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Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
November, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 11
Service is Not an Antiquated Word
By Angie Patrick
Let's face it, we have seen far better economic times. We have seen recessions come and go, and we have seen boom times. We have watched the stock markets skyrocket, and then looked on in horror as they crashed just as quickly.There is no way around it, no sugar coating it and no way to make it something it isn't. Our economy is tough, period. But for some, using the economy as justification to under-deliver your goods or services to your clients can make an already tough situation even tougher.
Have you walked into big-box retail stores equipped with 35 check out lines only to have two registers open because of personnel cutbacks to save costs. Who does this ultimately hurt? Well, first the customer, because they feel their time is not as important as the store's. Also, this hurts the store, because I can tell you I would actively avoid making purchases in that store because I know the wait times are ridiculous and I can go right down the street and get the services and products I need and not spend my hard-to-find free time in queue. The store has lost my business, so being penny wise and pound foolish is not a smart move for anyone in business.
To help you get through this interesting economic landscape, there are some basic things you need to remember about your clients. Below are some of the things you should consider before you begin to slice service levels to compensate for slower cash flow.
They EXPECT excellence. It really is not a negotiable expectation. Regardless of whether they have purchased a discount through Groupon or another service, they expect the very best you have to give, each and every time. Keep in mind, they too are short on funds, and times are just as hard in their household if not more so. That being said, the money they spend to visit you is money they must now work harder to justify spending. Providing them an excuse to cut you from their budget by providing reduced or less than stellar service is a sure way to send your clients on an expedition to find someone who will meet their expectations.
They EXPECT you to be on time, every time. Even when they are not. This is not a two way street. The customer will not wait long before they begin to wonder if this is time well spent. Conversely, the customer should also understand should THEY run late, you have allotted a certain time frame and they will have to give up massage time to compensate. Having this conversation when the customer is late for the first time, however, is not the time to enforce this rule. Be sure you have a mutual agreement to respect one another's time and have a conversation with them about your policy on late appointments BEFORE you begin to work with them is far more effective than springing a short massage on them because they are late. Doing this will likely result in a certainty that you will lose a client. A CLEAR AND DEFINED policy for both parties should be made clear before hand to avoid any controversy.
Follow up with your clients and go the extra mile to call them a day before to confirm your appointment. Doing this can allow you time to reschedule another client in the event your first client has been called away or cannot make it. Having a back-up plan is great because you will not lose revenue and your client sees this as being proactive in their care. This costs nothing but time, and is a great way to budget your time and income by allowing yourself a bit of recovery time in the event of a cancellation. The time to try to book another client is not 30 minutes before the appointment time. Having just a little heads up can do wonders for you and for the client's loyalty.
Do not take short cuts for your supplies. Remember, your clients are expecting excellence, and if you change something they have become accustomed to, they will most assuredly recognize that. Even though the economic temptation is strong to find lesser quality products or worse yet, buy from mainstream retail, the client will notice a change. If you are using a product they can buy anywhere, you are making it more difficult for them to see you as a health care professional. They might instead see you as a lesser therapist.
Providing service also includes seeing to their needs for home care as well. This means retailing goods you in which you have confidence in and personal experience with and that can be used easily at home for clients to manage pain, do a home exfoliation, an aromatherapy bath, or any other item you believe in and feel good about retailing. This can actually ADD to your bottom line, which is not a bad think when money is tight.
Service is not antiquated, just not as prevalent as it once was. It is just as appreciated now as it was when our parents were growing up. Imagine how we would feel in this day and time pulling into a service station and four employees were to run out, shine our windows and mirrors, check the oil, check the tires, and fill your tank. We would be over the moon! Your clients will be also if you work diligently to provide consistently great treatment, service and homecare. You will be assisting them in more ways than you know and you can fill many of their needs in one place. While I know your practice is not a gas station, the same basic principles apply for meeting customer/client expectations: Exceed them, and you have a customer for life.
Click here for more information about Angie Patrick.
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