When a new or established patient walks through your door, you and your staff have an opportunity to create a lasting impression. It’s up to you whether that patient will have a positive experience — the type of experience that makes the patient want to come back and refer family and friends.
Let’s face it, if a patient does not have a positive experience in your office, the likelihood of a return visit is doubtful. If you have a bad dining experience in a restaurant, are you going to return? Probably not, since there are plenty of other restaurants that are willing to offer you a great experience.
Sometimes you only get one opportunity to present a positive chiropractic image. If you want your patients to have a positive experience in your office, you must have a well-trained, well-educated staff that believes in you and your services. The attitude your staff exudes is pivotal in building relationships with patients.
The staff at a chiropractic office can be viewed as an extension of the doctor — similar to the nervous system serving as an extension of the brain. The chiropractor can be compared to the brain, because he or she generates life and gives energy, while the staff acts like the nervous system by taking that energy and spreading it throughout the office, community and anywhere else they happen to be.
Job satisfaction and feeling valued are two of the top reasons employees stay at their place of employment. Every staff member can be a chiropractic advocate if given the confidence and the tools to do so. Every employee needs to understand his or her role in practice growth and patient care. The chiropractor’s staff is a powerful catalyst in practice growth.
A positive patient experience begins with the feeling the staff gives the patient from the initial phone contact. That’s why no staff member should answer the phones until he or she is educated about the practice and is given the necessary tools and information. One lost potential patient can mean an eventual impact of thousands of dollars to your bottom line, in terms of that patient’s care and potential lost referrals.
In building a successful practice, the following qualities are key:
Believe: It’s not what you say, but what you believe about what you say, that gives your message power. You must think, speak, and take actions that coincide with your beliefs. You attract into your life whatever you believe. You must believe in your vision, your staff, in your patients and in yourself. A chiropractor must nurture his or her staff. If you want your staff to value your patients, you must value your staff.
Enthusiasm: Your office must convey enthusiasm and positive energy. Get excited about what you are doing. You are making a difference in people’s lives.
Educate: If you want a successful practice, you must focus on educating your patients. No wellness or cash practice has ever thrived without educating the patient. This process, of course, begins with an educated staff. In a busy practice, everyone must educate. Staff meetings, education meetings and seminars are all ways to educate and motivate staff. Use non-threatening educational policies to teach your patients. Using force or threats does not work. Telling stories and sharing information are much more effective.
Focus: Whatever you put your attention to will grow stronger. Identify your practice weaknesses and focus on them during the coming months.
Prioritize. Don’t try to work on everything all at once. Change must be a group effort in order to be effective. Involving your staff is a key to success.
One of the most valuable tools in your office is your staff. If you are willing to take the time and money to invest in your staff, your investment will come back to you many times over. You may have the best technique, the best tables, and the best equipment to help your patient. But in order to have the best practice, you also need a staff that believes in you and believes in your chiropractic philosophy, and that staff must have the education and ability to give your patient a positive and memorable experience.
Invest in your staff and they will, in turn, invest in you and your patients. The result will be a thriving practice in which every staff member will feel pride and ownership.