Who is the organization’s primary customer? What are your primary customer’s needs expectations and preferences?


The term customer refers to actual and potential users of your services or programs. Patients are usually the primary customers of healthcare organizations. Other customers may include patient’s families, the community, insurers and other third-party payors, employers, other healthcare providers to name a few.

It is best to keep your focus on one primary customer to minimize confusion within the organization. Everyone in the organization down to the food service worker on the night shift needs to know who the customer is and what they expect.

The customer needs, expectations and preferences are determined through “voice of the customer” approaches, which include surveys of current customers, former and potential customers as well as focus groups. An organization can also learn much about customer needs by analyzing customer complaints.