The Client and the Customer

BY SETH GODIN

This is a choice, a huge one in the life of the freelancer, the entrepreneur or anyone who seeks to engage with the marketplace.
The customer buys (or doesn’t buy) what you make.
The client asks you to make something.
The customer has the power to choose, but the client has the power to define, insist and spec.
There is a large number of potential customers, and you make for them before you know precisely who they are.
There are just a relative handful of clients, though, and your work happens after you find them.
If a customer doesn’t like what’s on offer, she can come back tomorrow. If the client doesn’t like what you deliver, she might leave forever.
You can do great work for either.
But don’t confuse them. Choose your customers.
Choose your clients.
And most of all, choose which category you’re serving.

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3 TIPS

Show Customers Appreciation

Make customers feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals. Always use their name and find ways to compliment them, but be sincere. People value sincerity. It creates good feeling and trust. Think about ways to generate good feelings about doing business with you. Customers are very sensitive and know whether or not you really care about them. Thank them every time you get a chance.

Give More than Expected

Since the future of all companies lies in keeping customers happy, think of ways to elevate yourself above the competition. Consider the following:

  • What can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere?
  • What can you do to follow-up and thank people even when they don’t buy?
  • What can you give customers that is totally unexpected?

Give More than Expected

When something goes wrong, apologize. It’s easy and customers like it. The customer may not always be right, but the customer must always win. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done. Make it simple for customers to complain. Value their complaints.

As much as we dislike it, it gives us an opportunity to improve. Even if customers are having a bad day, go out of your way to make them feel comfortable.

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