Calling someone a client or a customer in our business is not a “Y’all” or “You’s guys” clash of regional colloquialisms, it is a key part of communication. While they are often used interchangeably in modern American business, we execute for our CLIENTS by taking world-class care of their CUSTOMERS.
Before you break out your Webster’s Complete and smugly point out that clients buy services and customers buy products, I will point out that complex business arrangements usually include both.
Our clients do sell actual things. No one needs a tractor-trailer to move their financial services advice…well, unless you printed out hard copies of everything they pitched, in which case you might need a fleet.
We spend so much time in our client’s kitchens working on improving service to their customers, we have to keep the designations straight so we know who we are talking about. The physical delivery of product is the culmination of a lot of work, even if the customer at the other end is another facility in the company’s own network. We owe an obligation to everyone who worked to get it ready to roll to get the transportation right. This is the core difference between a 3PL (3rd party logistics provider) and DTS – we take out the risk and reduce the cost, but we are still your private fleet. We are not a third party, we are a part of YOUR party. When we say we have to take care of the customer, we mean it. When our client’s customer gets the right material, in the right place at the right time with the right attitude – every time – then our relationship with our client is as secure and happy as grandma’s porch with a plate of cookies and a glass of cold milk.