It’s not new that customer service is important. But most private practice owners don’t know how to improve it and are missing out on the great rewards.
So how much is it really costing you?
According to leading business research conducted by the Harvard Business Review, it’s costing you a lot more than you know.
Customer service for private practices can be broken down into 5 distinct categories. They are:
But the essence of customer service can be boiled down into this one important principle. . . “It’s how you make the patient feel that matters most.”
Here are some quick tips you can use immediately to start improving your clinic’s customer service level.
Your staff play a large role in making the patient feel important, listened to, and cared for. Installing an efficient and effective training system that translates into actual performance improvements can reap huge rewards for your private practice.
Whether you are a 2 or a 40 person team, customer service should be made a top priority if you want to enjoy the rewards of a more loyal following, higher revenue and more referred family and friends.
If you want to improve your clinic’s customer service system, click below to learn more about the TRANSCEND ClinicalEX Bootcamp coming July 7-9. Doors are now open for the Early-Bird registration discount.
“Not Your Ordinary CEU Course”
I got a lot of FAQ’s posed at the recent “Cash Client Revolution” (CCRev) conference in Las Vegas.
(Which by the way was sold-out and explosive!)
The attendees loved the answers so much they tried it out immediately upon returning to their practice Monday morning.
Here’s what one attendee had to say,
-Jennifer Angeles, PT (MD)
Many questions were presented from over 50 PT/OT/Peds practice owners and their staff who attended this revolutionary conference.
It’s a popular question and I get it a lot these days,…
“What do I say to a patient with a $2,000 deductible? How do I get them to onboard when they have to pay the entire cost-of-care out of pocket?”
(I don’t look at it as a “dilemma” however since it really helps set us up for higher and faster pay).
Converting patients is essential to your future.
The real solution to this question starts with you adopting some very important truths. They are,
*This is an abbreviated version of just one strategy. The full training addresses all the other variables and factors and all strategies based on the situation. (Any deviation from my steps can result in failure.)
This attendee applied the COC strategy and had this to say,
-Mary Kostka, OT (WA)
My solutions are NOT based on speculation, reason or theoretical “should work” answers but proven time-and-time-again in real life.
I’ve been seeing cash patients for over 12 years (before most were even thinking about cash clients) and have tried it all. During my trial and error phase, I lost a lot of prospective patients. And my mistakes cost me. You can avoid that.
The best way to success is…
…to simply copy someone already doing what you want to do.
If you missed the CCRev Conference but want to jump on the waiting list for the next one (and be offered a kick-ass discount when early-registration opens), click here.
Wise practice owners, who pursue learning and adapting, are going to rule this industry (mark my words).
James Ko, PT
P.s. If you want to skyrocket toward making an extra $100k (or more) with your practice this year (no BS) and get the step-by-step training from the comfort of your home, keep your eyes peeled for the invitation to register for my “Advanced Power Coaching (APC11) With James Ko”, an 11-week online group training class for PT/OT/Peds. It’s coming soon 🙂
The take-home pay of MOST practice owners is less than $160k. And that wouldn’t be all that bad if they were only putting in 20-30 hours per week, but that’s just simply not the case.
(even if you are making more than $160k, read this entire email if you want to move higher)
Most work over 40 hours per week routinely! And sacrifice time with…
They’re always thinking about something related to the business.
They also sacrifice…
If they are spending so much time on their business, why aren’t they making more?
(and the answer is not decreasing reimbursement)
I’ve come to know test there are 3 main reasons but I’m going to share one with you here…
Believe it or not, most practice owners typically think it’s part of the process and it must be done this way. Somewhere in their thinking they believe…
“You have to pay your dues.”
“You have to work hard and sacrifice to make a good living.”
“Nothing comes easy.”
These words sound awfully similar to what my mother and father would always say to me while growing up.
They are almost 80 years old now and they have a lot of regrets. They don’t have much in terms of money, achievements and pride.
They are very sorry to me (and they say it way too much) that they don’t have anything to leave me when they die…
I love them…(more than you know)…
But I don’t want their life.
What if I were to tell you that there’s a better way?
Because the fact-of-matter is, you don’t.
There’s a better way specifically for PT/OT’s in private practice.
James Ko, PT
I got a chance to be a patient and see what a patient sees. Fortunately, it was just for a routine teeth cleaning but what I learned was priceless.
(I have important “Take-Aways” for you below.)
Since I’m new to the Dallas area, I jumped on Yelp and found a random dentist with a good star rating.
(Actually Amanda made the appointment for me.)
Here’s what I learned:
Everything about the experience was quite sterile, stale, and frankly… boring. Albeit I didn’t have a serious condition. All I needed was a teeth cleaning (more reason to take it light-heartedly) but not all patients want it to be serious even when it is serious. For example, check out this video of a patient dancing with his walker.
I would love to see more high fives, smiling, personal questions, and more fun (and I’m kind of a geeky serious guy!). A few might not like it but most everyone else will (as long as it’s not childish, done in good taste, and no ridiculing).
My take away: Up your game and add more fun. You will get more patients loving you. Don’t mind the few who might not like it. Most will love it. You can’t please everyone. It’s better to be lovable with a few hating you than to be palatable with no one loving you. (And what I mean by “loving you” is not cookies and thank you cards but rather elective service sales and family n friend referrals.)
When I first walked in to their office, they gave me a bunch of tedious paperwork, which I hate (all patients hate). Just for a teeth cleaning. This is after I walked around the entire building in the hot sun trying to find their office entrance. And to top it off, she wanted to charge me a different price than what was quoted over the phone. The difference in price was not that important, it was the principle. It’s not fun being a patient.
My take away: If your front door entrance is not easy to find, go out of your way to explain it during the first call. Train staff well on prices. If you are going to get anything right, get pricing right. And don’t say, “It depends.”. People hate that. Don’t have long tedious paperwork, it pisses people off. Email it to me so I can complete it at home. I don’t mind completing forms at home. Most patients don’t.
When the receptionist and I were talking about the misquoted price for the teeth cleaning, the dentist came up (since he overheard) and took over the conversation. This actually lessened my respect for the dentist and entire clinic. He began explaining how his pricing system worked (they had membership rate and non-membership rates).
My take away: If your prices are so confusing that even your staff can’t get it right, change it. Make it simple. And train your staff. Ambiguity is one thing but misquoting a new patient is another. If you screw up, take ownership and honor what your staff quoted. It’s not the amount, it’s the principle. And never, never, never, override your receptionist. Patients will lose all respect and credibility for her, then you’re screwed. You won’t have a chance in hell making patients loyal. Make the best first impression you can.
See my comments above. Even when the patient has a deductible, co-pay, co-insurance, etc., make it easy and understandable or you might lose them (Learn “COC”, the quick and simple way. And patients love it).
The girl who set me up, and later flossed my teeth after the cleaning (Which btw, I have no clue why they do the flossing. It’s pointless.), she was nice. She was timid though. She definitely blended into the sterile culture.
My take away: Hire techs who are nice but confident and outgoing. Surround yourself with fun people (because we’re not all that fun). Create a culture that encourages staff to be fun and outgoing.
The dentist was boring. Before the cleaning, he went on and on about what he was going to do and so on. After the cleaning he kept on wanting to teach me all about the mouth and teeth. Even as I tried to interject with a question, all he wanted to do was complete his educational spiel. Very bad first impression.
My take away: Don’t do all the talking. Don’t overeducate. Instead relate to the patient. Listen to their questions. Take interest in the person and they won’t find you boring. Ask questions about them such as “So, I noticed… how do you like your work?” etc.
If you are going to have several different prices (like membership rate and non-member rates), have a menu. If your pricing is even a little complicated, have a menu. Even if your prices are simple and straightforward have a menu.
My take a way: Have a menu!
Even though I wasn’t crazy about this office. I don’t formulate judgements based on one experience so I told them I wanted to come back for another cleaning in 3-months. They said teeth cleanings are usually performed every 6-months. But I told them I like to do every 3-months because I smoke cigars. They appeared reluctant to schedule me (And it wasn’t like I was being an ass where they didn’t want me as a patient–I was being quite polite.). My followup cleaning was supposed to be last Wednesday. I purposely waited to see if they would call or remind me or not. This was going to be my test to see if they had their sh&% together. They didn’t. I didn’t go.
My take away: Use a reminder app for appointments more than 30 days out. I don’t usually schedule patients more than 2-weeks out but I do have “Maintenance” and “Wellness” patients that schedule 30-60 days out. Search google for a “Reminder App” if your scheduling software doesn’t have that feature. I personally like Alarmed myself (it’s an ios app). But patients get the impression that you have your sh*$ together. Important.
More and more people are searching Yelp for healthcare related services. See their growth rate here. If you are not there, you are losing out big time. People love the rating system. And they have a great mobile app.
Take away: Be on Yelp! Complete your profile/account as completely and thoroughly as possible. Add pictures and a lot of content. Get people to rate you there more than facebook or google. Trust me.
the better way is to get on the path of creating a culture that breeds a “lovable” clinic in every nook-and-cranny of your entire care system. This fixes the root problems and not just the symptoms.
The items and problems I listed above are mere symptoms of a lost identity. They have no culture. They have no identity. They have no mission, purpose, or beliefs.
So what they end up with is a stale, sterile and boring experience…for the patient (and staff).
Will they stay in business? …Who knows.
Will the owner of the practice become wealthy and have abundant fulfillment?…Probably not.
Life is short. Start giving patients what they want…and you’ll get what you want–more referrals, more cash sales, more loyalty!
Soon I will be announcing an impromptu training on this topic.
Download the PDF to do the exercise below.
See which one your’re most like. It can help you identify areas needing work but more importantly it can help you visualize a model to follow. Speeds up the time to success!
There are 12-points that are being compared. How lose close are you to the successful one?
(Quick time-out for a second) Mac in his sparring gear! He models after me 🙂
Seems like there is a huge difference on paper but believe it or not it’s not as much as you might think.
I work with clinics that flounder as well as those who generate $3mill and $5million (and more) in revenue and I have to say, there’s no reason why you can’t be like them.
It only takes a few key adjustments to become a “Power” Practice Owner.
(And that’s the truth.)
You are asking what the hell is that, right?
(Doors close in a matter of hours.)
But believe me when I say, this could change everything for you.
This is a private group training online for 11-weeks.
It’s private, and personal, and geared for fast results.
So, if you are truly grasping what this is about and what it can do for your practice and personal life, you will see why you can’t let it pass by.
This kind of live online training that helps you become a “Power Clinic” only comes along once in a blue moon.
Take advantage of small windows of opportunity like this, because that’s where the greatest treasures are usually found. Learn more.
I go live… Tuesday (April 4) at 12noon PST. And don’t sweat it if you can’t make this first one since a replay video will be available. You won’t miss a thing.
Ok, gotta go!
Keep moving forward…
James Ko, PT
P.s. It’s a 100% money-back guarantee. You have 3-weeks to try it out and see if it’s right for you. If not, simply shoot me an email and I’ll refund your entire enrollment fee. And I won’t take it personally, swear.