max (1 year ago)
You're welcome :)
Coppax (1 year ago)
-1) Who is a client? -2)Who is a customer? -3)What's the exception to the general rule? -4)Why do companies sometimes refer to their customers as clients? -5)What do we call people receiving professional advice from doctors and teachers?
Coppax (1 year ago)
i have 600 subscribers that follow me
alessio amato (1 year ago)
Coppax é diventato il commento con piú mi piace, very good
Coppax (1 year ago)
hi alessio!
alessio amato (1 year ago)
Coppax lezzo
Ewelina Lyszkowska (1 year ago)
Hey Max, nice video again. Could you pls prepare some video with vocabulary, which is suitable for contact with customers? I think that would be also good one for your followers ;) In Poland: klient (same as customer and client)+ konsument (I think same as consumer - economic point of view)
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi Ewelina! Thanks very much for your comment. Sure, I'll add that to the list of video ideas :). Thanks!
Hi teacher! :-D :-P Thanks for your video :-) I'm working for Iran's water research institute, And we are providing services to government organizations, and some other organizations like universities, what should we call them? according to your explanation, we should call them "client". am i right? And to answer the question you asked about how many words we have for this concept in our language(which in my case, it's Persian,Also known as Farsi) i guess there should be more than 3 words, for example, when you visit a lawyer, you are a "Movakel" and there is some other examples like this... :-) PS: if you were in the mood, please correct my mistakes, thanks in advance :-)
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks for your comment! There isn't much to correct :). Just the following: *would be more than *there are some other examples *if you are in the mood And yes, if those organisations are paying your institute, then you could call them clients :).
Sayed AlMosawi (1 year ago)
So many thanks Max, what about these points which can be as a main marks for the deference between " Client " and " Customer " Client more appropriate to the one who regular partner to the service or goods provider, whereas Customer fits into non regular partner - specially who bay once off ! How could your comment on this be ?
English with Max (1 year ago)
An interesting point! I think more often than not, yes, that's the case. However, some businesses have regular customers, and some professionals, like lawyers, might see a client only once.
Giacomo Barion (1 year ago)
I thought a about two types of services: public transportation and taxi service. the first service is used by a lot of people and so in My opinion public trasnportation,for example buses, has costumers while taxi service has clients because it is an individualized service.By
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks for your comment! It's strange when it comes to public transport - we don't normally say either. We'd probably say "passengers" or "commuters". I think because we tend to associate customers and clients with businesses, and not with services provided by the government (even if some public transport is privatised these days ;)). But yes, you could say "clients" for taxis :).
Silvio Daldi (1 year ago)
I think that electricians and plumbers have clients because they provide a private service at home. Thank you for your video
English with Max (1 year ago)
Yes, I think you're right :).
Aurora Chiarini (1 year ago)
Hi I liked your video, and I thought about airline companies and their passengers whom in my opinion are neither client nor customers. What do you think? Bye
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi! Yes, that's hard. Customer or client sounds strange to me for airlines, but I googled it, and apparently lots or airlines say "customers".
Lorenzo Moncini (1 year ago)
Hi! Amazing video, I thought about estate agents and I think they have client because they provide a service depending on your needs.Greetings from Italy!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thank you! Yes, I would say client for that :). Greetings from Australia!
Diletta Pizzirani (1 year ago)
Hi i liked your video! I thought about another service: the call center that answers to a specific question from people has customers.Bye
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks! That's a tricky one. The people calling the call centre would be customers of another company - a company which is paying the call centre to answer people's calls. The company would be the call centre's client. Does that make sense?
Flavio Lorenzinio (1 year ago)
I liked your video, and I have thought of a personal trainer; in my opinion he has client because for each person he creates an individualized training program, depending on his own body.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Yes, I'd use clients for a personal trainer too :).
Nicoló Bisi (1 year ago)
I have thought of a bank, where different kinds of services are provided. If you go there what do you think? Are you a "Client" or a "Customer"? (Send From Italy)
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi Nicolo! For some reason we normally say "customers" for banks. I think because they provide similar / the same services to many different people.
aboubakar abdelaziz (1 year ago)
great
aboubakar abdelaziz (1 year ago)
thanks English with Max 😊
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks!
Riccardo samoggia (1 year ago)
Limbo could find no more mile enough ammo for my love to Puzza from Haley are you are you look like you are looking for the comment
Riccardo samoggia (1 year ago)
Muuuuuuu
Riccardo samoggia (1 year ago)
Mucca
Riccardo samoggia (1 year ago)
Ti piace il pinzimonio?
English with Max (1 year ago)
Grazie :)
Utente Di Youtube (1 year ago)
English with Max Sisi è un piatto. Comunque sei veramente brava nello spiegare
Riccardo samoggia (1 year ago)
anche
English with Max (1 year ago)
Non è un piatto?
Riccardo samoggia (1 year ago)
vuol dire ciao in slang
Ali H (1 year ago)
hi could you please make a video on the pronunciation of different contractions in Australian English? like : we're , we'd , how're etc. would b much appreciated 😊
English with Max (1 year ago)
I'll try to do a video on contractions soon, but in Australian English they're basically the same as in British English ;).
Ali H (1 year ago)
I subscribed . 😊
English with Max (1 year ago)
👍 😀
Luís Vidal (1 year ago)
Amazing video! I'll be sharing with my english group... I created two WHATSAPP ENGLISH GROUPS, One of them FOCUSED in AUDIO WHERE IS NOT ALLOWED TYPING and another flexible one where you can either typing or speaking in order to practice our english skills... Contact me +55 015 997332321 and so I can add you. Hello english learners, I'm Luís from Brasil. I created a great advanced english group focused on conversation by audio message in order to improve our english speaking and listening skills, you know the improvement comes by practicing everyday, all the time and this group is an excellent tool to keep us in touch with the english language. This is a free talking group, the only rules are respect each others and keep the purpose of the group which is improve our english skills ... So if you are interested, send me a message and thus I can add you. my number is +55 015 997332321
Luís Vidal (1 year ago)
Oh thank you! You're so kind for answer! All the best to you too!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Luis! And all the best with the English groups!
EmeritusE (1 year ago)
It's true. Even people who are fluent in the english language really don't know which is the proper term to use. Thanks for the clarification! =) Perhaps, in a future video, you could explain the difference between, and the proper use of, the plural forms of "client". Is it clients or is it clientele?
English with Max (1 year ago)
Yep, there's nothing wrong with saying "clientele" to refer to your customers as a group. :)
EmeritusE (1 year ago)
With my business, I have always preferred to refer to my customers as clientele rather than simply customers for the fact it just sounds more dignified and respectable to me. After watching this video, I was suddenly struck with the sense that maybe, for all this time, I've been using the incorrect terminology. Yes, that was quite helpful and I can, now, breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks again! =)
English with Max (1 year ago)
My pleasure! That's actually quite straightforward (yay!). Both words are in common usage. "Clients" is simply the plural of "client" and "clientele" is a possible plural of "customer" or "client". Hope that helps! http://www.thefreedictionary.com/clientele
Ot Sukardi (1 year ago)
Nice lesson.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thank you :)
Hi Max! Hi Frank! I miss George. Where's he? It was a very interesting vocabulary lesson. I think that I got it, let's see: * CLIENT is a person who uses the services of a professional person or organization, for example, a lawyer or a bank. * CUSTOMER is a person or organization that buys something from a shop or business. In Portuguese, both words "client" and "customer" mean "cliente". (Please correct, thanks a lot.) See you next time. Bye!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Nothing to correct :). Thanks, you too!
Thank you for the explanation, Max. I've watched the video again. You're right, I didn't see George behind your shoulder. Maybe I need to change my glasses. (Could you please correct again, thanks.) I'll be waiting for your next video lesson. Take care!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Yes, that's basically it! One minor correction: *Where is he? "Where's he?" is grammatically correct, but for some reason, native speakers don't say it. I think it's just a question of style/habit. We also say: "Where is she?" "Where is it?" (Not "Where's it?") BUT if there's an extra word, we sometimes use the contraction. E.g.: "Where's he from?" "Where's he living?" And George is in the video - he's just behind my shoulder ;). He was just too shy to participate.
Pasquale Cangiano (1 year ago)
Hi I am Italian! and we have one word which is "cliente" very simple. bye for now
Pasquale Cangiano (1 year ago)
You're welcome!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks!
walid Jlidi (1 year ago)
Thanks @Max for the video it's interesting it's my first video i think you use an easy language and easy words. I encourage you to complete at this work. I'm a freelancer and i use 'customer' i think client is better in meaning and also for marketing 'bullshit' as you say :p
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks for your nice comment :). Yes, it would depend what your product/service is, but "customer" is often safe.
Washington França (1 year ago)
thank you for the tip
English with Max (1 year ago)
No prob!
Washington França (1 year ago)
here in brasil we only use client=cliente
Washington França (1 year ago)
fregues and cliente are the same ex: você e minha cliente, você e minha freguês
LuzaFK (1 year ago)
Washington França How about "freguês"? I usually get confused about this word and "cliente"...even in Portuguese. Don't you?
Washington França (1 year ago)
kkkkkkkk
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks! I started learning Portuguese once, but I kept mixing it up with Italian :s. Maybe in a few years I'll start again.
Carlos Augusto (1 year ago)
How do you say when someone wants to court you and win you heart; best student, friend or boyf...I mean...bestfriend?. No...I'm kiding. Excelent video. Kind Regards!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Haha, somebody who is trying to be somebody's boy-/girlfriend is sometimes referred to as a "suitor", but it's a bit old-fashioned. Thank you!
thanks for that
English with Max (1 year ago)
My pleasure :)
Mohammad Kashef (1 year ago)
You are always Great , give us more videos , we are waiting you
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Mohammad! I've filmed another one which just needs editing, so hopefully it'll be online next weekend!
Beatrix (1 year ago)
what about people paying to spend a day on the beach with an umbrella and a longchair? I would say they're customers..
English with Max (1 year ago)
Yes, I'd probably say customers for that :)
Anselmo Coelho (1 year ago)
great
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks :)
Donnie D. (1 year ago)
_b...t_ is a bad word
English with Max (1 year ago)
Yes, it is.
L. McClane (1 year ago)
Woah I didn't know that!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Yeah...It's why French people sometimes say things like "there are lots of clients in the bar"
Wilfried Mathias (1 year ago)
Nice video! It´s so good to see and hear you again! I´ve missed you already.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Haha, thanks!
Alfonso Rivera (1 year ago)
Of course you are right about Spanish having just the term 'cliente'. Although it is true that we have the word 'consumidor'. I'd say that in that case we would be closer to the English 'consumer', maybe as a person who is rating a provider or a good... I've never liked when therapist talk about their 'clients' but I know that it is the correct word!
English with Max (1 year ago)
You're absolutely right - the equivalent in English would be consumer :). Haha, it sounds very strange to me too. But I suppose you can't say "patient" unless the person is actually a doctor...
karan pun (1 year ago)
thank you
English with Max (1 year ago)
My pleasure!
Kardo Sabr (1 year ago)
Well done honey, we could use both customer & client for telephone or internet users ?
English with Max (1 year ago)
I'd only say customer for those :)
Roaa Hedaya (1 year ago)
In Arabic there are two words for this concept 😄😄
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks!
Christian Rendon (1 year ago)
actually in Spanish exist cliente and consumidor which is almost the same, nice video.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Oh yes, in English there is a similar word: consumer :). And thanks!
pedro Belmont (1 year ago)
hello max good morning!! can we use also the word buyer? Ex:He are a possible buyer
pedro Belmont (1 year ago)
Thanks i will check come soon
English with Max (1 year ago)
It's similar, but a bit different to these two words. Here is a good explanation with examples: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/buyer
Hosein Keshavarz (1 year ago)
What was the coarse language you warned about it?
English with Max (1 year ago)
I'll give you a hint: it starts with B and ends in T. (it's not very strong, but some people are sensitive ;))
FallenAngel (1 year ago)
Great tip!Thank you,Max!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Glad you liked it!
Hello Max! Nice to see you again...your voice is so clear, it's very easy to understand you!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi! I'm happy to hear that! I sometimes don't know if it's too fast or unclear :S
kaio roberto (1 year ago)
what  lovely accent.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thank you :)

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