Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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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