In general, chiropractors make the mistake of looking at the world through the prism of chiropractic and not from the point of view of their patients. If they could do so, chiropractors would realize that few patients actually have the interest to pursue long treatment plants. In short, chiropractors care about the patient’s health more than the patients themselves do. This not to say that patients don’t come in with very specific goals. The key is understanding what they are.
1) Give the patient what they want. Not what you want them to have. Most patients want pain relief and to get out of your office as soon as possible. Nothing personal, but they have better places to be. It is helpful to clarify their goal. Why do they want to get out of pain? So they can get back to the gym? So they can pick up their grandchildren? Now you have definitive goals for care that align with what the patient truly wants.
2) Patients have busy lives. Most of them don’t want to spend all day in your office. Although it may seem like an added value to give patients extra treatments and spend more time with them. Most simply want to get in, get treated, and move on to the next pressing part of their lives. While there are a few patients that do want a spa type experience and will spend all day in your office if you let them, these are in the minority.
3) Statistically, only 30% of patients do the exercises/stretches given to them by chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapists. Certainly check-in and make sure patients are doing them correctly and give them gentle reminders. But at a certain point, realize that most patients aren’t really going to do them. In those cases, don’t hound them. Ultimately this will simply alienate them and drive them from your office. Then they get no care at all.
4) Keep your pricing structure simple. Perhaps pay as you go with a discount for purchasing a block of 10 visits or so. If you find yourself having to use sales tactics to convince patients to sign on the dotted line for a long care plan, you may close the sale with them. But you will tend to lose them as soon as the care plan is over and they will be much less likely to refer their friends and family in the long run.
5) Know your patient and take cues from them. Some are talkers and want to chat through the adjustment: chat with them and let them tell you about their day. Some don’t want to have an in-depth conversation: don’t tell them about your weekend. Just stick to the facts and feel free to let there be silence. By being sensitive to each individual patient’s personality and communication style, each one will leave your office feeling that they connected with you.