Customer, Client or Patient?

Beyond semantics
It matters what you call
The person you seek to engage.
A customer is a person
Interested in a product,
And expects a fair transaction
Getting what they expect,
Fair trade.
No need for names
No need for small talk,
Sometimes the less people
A customer has to deal with
The better.
A client is a person
Whose name is known.
Their needs are anticipated.
Their nuances taken into account.
The relationship is as important
As the transaction,
And it doesn’t hurt
If there are other encounters
That aren’t just about business.
A patient is someone
Who has enrolled
On a journey with a health professional,
Trusting this professional to have the skills
And knowledge to help them navigate
Their own bodies
To an improved state of health.
Some patients are customers,
In and out
Getting the help they need
And not much more.
Others are looking for companions
On their journey
For a leader to point the way
A friend to hold their hand.
Some people are customers
And others are clients,
It helps to know the difference.


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