The better the experience patients have when visiting your chiropractic office, the more likely they are to come back again.
And if they’re truly impressed, they’ll be likely to bring their friends and family with them. This alone can help you grow your practice, simply by making sure your patients enjoy “the perfect chiropractic office visit” every time they see you.
Components of a perfect chiropractic visit
What does a perfect office visit look like? For starters, it helps to have a patient who is excited about the visit itself. While this factor is largely in their control and happens almost naturally when they’re hopeful about the results chiropractic can give them, there are some ways you can boost their excitement even further.
Steve Knauf, DC, senior director of chiropractic operations with The Joint, says, “The best way to get patients excited for long-term or regular maintenance care is through their interactions with other patients in your clinic.”
That’s why The Joint uses open adjusting bays. According to Knauf, this enables the patients to “talk to each other about the ongoing benefits of their care and this builds a lot of excitement for a long-term patient.”
Having patients who truly understand what chiropractic can do for them is another critical component of creating the perfect office visit. To achieve this goal, Rubina Tahir, DC, and TV host of The Rx, first conducts comprehensive testing to identify issues that will respond positively to treatment.
The next step, says Tahir, is to “identify the patient’s baseline and show them how they are functioning compared to maximum performance. This allows ease of understanding with the patient.”
Overcoming patient objections
Sometimes you have to overcome patient objections to craft the perfect office visit and “objections are nothing new for practicing chiropractors” says Karlos Boghosian, DC, the CEO of SoVita Chiropractic Center, citing that most have “heard everything from ‘Once I go, I have to go the rest of my life,’ ‘Chiro can hurt me,’ all the way to ‘chiropractors aren’t real doctors.’”
Boghosian finds that overcoming these types of objections are possible as long as you “understand the patient’s point of view, appreciate that they have the courage to share their objections, and never take these objections personally.”
Once you’ve taken these steps, you can then quell patient concerns by providing fact-based evidence related to their objections. “Interestingly, in my experience, these patients become the most loyal as their concerns were understood and appreciated immediately,” Boghosian says.
Integrating a referral system
Having a referral system integrated into the perfect visit also boosts your practice, because happy patients are some of the best marketing sources available. In fact, one study published in Harvard Business Review looked at 10,000 customers at a German bank and found that those who were referred to the bank were nearly 20 percent more likely to stay with that financial institution, increasing profits for that bank by about 15 percent.
To increase referrals, Betty Hernandez-Tupta, DC, of Back Benders says, “I pride myself for running a boutique chiropractic office. I perform all the therapies, listen to all patient concerns, and like to keep the mood light and happy.” For Hernandez-Tupta, this includes an office complete with flowers, a diffuser with citrus essential oil, crystals spread about, and “a variety of music playing in the background.”
Hernandez-Tupta also says that taking notes about previous visits enhances the doctor-patient relationship to the point where referrals come easily. “I take notes about what our last encounter was—did their child have a sports event, was it their birthday, was a family member sick? Remembering these little details really makes a patient feel at home. We go out of our way to take care of our patients and it shows with all the referrals we receive and that makes us so very grateful.”
How instrument adjusting helps
Integrating instruments in your practice can also help create the perfect chiropractic office visit—as long as you follow a system. For example, the Sigma Instruments system uses computerized spinal analysis to provide an objective measure of a patient’s presenting issue, and integrates anatomy illustrations to help the patient better understand his or her condition.
The doctor can then perform a “safe and gentle” adjustment, enabling real-time feedback with the help of computer-aided instrument adjusting.
After the adjustment, Sigma recommends that DCs continue with the perfect chiropractic office visit by conducting a post-adjustment analysis to increase patient confidence and make sure you’re both on the same page regarding treatment. This ensures that the patient understands your recommended care program and the type of benefits they’ll receive when they follow it, thus promoting the perfect chiropractic office visit even more.