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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.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
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 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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
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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