Difference between Customer, Consumer and Client

Of course, we are familiar with the business world when we hear the terms Customer, Consumer, and Client. But not infrequently many people mistakenly interpret Customer, Consumer, and also Client. Some of them think these three things are the same, but these three things are very obviously different. What are the differences? Here are the differences.


(source : personal dukumen)


In short, a customer can be interpreted as a person who buys a product. More clearly, here is the understanding of customers from several experts:

1. Jerald Greenberg

According to him, customers are individuals or groups who shop for products in the form of goods or services by carrying out various consideration factors, such as quality, place, price, service, etc. based on their own decisions.

2. Vincent Gaspersz

According to one of the professors in the field of system engineering and industrial management and a professor at Trisakti University Jakarta, customers are all people who demand that you can meet a certain quality standard and they will have an influence on your performance.

3. Philip Kotler

Meanwhile, according to Philip Kotler who is also a Professor in marketing, a Customer is an individual or household who shops for or gets products or services to be consumed by themselves.

Types of Customers

1. Customer Internal

The first type is the type of customer who comes from the company itself. Usually, they buy a product or service to sell it again to someone else.

Internal customers are very influential on company performance, especially for marketing employees, operational employees, delivery employees, HRD, and others because it helps increase the number of customers.

2. Customer Eksternal

These customers are usually active and directly use products and services from the company. This type of customer is also often referred to as the end customer, such as business owners, housewives, students, and others.

3. First Customer

This type of customer is a consumer who intermediaries the sale of products but they are also not the last users of a product or service from the company.


(source : personal dukumen)


In simple terms, the definition of a consumer is a person who falls into the category of the end user of a service product or service. A consumer is not necessarily a customer, but a customer is likely to become a consumer at the same time.

For example, if you are a pet food seller, a pet who needs the food is unlikely to buy it himself, right? Therefore, the pet owner is the one who buys it for the pet to consume. So it can be concluded that the pet owner is a customer and the pet is a consumer.

1. Consumer Goods

Launching from the Investopedia page, consumer goods are what is also referred to as finished goods from production and manufacturing.

The items around you today such as clothes, tables, chairs, ready-to-eat food, and others are items that are made to be used immediately without having to create other items first.

Consumer goods are divided into several types, here is the explanation:

2. Convenience Goods

What is meant by convenience goods is an item that is consumed regularly by customers, in other words, customers do not need much time and consideration to buy them.

Usually, this type of product has a relatively short expiration date because it is consumed quickly by consumers.

Examples of convenience goods products are candy, bread, paper, pens, shampoo, toothpaste, chargers, and others.

3. Shopping Goods

Shopping goods are rarely purchased by consumers and have several other substitutes (substitutions). This type of product is usually purchased by consumers after comparing the price with similar goods in other places because in general, the type of shopping goods has a price that tends to be expensive.

This type of good requires quite vigorous promotion and marketing strategies because they are not realized by consumers.

Examples of shopping goods are television, air conditioning, cars, motorcycles, and so on.

4. Special goods

Special goods are non-essential goods, but many consumers want them. Usually, specialty products have unique brand features or associations and are different from other similar products.

Examples such as collectibles, electronics, sports needs, cars, and others.

5. Unsought Goods

This type of product is an unknown product that customers don’t even think of buying. Usually, these products have a high price so a significant investment is needed.

That’s why aggressive promotion is needed to increase consumer interest.

Examples of unsought goods are jewelry and clothing from a designer, luxury cars, homes, insurance services, and investment plans, as well as technical products such as computers and software.


(source : personal dukumen)


Similar to customers and consumers, clients are also individuals who use services or products sold by sellers. However, the difference is that clients are more likely to take advantage of services than products that in practice the client wants to get maximum results.

Therefore, the client identic as someone who likes to ask for advice or assistance from a service provider company.

Types of Clients

Similar to customers and consumers, clients are also divided into several types. Here’s the explanation:

1. Voluntary Client

A voluntary client is a client who is present because of his consciousness without any coercion or pressure from the other party and has his own goals and objectives.

2. Clients are Forced to

Unlike voluntary clients, forced clients are clients who attend counseling rooms at the instigation of others and not their wishes. Not infrequently this type of client does not realize that he has a problem so he needs to be accompanied when dealing with a counselor.

3. Reluctant Clients

Furthermore, the client is reluctant, what is meant by a reluctant client here is a client who does not talk much to give the impression of being reluctant to be helped.

4. Hostile/opposing clients

In general, this type of client is a forced client who has serious problems. It usually has a closed, opposed, hostile nature and resists openly so it requires special handling.

These clients are usually people who are facing disasters such as the death of a loved one, victims of immorality, house fires, and so on.

That is the meaning of customer, consumer, and client, and the difference. It’s obvious, isn’t it? So, don’t equate the three things back because the three things are different. May be useful.

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