Who Is the Customer?

By Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

While still growing as part of our health care vernacular, the notion of the “customer” is gaining adoption as an acceptable term used to describe those we serve.

But who is the customer after all?

My preferred definition is as referenced above: those we serve. Or more broadly, those we want to serve. This view opens up our perspective on the concept of customer and allows us to focus, not just on the person in need of care, but also on their family, friends, and the community in which they live.

This definition, as directed at the professional referral segment (physicians and other health care professionals), allows for a wide recognition of the customer as well. Not only is the physician the customer, but also the referral coordinator, office manager, receptionist, and anyone else who may hold influence in the decision to mention your name.

Answering the question “Who is the customer?” allows us to get one step closer to understanding why they buy, and the message we need to convey in order for them to buy from us.


Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA, lives at the intersection of physical therapy and entrepreneurship, spending his time helping physical therapists build and operate successful practices through his company, Vantage Clinical Solutions. He specializes in marketing, finance, and business planning, and authors and speaks regularly for the APTA and PPS. He can be reached at tannus@vantageclinicalsolutions.com.

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