Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)?
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.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
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.
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?
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?!"
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.
March, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 03
Developing a Solid Foundation: Client Retention Techniques
By Daniel Ruscigno
Successful massage clinics have several things in common, but perhaps the most important is a large and loyal client base. When talking about techniques to grow the business, we tend to focus on the "large" aspect of the client base, that is, on strategies to attract new clients.However, it is important to remember that "loyal" is equally, if not more, important. Why is that? Acquiring a new customer can cost five to sixteen times as much as retaining a customer (source).
Before discussing techniques to improve client retention, it is important to understand why clients leave in the first place. Almost always, it comes down to poor service. In fact, up to 82% of consumers stopped doing business with an organization due to poor customer experience. For massage clinics, common poor customer experiences may be: an unpleasant or unknowledgeable therapist, an uncomfortable treatment environment, or an appointment not starting on time. Additionally, clients are often lost due to the failure of the clinic to follow-up to schedule additional appointments.
With some understanding of why clients leave, we can focus on how to get them to stay. Clearly, the most important factor in client retention is superior service. This begins with the necessities: maintaining a highly knowledgeable staff and a focus on friendly, personalized experiences. First, you want to ensure that you have created a relaxing environment for the client – hygienic, warm and overall comforting. You want your client to associate your clinic with relaxation. Because each client is different, be sure to ask if they are comfortable before beginning the treatment.
Along with a comfortable environment, you want offer a highly personalized service to your client. While clinical basics of personalization involve understanding the client's source of discomfort, you want to go above and beyond to demonstrate that the client is important to you. One technique is to include personal notes along with treatment notes so that you can ask about children, offer them their favorite drink when they arrive, wish them a happy birthday or ask about a vacation they recently went on. Remembering important people and events can really make your client feel special and that will keep them coming back.
While personalized service and a comfortable environment are important, often the most frustrating experiences for a client happen outside of the treatment room. A professional clinic will reply to emails and phone calls in a timely manner. Not only is this important for showing the client that you value them, but it is also important for booking appointments. Clinics are also trending towards self-serve options like online appointment scheduling, so the client can book an appointment online at their own convenience. Lastly, something we have all experienced at one time or another is a prolonged wait in the clinic waiting room. It is important to respect your client's time and keep your clinic operating on schedule.
On top of offering outstanding customer service, a clinic should be proactive in booking follow-up appointments. That means not relying on the client to remember to book their next appointment, but rather reaching out to them yourself. The best technique for booking additional appointments is to ask the client to schedule their next visit as they are leaving their appointment. For those that opt not to book right away, many clinics make use of recall post cards. Recall cards are mailed to clients and often contain information on the health benefits of massage therapy, that they are due for their next appointment and where they can call or go online to book their next appointment. Practice management software will often automatically keep track of which clients are due for their next appointments and even email them on your behalf.
It is also important to stay in contact in between appointments. To do this, many clinics have adopted use of social media like Facebook or Twitter, as well as email newsletters. By frequently sharing your expertise, along with relevant and interesting articles and clinic promotions, clients will have repeated exposure to your brand, which may lead to increased appointments.
Lastly, it is important to ask for feedback. The only way to really know what you are doing well and what could use improvement is to ask your clients directly. Satisfaction surveys are great at capturing this data, but you will also want to talk directly with your clients (and especially with those that left).
While lost clients are inevitable, with a clinic-wide focus on a great customer experience and integrating smart business practices, your clinic can be truly successful.
Daniel Ruscigno is the co-founder of ClinicSense (previously PatientCal). ClinicSense offers practice management software that helps with scheduling, soap notes, billing, electronic insurance claims and more. For more information, visit www.ClinicSense.com.
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