I travel frequently for to help chiropractors build patient volume as well as best practices in chiropractic marketing. You can just imagine how many service stories I see. With my traveling so much many of the airport employees know me by first name. In fact one airline attendant once brought be an entire bottle of wine because my seat was changed! Now that is customer service.
Since we live in a service-based economy and since the only differentiation in chiropractic marketing is service, chiropractors need to pay more attention to this issue. The only distinction between one or another is the manner in which patients are treated.
After doing some research, I have discovered that the key to effective customer service is practicing it. I have found over the course of time that physicians practice, lawyers practice; musicians practice an even athletes practice. Each of them goes about their day practicing to ensure success towards an end result. Chiropractors therefore must practice too!
I developed a proprietary formula known as PRACTICE to assist you.
q Positive First Impression – you must be genuinely interested in assisting others. Passion and empathy separates athletes from the spectators. These include warm greetings on the telephone or direct. Being positive gets things moving in the proper direction. The Four Seasons ensures that every guest is greeted enthusiastically with each and every interaction.
q Rapport – 98% of every interaction involves trust and respect. Ensure you establish rapport with every patient. Establish rapport from the moment they meet you. Do not rush from one treatment room to another but get to know your patients.
q Assess the Issue – Asking provocative questions is the only way to get to the heart and soul of every issue. Disgruntled Starbucks customer Jason called in to the company’s corporate offices after a mix-up with a New Jersey branch’s barista. Instead of simply giving him a refund, the customer service representative told Jason that they needed to “make him whole, and give him an experience nothing short of fantastic.” This includes your practice culture also instills a level of high service.
q Communication – The best communicators listen first and speak second. When you ask more questions you gain more information. Also remaining in constant contact with patients ensures trust and respect.
q Time Management – Never rush patients, they can tell. Take time as well as optimize your time so that each moment is a valued opportunity.
q Interest – Gaining interest requires an understanding of the multi generational and cultural issues that assist in building rapport and becoming genuinely being interested in others, is a famous Dale Carnegie and biblical trait.
q Closing on a Positive Note – Always close your appointments or calls on the positive side seeking to address any open issues and questions. Remember to use thank you cards to illustrate your patient empathy.
q Evaluation – Customer service requires conviction and passion to aid others. Patients are willing to wait as long as 60 seconds to have their calls answered but do not place them on endless hold or keep them waiting.
© 2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.
What are some of your best practices with patient service? Place your comments in the space below.