Building an effective communication strategy for chiropractors is critically important to their continued success.
Many DCs have found success in their practice by employing an effective communication strategy with their patients. You must be able to communicate with your patients in a meaningful way in addition to providing your patients with the best possible care. This article illustrates an effective communication strategy for chiropractors.
The importance of building an effective communication strategy
Building an effective communication strategy is an enormously important part of running a successful, reliable chiropractic practice. If you are struggling with patient communication, building rapport and establishing trust, employing an effective communication strategy will help.
It’s one thing to simply say you’d like to improve your communication with patients; it’s another to comprehensively understand why it’s important. Your skills as a DC should be at the top of the list of why patients return to you. However, honest, direct and intentional communication can enhance your patient relationships and build credibility in you and your practice.
An effective communication strategy can build trust
Many patients who come to your office might be doing so for the first time. As such, they might be nervous about their first venture into natural health and wellness. As with any professional relationship where you are providing care, it is crucial to build a firm foundation of trust.
Why? Because you will need your patients to know what you are saying is true, is- in their best interest and is important for them to heed. Communication is a huge part of building that vital trust. Employing an effective communication strategy can help build trust.
Patients are more likely to return
The more time and effort you put into communicating effectively with your patients, the more likely your patients will listen to your advice and schedule another visit. Ultimately, effectively communicating with your patients can lead to establishing lifelong relationships.
Solid relationships mean solid referrals
Obviously, developing a trusting, reliable relationship with your patients is key for ensuring they are confident in your abilities. Developing an effective communication strategy is an important element in elevating your referrals. Chiropractic care is a sensitive subject for some; often, new patients will put off scheduling with a chiropractor until they have received a referral from someone they trust.
Every patient you work with has friends, family members, co-workers and others who could benefit from visiting your practice. The more effectively you communicate with your current patients, the more likely you will receive glowing referrals to members of their inner circle.
Patients will take your advice
The health and healing aspect of chiropractic work does not begin and end with one visit to your office. It takes work before, during and after the visit. This is often work the patient needs to tackle on their own time.
If a patient trusts you and understands your communication style, they will be more likely to implement your advice and instruction outside of the practice, which equals better results.
Tips for employing an effective communication strategy for chiropractors
Ditch the industry jargon and speak in clear language
As a highly skilled and trained chiropractor, you may be tempted to share results, the process or instruction in the language you know best. Remember, many patients who come to you are not trained to understand these academic terms.
Part of establishing solid communication is understanding your audience and communicating on their level. It is likely your patients will not be overly impressed by your dazzling vocabulary. They are more likely to be impressed if you can explain something clearly and directly in ways that benefit them. An effective communication strategy will outline what you should and should not do.
Be direct and honest to build your patients’ trust
It can be hard for patients, especially new patients, to establish trust with DCs. Much of that has to do with it being a new experience, something they are likely not familiar with and feeling vulnerable during the process. If you want to communicate well with your patients, don’t beat around the bush.
Be honest and direct about your findings, be gentle and intentional with how you speak, and never sugarcoat things. The more transparent you can be with your patients, the more likely they are to trust you.
Lean on active listening to build rapport
Anyone with exemplary communication skills will tell you a successful dialogue is as much about listening as it is about talking. Active listening, or rather, a type of listening accomplished through multiple elements that show another person you share a mutual understanding, is just as fundamental to the communication process as talking with your patients.
- Active listening includes:
- Maintaining appropriate eye contact
- Nodding or gesturing when you understand
- Avoiding interruption
- Asking questions that follow up on the previous points
- Remaining present while avoiding the urge to think about what you’ll say next
Educate, educate, educate
Engaging with your patients about their pain points and their health and wellness goals is part of an effective communication strategy. Above all, you should focus on continuous education.
By this, we don’t mean turning every appointment into an academic study session. Use every opportunity to deepen patients’ understanding of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and the greater picture of chiropractic health overall. Providing them with the knowledge they need to better understand their bodies, their healing and their general health goals can set them up for success just as much as your chiropractic adjustments and advice.
Effective communication strategy for before, during and after the visit
Creating solid rapport with your patients requires your attention beyond just the times when they’re sitting in your office. An effective communication strategy will help improve your practice’s pre-appointment emails, post-appointment check-ups and other points of communication. The more personalization you can infuse into your patients’ experience, the better your communication will be overall.
Keep the lines open
Effective communication is one of the most critical skills you will need to be a successful DC, and you will not master it overnight. Give yourself grace, continually work on communicating effectively and watch your patient relationships flourish. Developing an effective communication strategy is the key to your success,
For more tips on how to best relate to and communicate with your patients, subscribe to ChiroEco.