The client is ... All meanings of the word
After the majority of independent states formed on its wreckage, they fully felt all the positive and negative sides of the market economy. The changes also affected the Russian language, in which a mass of new terms appeared, calling already well-known old concepts. One of the most popular among them was the word “client”, which they began to use when referring to customers and consumers. Are these nouns synonymous or is it a mistake? And what does the term “client” mean, where does it come from and how does it differ from “consumer”?
Origin of the name
In Russian, this noun appeared in the XVI century. It was copied from the German word Klient, which, in turn, is derived from the Latin name cliēns (the one who is patronized).
To date, this word is actively used in most languages of the world, including Slavic: Cluent (Ukrainian), Cluent (Belarusian), Klient (Polish), Zákazník (Czech), Zákazník (Slovak).
It is worth noting that in most West Slavonic languages (except Polish), the name that came from Latin was supplanted by the Old Slavic term “customer”. At the same time, in the East Slavic languages both names exist in parallel, being synonymous.
The meaning of the word "client" in the time of ancient Rome
In the distant past, when the whole world was shaking from the chased pitch of invincible Roman soldiers, in their empire there was such a thing as a "clientelle". Its essence was that the inhabitants of Rome, who did not have the means and connections to ensure a decent life for their family, entered into legal agreements with wealthy citizens and became their wards, performing the services specified in the contract. The person who has entered into such a contract, received the definition of "client". This social phenomenon, by the way, was the progenitor of future feudal relations.
The patrons of the Roman clients were called "cartridges." For the services of their wards, they not only helped them find a job or get land, but also provided legal and economic protection. In most cases, customers became members of the family of their patronand after their death they were buried in the family cemetery. Client rights and obligations were inherited from parents to children.
Despite their progressiveness (thanks to the client, any talented, but rootless Roman was able to get rich and take up an important post), in different historical periods, the clientele was often criticized, and several times tried to abolish it. The main reason for this was that, having become a client, any rootless upstart received the same rights as an offspring of a noble family, which oh how disliked the aristocracy.
Modern meaning of this noun
Despite its glorious and ancient history, today this term has a slightly different meaning. Thus, in modern society, a client is a person or organization using the services of an enterprise or institution. In a more simple language, this word is called a buyer, customer, visitor or depositor when it comes to banking.
In a market economy, every client is important for any enterprise, even a very small one. After all, he is a consumer of those goods or services that the organization provides, and pays money for it.That is why the slogan “The client is always right” has become a slogan in many institutions, especially private ones.
On the basis of this value, a rougher one appeared. According to him, customers are called the target of fraud or even murder.
Synonyms for this word
This noun has several common synonyms. About one of them (the customer) was mentioned above. Also in such a meaning are used such words as "buyer", "consumer", "visitor", sometimes "subscriber".
Customer and consumer: what is the difference
These two nouns are not complete synonyms, but contextual. It happened because their value, despite the common similarity, has a significant difference. In English, two different words are even used to designate them: client and customer.
It has been said above about who the client is. The meaning of the word "consumer" is a citizen who purchases any goods or services for his own needs, but not for profit.
In other words, if a person bought a can of paint at a store to paint a kitchen door, he is a consumer. And if this product was purchased in order to paint the stool and sell it on the market, the buyer automatically turns into a customer.
Types of customers
Depending on the attitude of a person to the conditions of providing him certain services, there are several types of customers:
- A goal-oriented customer is one who knows enough about the product being purchased. He behaves quite self-confidently, sometimes he argues and thinks that he knows everything and is right in everything that concerns an order. His self-esteem is not always true, and such a person can be persuaded, but the argument must be iron.
- Nerdy - such a buyer likes to talk more than listen. Needs approval and praise.
- Lover to chat. Such a customer is often ready to buy something, but first he just wants to chat about something.
- A hesitant customer is a person who wants to buy something, but is shy or unsure. It is easy to convince, but you can not push it.
- Debater Like an amateur to talk, needs a listener, or rather an opponent.
- Uncommunicative customer - does not like to talk, he needs time to make a decision himself.
- A positively minded client is probably just the perfect look. Such a person likes everything, he is benevolent and ready to make a purchase immediately.
- Impulsive buyer with a negative attitude.Such a person can get angry at any reason and be rude to the seller. When working with him it is important to be patient.
Customers can also be classified by the quantity of goods they purchase:
- A retail buyer is one who purchases something in small quantities (1-2 units).
- A wholesale customer is a person or company buying something in huge quantities. Allocate small wholesale, medium and large.
According to the frequency of purchases customers are divided into two types:
- Permanent - the one who constantly acquires something from the enterprise.
- Single - made a purchase once or twice.
The meaning of the word "potential customer"
Apart from all other types of classifications, there is such a client as a potential one. So called a person or organization wishing to purchase a particular product or service, but for some reason have not done it yet.
In fact, a potential customer cannot even be named a customer, because he has not yet acquired anything, which means he has not entered into commodity-money relations. At the same time, this phenomenon is very important when planning any production, since all customers of a product at a certain moment belong to the category of potential customers.
Client in computer science
This word is also widely used in computer science. In this industry, the client is the component of the computing system that sends requests to the server. Such a component can be both hardware and software.
The term “client” has a rather ancient history, and although today this word means completely different concepts than in the old days, each of them continues to be relevant.