Offbeat

Customers, or Clients? Some Thoughts on “Clients’ Day”

by . March 18th, 2015

International Clients’ Day (or Client Day) is an unofficial holiday for business owners and managers thank their clients. Client Day is celebrated each year on March 19. 

ClientsdayThe first Client Day was celebrated in 2010; its authors were Lithuanian and Russian businessmen. It has since spread throughout the world — but has yet to have significant headway in the United States.

Client Day was started by a group of businessmen who noted there were no days dedicated specifically to clients – “the most valuable part of any business or organization”.

Discounts, special offers, and gifts are common rewards given to customers on this day. Clientsday.com has a bunch of interesting suggestions, from the cute (baking a big cake, dropping flowers off a helicopter) to the substantial (having the CEO call your smaller clients for a brief chat, go out of your way to help a client) all the way to painfully obvious stuff you should be doing anyway (doing something socially responsible, apologizing for any mistakes in your service).

In Lithuania and Russia, Client Day is widely supported by telecommunication companies, banks, retail stores, government organizations, and educational institutions.  You’re probably not Lithuanian or Russian, so you probably don’t have (or even want) to participate in this seemingly made-up holiday.

A few things:


3.) All holidays are “made up”


Traditions have to start from somewhere, and new ones are being made all the time. We didn’t all ring in the New Year on the same day, up until a few hundred years ago (we actually still don’t). Diamonds weren’t forever until De Beers made us believe they were. And we know all about Hallmark holidays.  Our present-day idea of Santa Claus was shaped in large part by ads created by The Coca-cola Company in the 1920’s.

Traditions aren’t just meant to be followed. They can be made.


2.) Clients and customers are absolutely vital to any business or organization


Otherwise, why exist? Your employees might be there to collect paychecks, sure. But it’s your role as a business owner or manager to help them understand that your regulars are exactly why you continue to… well…be.


1.) Most of us don’t really know the difference between a client and a customer.


In most cases the differences don’t really matter. But as it’s Clients’ Day, we’d love to clear this minor semantics issue.

Client

Clients engage the services of a professional, or a group that does specific professional services. Web designers, artists, lawyers, carpenters, plumbers, mechanics in most cases work for clients.

Examples:

  • Judge Roy Snyder ruled against defense counsel Lionel Hutz’s client, Homer J. Simpson.
  • The jailed stockbrokers failed to disclose important red flags to their clients.
  • The masseuse called the police after her would-be client arrived high on peyote.

Customer

A customer buys goods or services from a business not an individual or group of professionals.

Examples:

  • Wal-Mart warehouse stores cater to customers who want the lowest prices.
  • The Krusty Krab’s Eugene Krabs ejected a customer he suspected was an industrial saboteur.
  • The ice cream parlor lost regular customers after they abruptly replaced classic flavors such as vanilla, strawberry, and rocky road with durian, turnip, and fermented cuttlefish.

Seth Godin might have said it best:

“The customer, ironically, doesn’t get something custom. The key distinction is who goes first, who gets to decide when it’s done”.

Some businesses might refer to customers as ‘clients’ to make them feel more important, or because the differences are minor enough to be insignificant in most cases. In any case it helps to take at least a couple of minutes to reflect on who you are doing all your work for.

Наслаждайтесь “День клиента” !

 


How badly have you misused the word ‘client’? How bad is our Russian? Comment below!


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.

%d bloggers like this: