client vs. customer

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by nessuno, May 18, 2006.

  1. nessuno Member

    italian&spanish - argentina
    Qual´é la differenza fra client e customer?
    Quello di un negozio è customer mentre client é di un avvocato?
  2. nickditoro

    nickditoro Senior Member

    Minneapolis, MN
    You've pretty much defined the difference correctly. Another way of looking at it is to say that a customer (whether one-time or repeat) is someone you sell things to, whereas a client is someone or something you represent. Of course, the client is technically a customer in that you are selling him something (ongoing service), but the client relationship is the governing factor here; it may also -- and probably does -- involve a contract.

  3. radiation woman

    radiation woman Senior Member

    Wales English
    Can I recommend that you take a look at the English-English dictionary on this website? It will give you definition for both those words and may help you to know in which context each word is used.

    Hmm, actually I've just taken a look at the definition of "client" and it's not actually too helpful for you. Sorry about that.
  4. nessuno Member

    italian&spanish - argentina
    thank you both
  5. Panpan

    Panpan Senior Member

    Sawbridgeworth, UK
    England, English
    A customer buys goods - i 'customers' comprarono le cose
    A client buys services. - i 'clients' comprarono servizi professionali
  6. Shootingsp Member

    So, if I am a journalist, I should consider those who are buying my services as "clients", and not "costumer", isn't it?
  7. nickditoro

    nickditoro Senior Member

    Minneapolis, MN
    It would be great if there were absolultely hard and fast rules governing these kinds of language choices, but unfortunately there aren't. In the case of a journalist and the news organization that buys the journalist's coverage, I would say that it goes back to the relationship involved: if a journalist sells an occasional story to a newspaper, or shops around for the highest bidder on a story, I would call whoever buys the story a customer (which fits PanPan's definition). However, a journalist not directly employed by the newspaper but in a formal relationship as a stringer, say, covering events in a particular city, submits a story, I would call the newspaper a client, since the journalist is selling the story as part of an ongoing service to the newspaper. Chances are very good that there is an agreement between the parties that gives the newspaper some degree of exclusive rights to the journalist's stories and that gives the journalist some guarantee in regard to price, etc.

  8. Shootingsp Member

    Thanks nickditoro. In this specific case, the freelance journalist has a long term agreement with the news organization which buys his/her stories. Therefore I'll go for "client". Thanks for fast reply and help.
  9. nickditoro

    nickditoro Senior Member

    Minneapolis, MN
    Glad to help, Shootingsp.

  10. Edwigelastrega Member

    Hi to everyone, I would like to know the difference between customer and client, because in a legislative text I have simultaneously the terms customer and client
    (This is the sentece " A trading desk or other organizational unit of another banking entity is not a client, customer, or counterparty of the trading desk if....")

    In this context I understand that the term customer may be the italian "acquirente" and the term client means "cliente"....
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2014
  11. Wade Aznable

    Wade Aznable Senior Member

    Buongiorno a tutti.
    Riporto in vita il thread perchè ho un dubbio: io lavoro in un'azienda che fabbrica grossi impianti industriali. Non facciamo un prodotto di serie ma lavoriamo su commessa.
    I nostri sono Customers o Clients?

    Grazie in anticipo per l'attenzione,
  12. curiosone

    curiosone Senior Member

    Romagna, Italy
    AE - hillbilly ;)
    There really isn't a huge difference in meaning between "customer" and "client." Panpan provided a great definition/distinction in post #5. "Client" sounds a little classier, so even firms that sell products directly to customers will likely refer to a regular customer (who maybe gets a discount) as a client (since, as nickcitoro suggested in post #2, there's probably a contract).
  13. Wade Aznable

    Wade Aznable Senior Member

    Grazie mille!

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