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News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
June, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 06
The Heart of Business: Client Relations
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Business does not have to be about accounting and long-winded business plans. Even though that is a valid aspect of professional development, many massage therapists hire accountants and some never write business plans.If you enjoy those pieces of the business side of massage therapy, good for you. However, I feel the most important aspects of business revolve around client relations. Getting the clients scheduled in the first place, performing excellent customer service beyond the "hands-on" work and retaining clients is paramount to success. A successful massage career is much more than a good massage just as a five-star hotel is much more than a comfortable bed.
When you first hear the term client relations, what do you think about? Of course, it means different things to different people but I want to try to put together a list of some of the top things that client relations mean to me. For the purpose of organizing this information, I am going to break it into three categories: before the massage, during the massage and after the massage.
The first time you speak to someone on the phone or meet them in person is critical to the success of the long-term relationship. You have about five seconds to "impress" someone and the average client sizes you up in a short time. How you handle this interaction is very important.
You must be professional, clear, and establish your value in a short amount of time. There is no un-doing the first meeting. You never get a second chance. This is the first step in establishing a good relationship.
The ease with which a client schedules and your promptness in returning phone calls is the next thing to pay attention to. If a client cannot get through to you or if it takes too much effort to book an appointment, they won't be a client for long. Convenience and impeccable phone etiquette is key to client relations.
Once you get the client in the door, excellent service and paying attention to their needs tops the list. If a client likes an abdominal bolster, make sure it is set up before the client comes in for an appointment. Don't make the client ask or worse, have them go without. Client preferences must be noted on their chart and should be adhered to each time.
And speaking of charts, keeping accurate records is a must. You are the keeper of people's lives and there is no excuse for not doing an intake and tracking progress with good notes. Use whatever format you like, although SOAP notes are widely accepted. The point is to understand your notes, be able to defend them if necessary and have a clear picture of what your treatments consist of.
Once the client has left the office, follow-up is imperative. Marketing studies show that the best bang for your buck is follow-up. It costs less money and takes less time to keep an existing client than to bring in a new one. A little time spent keeping your current clients happy will go a long way towards ultimate success. Check in and see how they feel after their first appointment. Whatever they tell you, write it in their chart so that you "remember" it for their next visit. If you read an article that would be good for a certain client, take the initiative and send it to them. Clients love that.
Because you've taken such good treatment notes, the next time they come in for an appointment, you will be able to ask them about their current condition. "Remembering" the details is easy if you write it down and clients will feel cared for. In a world where health care is challenged and medical professionals don't have time to converse, let alone remember details, you will stand out amongst the stars if you do.
Good client relations isn't hard to accomplish, but it takes time, thought and effort. With some practice, these techniques can become second nature and be part of your standard of care. Clients will appreciate it and as a result, will come back. I truly believe if more massage therapists focused on client relations, there would be more success in our industry.
Click here for more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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