Chiropractors do NOT have new patient problems.
Not a single one.
But they do have a massive patient retention problem (and Opportunity!).
…and you can’t build a practice without retention.
RETENTION is the fertile ground needed for REFERRALS.
Retain a patient and they WILL come back and refer others.
Every time you lose a patient, you are barely breaking even on that patient.
Why? Because the amount of time and money that it takes to replace them eats up some or most of that profit.
So why do patients leave?
The reasons are infinite. But in no particular order, other than moving or dying, here are the most common reasons why patients leave:
- They didn’t see any value in coming in any longer. – In their minds, they’ve reached maximum improvement. This is okay provided that you released them and not the other way around. But every visit beyond their subjective interpretation of what they need is one visit closer to them never coming back.
- They didn’t enjoy and/or believe in the process – Uncomfortable care, boring modalities… In their mind, it’s too much effort.
- Unprofessional – Their expectations of how a “doctor’s office” should operate were not met, let alone exceeded.
- Not enough social proof to overcome their skepticism. Let’s face it, most people are followers. They believe the majority is always right. (I believe that it is quite opposite.) So if they don’t experience a busy practice full of patients, they slowly fizzle out.
- They were over-sold, over-enticed, or over-promised. – Quality patients don’t typically respond to discounted new patient offers. Quality patients don’t require or appreciate a pushy proposition. Quality patients know what they want. How you market, who you market to, and what your marketing message is can and should attract and repel and should never over-sell. Proper positioning drastically decreases patient drop out.
- Unfriendly front desk – A result of a bad hire or poor management. Employees need to believe in what you sell and how you sell it. They also prefer not to shoulder the stress of their employer. They want to work with winners. Additionally, many D.C.s have their spouse run the front desk. The problem is, not every spouse (regardless of gender) is a people person.
- The doctor’s vibe changes – Without enough thought, they attend a seminar or event and then throw their patients off. Usually with tactics designed to control. This always backfires.
Now, here’s a tough pill to swallow…
You may be right and the patient may be wrong. You may know what is best for them and they may not. But if they don’t want it, they won’t buy it.
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