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Customer or Client

Customer or Client

October 11, 2021

Customer or Client

by Oct 11, 2021

For all the talk we hear about raising the image of the auto repair industry to a true profession, we must first have a reckoning with how we understand our relationship with those whom we serve.

Restaurants and hospitality businesses have guests.
Doctors and medical establishments have patients.
Lawyers and law firms have clients.

What is the term we most commonly hear referring to those we serve in auto repair shops? We have…the customer.

Many years ago, I learned the difference between a customer and a client.
It may seem subtle, but when you and your team learn to understand the difference, our image as professionals will become matter-of-fact.


  • Buy goods and services
  • Cost conscious
  • Transactional
  • DIFM (Do it for me)


  • Desire the services of a professional person or company
  • Understand your value
  • Commit to a longer relationship with the business
  • MIFM (Manage it for me)

In truth, your business will serve both clients and customers. Anyone can recognize that it would be a good goal to specifically attract new clients. However, many people will begin as customers trying out your service.

The question we should be asking now is, “How do we convert customers into clients?” With the proper tools, technology, and strategy in place, client count will become an important factor in developing your business.

Craig O'Neill

Craig O'Neill

Vice President of Training

Craig O'Neill