Do you ever find yourself wondering why your practice building efforts aren’t working or the growth isn’t going as fast as you want it to? Or maybe patients have stopped coming in as often as they used to. There are three things that I believe to be very detrimental to any chiropractic practice. Mind if I share?
How about we begin with attitude.
Are you guilty of Stinking Thinking? – You’ve heard the saying; “you will become what you think”, well it is true. The path to success isn’t paved in gold if you have a lack luster mindset.
Your team is only as good as their leader. If the you have low expectations, a negative attitude or choose to bring personal issues into the work space, then you can expect to see your staff do the same. It is your practice, so you are always expected to set the standard. So eliminate all that negative energy and buck up. Even if the day is not going as desired, choose to look at the bright side. Sometimes that little tweak in your attitude can turn things around.
Always be on time. Sneaking in through the back door even five minutes late sets the bar for your staff. Because first it’s five minutes and then it becomes ten then fifteen. Eventually patients get tired of waiting to be seen due to the lack respect for their time. After all, they made a point to be at their appointment on time.
Hey I get it, traffic can be a bear especially if you live more than 30 minutes away from your office. We’ve all been held hostage in a traffic jam, but habitual tardiness is annoying for the patients and the staff. It’s true you are the boss, you own the practice and you may think you are entitled to different standards, but your not. If you want your staff and your patients to adhere to time schedules then so must you.
Ever slipped up and said something negative about a patient to your staff? Huge mistake! Even if it’s an innocent slip of the tongue. It will forever taint the way your staff sees and interacts with that patient. And of course never allow any negative comments about patients from your staff. This leads me to the next topic…
Unprofessional or under trained office staff – This could be a touchy subject especially if you have family members working in your practice. Regardless, they should also be held to the same standard as all the other staff, maybe even more since they too have a vested interest in the success of the practice. Chatting with co-workers, texting, taking personal phone calls in front of patients is unprofessional and uncomfortable for a patient waiting to be seen.
Answering phones properly and being knowledgeable about advertising specials is key, after all the phone call is usually the first impression a patient receives when considering their chiropractic choices. Questions regarding insurance and patient accounts should be handled away from the front desk if at all possible.
We always want to make our patients feel special, however this too can be an issue if it looks like one is receiving special treatment because he or she has been a patient for years. In the eyes of a new patient trying to fill out lengthy new patient forms while possibly in a lot of pain, being distracted by the office staff chumming it up with a long time patient can be annoying.
Personal hygiene…need I explain this topic?
On to my last and favorite topic. Marketing or better yet the decision to stop marketing. This is the one thing that makes me cringe especially when I hear a doctor say; “I’m just taking a break” or “I just can’t afford to advertise” or “It never works”.
Never stop marketing – You’ve had to have noticed that the chiropractic profession has become a highly competitive market. So what part of “stepping away” from marketing makes since? The decision to stop marketing or chiropractic advertising will not only slow the momentum of new patient flow, but it will also give the other chiropractors in your area the opportunity to reach the prospects that might have been yours.
If you believe your marketing has stopped pulling the results it had in the past, perhaps it’s time to try another form of chiropractic marketing. Maybe is time to tap into some online marketing or even a direct mail patient stream for chiropractic. I’ve been told that has shown to bring in a lot of new patients and it’s “low cost” compared to other marketing methods. So don’t quit, try different.
Of course these three things are not the only issues that can stunt a practice’s growth, but they are my top three.