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.
Portuguese (Brazil) subtitles: Ivair Alcântara
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. :)
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 ?
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.
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:
-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?
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)
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 :-)
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 :).
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 ?
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
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 :).
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?
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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?
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! =)
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!
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!
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!
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.
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
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!
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