Patients make judgments about your chiropractic practice the moment they walk through your door. If your office is messy, the waiting area uncomfortable and the equipment old, they may not return. Luckily, it’s easy to create a positive first impression by following these steps.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes
Pretend you’re a new patient and evaluate every step in the patient process. If you don’t think you can be objective, ask a friend to handle the job. Pay attention to the little things, including:
- Visibility. Is your sign clearly visible from the street?
- Convenience. Is your parking lot big enough to accommodate multiple cars, or is there ample off-street parking available?
- Comfort. Is the waiting room clean, organized and free of clutter? Are the chairs, carpet and office equipment in good condition. Is your restroom clean?
- Smell. Does your office smell fresh and clean, or is the air stale or faintly mildewed?
- Reading Material. Do you offer recent issues of popular magazines, plus information on the chiropractic services your practice offers?
When you spend most of your time treating patients, you may not be aware of the little things that can affect perceptions of your practice. Entrusting oversight of the front office to your chiropractic assistant can relieve your burden and ensure that your patients’ first impression is a positive one.
Provide an Excellent Patient Experience
Greeting patients with a friendly smile helps create a positive impression, but you need to do much more than smile to convince them to come back. Patients consider every aspect of their encounter when making the decision to return, from the way they’re welcomed by your receptionist and assistants to your ability to clearly explain diagnoses and treatment plans. Although you might think patients might be willing to give a chiropractic practice another chance after one disappointing visit, that’s not very likely. According to a GrooveHQ survey, 82 percent of respondents reported leaving a company due to just one bad experience.
It pays to hire employees who are not only skilled and capable but who also have superior customer service skills. No matter how many times they’re asked the same question, excellent employees reply with enthusiasm. If your receptionist spends more time texting his or her friends than interacting with patients or is easily annoyed, patients will notice.
Offer the Latest Technologies and Services
Old equipment may function perfectly fine, but it doesn’t inspire confidence. Although new equipment certainly isn’t cheap, buying it is an investment in the future of your practice. Patients won’t be impressed by tears in tables or equipment patched with duct tape.
Although new equipment certainly isn’t cheap, buying it is an investment in the future of your practice.
In addition to offering up-to-date equipment, it’s also important to provide the services patients want, including ultrasound, TENS treatment, massage and light therapy. If your competitors offer these services and you don’t, patients may not make follow-up appointments, no matter how much they enjoyed their visit to your office.
Regular evaluations of your office and your staff will help you ensure that your practice continues to draw and keep new and existing patients.