More New Patients and Patient Satisfaction: 8 Fundamentals You Didn’t Learn in Chiropractic SchoolMay 13, 2014
“What’s worse than training your workers and losing them?
Not training them and keeping them.”
~ Zig Ziglar
I do not recall a class or discussion on service and satisfaction as fundamental to more new patients when I went to chiropractic or nursing school. I eat at some of the finest restaurants in the world and yet to this day, a dinner many years ago has been my favorite for it taught me the value of extraordinary service. Years later in practice I modeled this to attract new patients and loyal patients.
My father knew Arnie Morton and arranged for a special dinner on a visit home from chiropractic school. As students we had scrimped and saved for this special weekend. Walking into a sea of elegance, escorted to a private area and wine at the table, we were feeling pretty special and a bit intimidated. As every student on the planet has experienced we scanned the prices and then the food (gulp)!
We enjoyed a delectable feast; food not ordered appeared “compliments of the chef”. We experienced royal service with two men waiting at our beck and call. My friend’s super impressed; I was feeling pretty important and totally loving my father! Feeling less like students and more royal than ever, we received the pièce de résistance, upon a gleaming silver tray, chocolate and a beautifully scripted note, “Enjoy the play, dinner is on the house. Arnie”.
Reading the story of a weary business man sending a wishful tweet to @Morton’s ending with a steak delivery to Newark airport, I was not surprised. http://mentalfloss.com/article/30198/11-best-customer-service-stories-ever .
Arnie Morton left a service legacy beyond compare, a special memory I treasure and a fabulous and fruitful lesson, which has allowed me to consistently attract more new and loyal patients.
WHY IS YOUR TEAM SO IMPORTANT FOR MORE NEW
AND SATISFIED PATIENTS?
The right team raises your service standard which is attractive to new and active patients alike. Statistics on customer service reveal that that 91% of people will not do business with you again if they receive poor service, a dissatisfied person will tell between 9 and 15 people about their “bad” experience and it takes 12 positive service experiences to make up for one negative experience.
Research has shown that “satisfied customers” leave businesses every day. However the “extremely” satisfied customer tends to remain loyal. Everyone on the team needs to be dedicated to creating “extremely satisfied” patients because it increases retention and referrals, new patients, profit and sustainably. Your team is often the first and last contact. With one extremely satisfactory experience at Arnie Morton’s, decades later, I remain a loyal fan.
If people were asked, “On a scale of 10 how would you rate your experience today?” How would you rate? What will it take for your rating to be 10 out of 10?
Implement these 8 fundamentals to improve your score, attract more new patients, and create extremely satisfied patients. The world needs chiropractic, now is the time to give them your best.
8 Fundamentals for More New Patients and Creating “Extremely” Satisfied Patients
Hire extraordinary people
The owner is responsible for creating a great team. Never settle for average, only hire extraordinary people; hire for character, energy and attitude. Skills can be learned. The systems, procedures, policies and dialogues will never matter as much as the people behind them. Hire someone with great people skills, an outgoing, and “can do” attitude. You need a team that has the ability to connect with people.
Protect and fire when necessary
If someone’s performance is lacking and you have done everything in your power to help them, it is time for them to express their gifts elsewhere. Retaining someone who is not performing is detrimental to your success. In order to serve at the highest level the right team is critical.
Staff for prime time service
A practice grows consistent with the volume it can flawlessly manage at prime times. Inefficiency requires more people! It is very important to right-size your team. The focus is on your people during service times, everything else is secondary. In others words “all hands on deck” during prime time. Staff and organize work flow accordingly, providing extraordinary service with absolute focus and attention. As the number of people at prime time grows, so does the need for more staff. Use technology wisely.
- Understaffing can lead to dissatisfaction, frustration, resentment, burnout and a staff exodus.
- Overstaffing can cause lower productivity, reduction in profit and countless other issues.
- Future focus — Prepare for growth, staff for the next goal; not the current volume.
- Cross-train employees for maximum efficiency.
- Check in/out — Utilizing separate locations, minimizing the stress of many people arriving and departing simultaneously.
- Quality of care — Clinical/technique and personal styles can affect staffing needs. Short-staffed prime times impact quality of care and limit growth. If legal, utilize competent CAs to do everything but adjust. Utilize “floaters” for smooth service during prime time. Personal volume capacity dictates when adding associate(s) will be appropriate.
- Dedicated phone staff — When CAs are pulled between answering the phone and working with the person in front of them, it’s time to consider a separate phone position away from the front desk.
- Record keeping — More people are required to manage paper charts than are needed for electronic records. Utilizing software to the fullest, e.g., loading photos, x-rays, assessments and such can add time not accounted for before utilizing this type of technology.
CAs must know their duties and accomplish gold medal performance. If you are unsure of the number of CAs for right staffing, have everyone keep a log of all the jobs they do over the course of several weeks. Ask them to assign the percentage of time they spend doing each task. Evaluate their lists and see if they are utilizing time effectively and each CA is carrying equivalent workloads. If one CA has been able to perform in a position flawlessly and another has issues, know they might not be the right person.
Systems, procedures, policies and processes — must be efficient, congruent and clear allowing seamless and extraordinary service.
Performance enhancement sessions
Consistently scheduled, agenda based, team development sessions are a must. Focus on improving performance in quality of service and care, quantity, speed, safety, problem solving, attitude, ethics, motivation, leadership, connection and communication. According to Ferdinand Fournies, performance problems occur because employees (1) don’t know what they’re supposed to do, (2) don’t know how to do it, and/or (3) don’t know why they should do it. Performance enhancement sessions are one solution to all three factors.
Correct efficiency issues — Utilize the next performance enhancement session to correct the issue.
- Layout — Pretend your practice doesn’t have the physical confines that it does, and determine if you would staff and organize it differently. Research reveals standing to be more efficient and healthier. Is it time to install standing work stations? Doctor, can you decrease your steps each day to increase efficiency? I went from 6 tables to 2, not only did it increase my efficiency but my energy improved. I added more coat racks and more chairs and increased by 100 visits a week.
- Work cycles — Backlog causes major stress and inhibits growth. Bring in a temporary help or ask staff to work extra; do whatever it takes to have everything caught up. Determine cause of backlog and correct it.
- Administrative time — Some jobs are by nature “interruptible” and some jobs are performed best when there is minimal interruption. Schedule dedicated admin hours to complete jobs best performed with uninterrupted focus so service time is not affected.
- Brainstorming sessions — Develop plans for improving efficiency.
- Redundancy decreases efficiency—Every task must be contributing to success of the practice and all redundant work eradicated. Avoid falling into the trap of “because we’ve always done it that way.” One of my PowerSource Coaching clients increased by 300 visits a week along with other strategies streamlining everything permitted time for more new patients and higher prime time volume.
Invest in your CAs, they are vital to your success. In an AON survey, respondents ranked “opportunities for personal growth” as the main reason they took their current job and stayed in that job. Significantly, they ranked it ahead of salary. According to a study by Louis Harris & Associates for Interim Services Inc., companies that fail to train their employees are more than three times as likely to lose them.
I am here to help, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance in your success and prosperity,
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24 hours to Improve Your Chiropractic Practice
There is nothing like the present to be living your future.
Imagine what your life would be like if for only 24 hours you went on a quest to banish all small-minded, negative and insignificant thoughts and words. Imagine if you only visualized, thought, and spoke of the way you want your life to be. We are what we think about and therefore it is in our best interest to take charge of our thoughts and use words that create the reality we desire.
You can interrupt your patterns by being more conscious. When you start thinking or speaking incongruent with the life you want, simply saying cancel, cancel this simple act will catch your attention and redirect you. You can eradicate the negatives by replacing them with a positive. The moment they show themselves, replace the thought/belief/words with those that are more empowering and better serve you. We cannot hold a positive and a negative thought at the same time.
The old small-minded, negative, insignificant thoughts words and worries will continue to occur, however with increased awareness and practice they will happen much less. When you become more conscious and masterful, you will be inspired to take actions and make decisions that will help you become a master of manifestation. Right thought, creates right action, and creates your extraordinary life. Often enrolling your partner, kids and teammates on this 24 hour quest will make it more fun, and easier to stay on track.
Try it for 24 hours and let me know what happens.
Success Tips for Your 24 Hour Quest to Improve Manifestation
List your power words, thoughts and behaviors you want to demonstrate.
Start your morning off in a state of power and certainty. Meditate, pray, read, listen, or watch something that inspires you.
Do at least three effective activities that will make you, your practice or the world a better place.
Write down three new things you are thankful for today.
In this 24 hour quest, spend time with people who inspire you, cheer for you and support your endeavors.
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An Angel Watching Over
“Here’s my hand, if you ever need it. Keep a kind word on your tongue
and always listening for voices that say angels this way.”
My brother Fred had been ill and we knew his time was short. On the advice of a good friend we started planning. We picked out his clothes, planned the service, and organized the details; you know, the ones you wish you will never have to decide. We felt like traitors, but looking back it was the right thing to do. Fred was a great entertainer, if he were alive today he would have his own HGTV series. He loved the art of throwing a party; his favorite foods were sushi, Starbucks and artisanal cheese.
Those last days were some of the hardest days and some of the best days of our lives. It was a record breaking cold January, the day we buried him it was -21, the coldest day of that year. Oddly, as we drove to the cemetery a glorious rainbow graced the sky.
As homage to Fred we did everything as if it was a party Fred himself would throw; the funeral home kindly complied with our wishes. The viewing area was converted into a mega living room, individual conversationa areas created with beautiful floral arrangements, (no funeral flowers allowed). In the back there were food and beverages for his guests to enjoy.
After two long, roller coaster days, the family said their last goodbyes. Champagne was poured, glasses lifted; the tears and laughter surrounded him. Gently placing his favorite champagne and other special mementos, we all felt comforted as the casket lid permanently closed.
The last of the ritual had to be “Fred” style, too, no boring family style banquet hall dinner would do. Unfortunately he would be buried on Monday and his favorite sushi restaurant would be closed.
Sometimes you just have to ask, for the impossible to be made so. As we let the owner know Fred was gone, understanding his restaurant was closed we inquired where one could get sushi. His last party had to have all his favorites. Kindly, it would be an honor to go in on his day off, for one of his best and kindest customers was his reply. When the sushi platters were delivered, “no charge”, he said, as they were to be a thank-you gift. He explained that Fred must be watching out for him and he would be forever grateful. His pipes had all been frozen, close to bursting; if he not gone out of his way the loss he would have experienced was unthinkable.
Fred was loved and he is missed; his generosity in life returned in his death. Consider the next time someone asks you to go out of your way; don’t hesitate, there might be an angel watching out for you.
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Remember as a child, the first time you experienced something unfamiliar?
Our experiences shape us. As long as I can remember summer equates to new experiences, leaving the habitual, the familiar, the comfort zone. As a “city” girl growing up I would visit my gma’s farm in Michigan in the heart of an Amish community.
Farm life was vastly different and the Amish way of life even more unfamiliar. People who lived without electricity, the simple clothes, bearded men with straw hats, a horse and buggy as your only mode of transportation and the best homemade cinnamon buns in the world; left this city girl wide-eyed with wonder.
I learned how to drive a tractor, before I knew how to drive a car, how to feed hogs, bale hay and eat a tomato, right off the vine, like an apple. I conquered my fear of the dark, walking a country road at night without a streetlight or flash light. On the farm most of the experiences were fun and joyous but others exposing me to a harsh reality I never would have experienced in the city.
Our experiences shape us.
As we “grow up”, many people get into a habit of saying no to new experiences, preferring to live in the familiar, their comfort zone. Comfort zones can limit our personal and professional growth. Summer is the sound of an ice cream truck, the opening of the pool, the family picnics, weddings and fireworks. Summer for many means vacations to unfamiliar places, people and food.
Summer is a great time to grow to be exposed to the unfamiliar, to get out of your comfort zone, to look at the world with the wide eye wonder of a child.
Today here are five practical applications for summer growth in you practice.
People are inclined to have a schedule change in the summer. Have you asked everyone if they need to change their day or times? Are their multiple appointment calendars accurate for the summer? Remember if they understand the value they won’t miss their checkups. Summer is a great time to have family members checked, expect referrals to skyrocket. If someone will be out of town, when appropriate, help them understand the importance of adapting their schedule. This is especially important in the first year of care. You have the power to influence their decisions for the greater good of the family’s health.
Vacation is for renewal and personal growth. Please go and enjoy and get out of your comfort zone. Do not fret about your practice; it will be there upon your return. Come back healthier, happier and with more life experience, inspired to serve. If a teammate is gone this is a great time to cross train, become more thankful for your teammates and see if you can simplify any procedures.
Celebrate and Surprise
Plan a few days with summer treats, experiences and events. Have an ice cream day, put out fruit kabobs, and flavor the water with the bounty of the season. Create a friends and family picnic or BBQ. Have a postcard contest such as who sends the office the prettiest, weirdest or from the farthest away. Referral contests are always well received in the summer. Offer advanced workshops or a series of workshops related to family health. The point is something different, just to say we appreciate and celebrate you!
What are you always putting off learning, reading or implementing? Set aside a few “school” hours. Learn it, create it and or implement it.
This is a great article http://peterbregman.com/articles/the-most-overlooked-leadership-skill/ and The Powersource Coaching Success library is a great resource always available 24/7 to PowerSource Coaching clients.
How is the year to date? Are you enjoying it as much as you planned, is your family happy, are you reaching the goals as quickly as you desire, is it stress free and smooth? What do you need to commit to, fine-tune, tweak and or eradicate? In six months will you have lived the year you wanted?
WE GET WHAT WE TOLERATE. Please stop now and create what you desire. You can have it the way YOU want it, uniquely and beautifully you, like no other.
I love and appreciate you for always endeavoring to be your best, giving your best and because you are the best!
Business coaching, seminars, and solutions for chiropractors 512-306-1844 www.powersourcecoaching.com
Powersource Coaching Seminar is June 29th
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