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Customers are generally people who come to you mainly to buy products or services you supply. Clients buy your advice and solutions personalized to their particular needs.

That’s a quote from an article shared by @Tanya Quintieri.

What about you? Do you prefer calling your clients/customers clients or customers? Or else?

By the way, is there a similar distinction in your language? For example, in Russian we have zakazchik (lit. "orderer") for "customer" and klient for, well, "client". The connotations are more or less the same as in English. 

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I like @Tanya Quintieri's definitions. All my clients are clients :) as I don't think of them as buying a product or service and leaving (even one-time clients). My services always include support, answers to feedback and a commitment to 100% satisfaction.

There is no difference between customer and client in Spanish (cliente), but there should be! There is a big difference between selling bread and milk in a supermarket and providing a specialised, personalised solution to a particular problem or need. Nothing wrong with selling to customers of course (I've been there), it's just that it's totally different!

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I liked the article and the way it explains the difference between "customer" and "client".
In Italian, we use only the word "cliente" for both connotations and I humbly admit that I didn't know the difference in English between the two words :46_confounded: so, I can't tell you which one I prefer. I can only say that "client" has a "certain" assonance with the word "cliente" in Italian and I would use it. 

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There is no distinction made in Japanese, with the possible exception that instead of お客さん or 顧客, some will use クライアント (kuraianto, from English "client"). And, as Faustina pointed out, there is really only one term in Italian (see attached images).

In English I prefer to use "client", as that is the term that serious firms use (e.g., in accounting, management consulting, and engineering) for those they have a relationship with. Hence "customer data management" (CDM) is a term used in reference to pricey software applications for dealing with large numbers of customers: there are large numbers of them because they are typically retail customers, and they need to be "managed" precisely because they have an annoying tendency to come once (buy once) and then vanish.

That said, I do a lot of work for a large online agency that only uses "customer". That seems fine to me when you are talking about a college student submitting for translation a letter of recommendation for grad school, but it doesn't seem adequate in the case of an industrial manufacturer on five continents for whom you have done thousands of dollars of work over several years. When writing to the agency's support desk with questions, I often find myself inadvertently writing "the client" and then having to go back and change it to "the customer".

Customer (English-Italian).jpg

Client (English-Italian).jpg

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in Arabic any translator is facing a real terminology problem that differs according to various cultures around the Arab world... we may say " Ameel" for a customer but this word is also used daily " politics language "to mean a person helping your enemy !!! so, some government agencies started to avoid this word" Ameel "  by using " Mutaameleen" i.e. dealers ,to stand for customers .... in the day to day use ( market language ) the word " Zaboon" is used to stand for " customer ", but this word sound so colloquial to be used in official texts 

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Mohamed,

This is somewhat off-topic, but I encounter a similar quandary every few days when translating Japanese expressions referring to two parties or researchers or company departments who/that are working very tightly together on something. The work together is too intense for them to be "cooperators", but "collaborators" has in English a double sense similar to your word "ameel". As recently as 20 years ago it was a terrible thing in English to call someone a "collaborator", and that still persists to some degree in the US, but in Romance languages the cognate term is used so often that "collaborator" has begun to be used again, without any prejudicial meaning, in UK English, especially in scientific/medical circles. I cringe every time I use the term, but the fact is that people now are forgetting the older, negative meaning.

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