I'm looking for a term that can be inclusive of both clients and customers.
We offer both products and services and while most buyers purchase services and have an ongoing relationship, there are those that either buy only products or just purchase a service once and continue to buy products only after that.
I want to establish a loyalty program for which clients would automatically be eligible, but customers would need to spend x amount of dollars and then the loyalty rewards would expire after a certain amount of time.
Internally, I want to setup a group of people to deal with clients and a group of people to deal with customers and try to get the to become clients.
So I need a word that includes both of them for when I want to talk about both clients and customers so that I don't have to say "both clients and customers" every time.
Words I'm considering.
- Buyer - although has a special meaning for large accounts that might get confusing.
- Patron - can mean a "regular" customer which would make them more of a client.
- Consumer - in cases where we provide a service to a company, I guess their entire company would be a consumer
In the end I'm trying to establish different levels for different types of buyers. So for example a company starts as a prospect, then becomes a customer (or client if they sign contract), then become a patron (regular) or client.
Maybe I'm overthinking this but I want to use correct grammar and make sure I'm not improperly using a term I might need to use later as we grow.