Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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Learning the Transformative Language of the Channel System: The Sinew Channels
The Chinese medical classics describe the energetic terrain of the body in much detail. The acupuncture channel systems, as presented in the Ling Shu illustrate the various expressions our qi energy can take.
Exercise Recommendations for Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is not. Common physical signs of aging include decreased muscle mass, decreased muscular power, increased body fat, and decreased aerobic (lung) capacity.
Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
The Ethics of Herbal Prescribing
While teaching ethics classes, I often encounter licensed acupuncturists who are surprised that our use of herbs and supplements has a specific section in the material. It is often an aspect within ethics that clinicians don't think of in practice.
Patient Retention Techniques
When talking about techniques to grow your business, we tend to focus on the "large" aspect of the patient base, that is, on strategies to attract new patients. However, it is important to remember that "loyal" is equally, if not more, important.
Teaching Qi Gong to Children
Many of us have come to embrace Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice as a regular part of our lives. Qi Gong has been a stabilizing factor in my life for the last twenty years.
Healing the Core: AWB Nepal Earthquake Relief Project
With almost 9,000 people killed during the earthquakes in April and May, another 23,000 suffering injuries, hundreds of thousands left homeless when entire villages collapsed, and many sacred sites destroyed, no one in this country of approximately 28 million has been left untouched by the disaster.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
It's Time to Wake Up
It is time for this profession to wake up and tell someone about the healing benefits of acupuncture. This is the time for Asian Medicine. Its popularity, growth and unusual acceptance is nothing short of amazing.
What to do When Today Sucks
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went the way it should have? The patient with migraines got worse instead of better from a treatment similar to one you've effectively used on him before.
ASA Ready to Impact Profession
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a 501(c)6 (pending), not-for-profit collaboration among state based, acupuncturist professional associations.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 1
All humans, by the very nature of being human, will experience moments of trauma and suffering. What, then, makes the difference in how the individual who experiences trauma, suffering, and spiritual loss reacts to such experiences?
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Acupuncture Treatment of Trauma in the Canine
From 1972 until 1976, John Ottaviano and I were treating dogs at five different veterinary clinics in the Los Angeles county area. Usually, we were at a clinic for seven to eight hours.
Relationship Marketing: A Modern Approach
Remember when you used to get real letters in the mail? Not the automated type, but the real deal, hand written with a personal message just because someone was thinking about you? You know what I'm talking about.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
Fish Oil: A Key Component to Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your patients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation.
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
Preaching to the Choir: How to Extend Our Reach Beyond the CAM Community
Professional conferences offer unique opportunities to network, be exposed to cutting-edge innovators, share your interests and work, and be inspired.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
November, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 11
How Do You Retain Your Clients?
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
In my last column, I wrote about how to reactivate clients. You know, the ones who go missing for one reason or another. I hope it was helpful and your practice is experiencing the fruits of that labor.Now that those clients are back, how do you keep them? After all, the winner of the game is the therapist who has the greatest ability to attract and retain clients. Imagine if you didn't retain your clients, but wanted a thriving practice? It would be like trying to fill up a bucket with a big hole in it. No matter how much water you put in the bucket with a hole, it will never fill. Well, if you are not retaining clients, that is what will happen with your practice - it will never be full.
The bottom line to client retention is keeping them happy. Of course, that means different things to different people. However, in today's economy and stressful times, people are looking for something special and unique. People are looking to be treated in a certain way and consumers want an experience. Gone are the days of just being satisfied with an hour massage. Consumers are smarter and the number of therapists is growing exponentially. So, how do you set yourself apart from the myriad of others? What makes you special and how will you provide an experience for your clients?
I strongly believe the experience starts with the first interaction. Whether it's in person or over the phone, the clock starts ticking and the value of the massage is being tallied. Do you take the time to conduct a proper interview? Do you ask questions that show you care? Are you rushing to book the appointment? The answers to these questions tell the client what kind of therapist you are and what they can expect from future interactions with you. Similar phone protocol is imperative for on going clients as well. Do you return calls promptly? People will leave voice messages if they know you return calls in a timely fashion. If you are receiving hang-ups, chances are your time- management and phone skills need a makeover. If you are professional, caring, prompt and unrushed, your long-term therapeutic relationship is well underway.
The next phase of the experience happens during the treatment time, but before hands-on. How do you greet your client? Do you remember (or write down) the things discussed during the interview or do they have to repeat everything? Do you remember what you did with them during their last visit? Do you have the table prepared the way they like it (abdominal pillow, face cradle, etc.)? Do you listen to them? What extras do you provide at the office? Do you offer water after the session or teach them exercises to do at home? All of these little things add up to a richer, fuller hour of care.
The massage itself is up to you. Your work is your own and it must be nothing short of awesome to keep people coming back. However, my area of expertise is business so I won't go into how to give a good massage. That's your job.
Follow-up is another key to client retention. Whether you do a 24-hour follow-up call for a new client or send a monthly newsletter to an existing one, the continuity is imperative to long-term success. It's so easy for you to slip from people's minds; you must stay at the forefront at all times. Birthday cards, newsletters, follow-up calls, reminder calls and holiday greetings are examples of ways to keep in contact. If you don't believe how effective this can be, allow me to provide a real-life example. Every month, I send out an e-mail newsletter. As I recently started another new practice, this has only been happening for about six months. The last two newsletters got amazing results! Three clients e-mailed me back within minutes of receiving my newsletter to book appointments, for two months in a row. They commented that they loved being reminded of me, couldn't believe it had been a month since their last massage and appreciated how easy it was to hit "reply" and book an appointment. Whatever method you choose to stay in touch, the premise is that you still are thinking about your clients long after the hour massage is over. The dollar value of the treatment is being extended beyond the 60 minutes, and the experience is still continuing.
Retaining clients is the key to the ultimate success of your business. It costs far less money to keep your existing clients happy compared to drumming up new business. It takes less emotional energy to work with an existing clientele, and it's just plain easier. Business peace of mind comes when the clients are happy with your work, pay you a fair amount of money and reschedule for many, many years.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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