We’ve reviewed 5 of the Big 7 Pitfalls when it comes to Remarkable Retention. Typically, I’d dive next into Expectations as number 6, but I’ve beaten up the expectations topic enough recently. [If you missed it find more on it here] So I will save you some time and head to the final of the Big 7 – Patient Value Economy.
Also, we’ve gone over the theme of Clarity when it comes to retention several times. Clarity is king and the “sticky factor” that drives consistent behavior over time – and that, my friends is the key to everything.
More specifically, clarity around the VALUE that chiropractic adds to your patient’s life. As human beings we are economists. We are constantly performing a cost-benefit analysis for each and every decision that we make. Every moment we are choosing – how should we spend our limited resources?
We each have 4 limited resources – Time, Energy, Focus and Money.
Because we all have a finite amount of each of these to spend with each choice, when we make an investment we are constantly thinking: “What’s in it for me?”
Keep this in mind when you are speaking with your patients. An acute consciousness around this internal dynamic will improve your communications dramatically.
Now in most ‘transactions’ you need only invest 1 or maybe 2 of these limited resources to get what you want. For example, I can pay my landscaper some of my money to mow my lawn. It’s a simple transaction. I give him my money and I get what I want. Essentially, I am buying his time, focus and energy.
As chiropractors we have the unique blessing of providing a value that requires all 4 of the consumers limited resources.
Your practice members must invest their Time, Energy, Focus AND Money in order to get what they want.
You must imagine that each patient is constantly weighing the benefits of spending their limited resources on chiropractic care. Literally visualize the scales of value in their minds and remember the things on this side of the scale are very heavy.
When New Patients do NOT convert or commit to starting care, you can be sure that it was a PATIENT VALUE ISSUE.
They did not begin or existing patients don’t continue care. It’s because they did not see the VALUE in starting your process.
So, they will say their issue is Money, but “VALUE Problems” is the real issue. Let’s re-examine this often used, but rarely understood concept of VALUE in the context of greater Patient Retention.
There are 4 Stages of Value:
- Creating Value – Your patient education process.
- Delivering Value – The execution of your process.
- Adding Value – The perception piece.
- Capturing Value – The critical stage of creating fair exchange with your patients.
Let’s take a look at Creating Value: The Education Phase.
It’s fair to say that every new patient that walks into your clinic has some perceived value for what you may bring to their lives. And this value is likely boiled down to one small, symptom or complaint based theory. A theory that you can help them get rid of the problem like an exterminator – a simple value exchange with a beginning and end. Of course, this leads to the start / stop approach to “health care” that has lead most people to a very low level of health and life.
But our first job is to create a new level of understanding by educating our patients that Chiropractic is a lifestyle success strategy for healthy human beings. This is the ultimate key to long-term Patient Retention. It starts on Day 1, carries through our Report of Findings and Recommendations, our Table Talk, Workshops and Progress Reports and it must never stop.
The next stage of value development is Delivering Value.
Delivering value is where your training comes in from your clinical delivery and results to your patient education and customer service. Frankly, it means meeting all of your Patients Expectations in this intricate relationship. Delivering value is a never-ending quest for excellence.
Adding Value is the perception piece of the value puzzle.
Your patients’ perception or grasp of the real value that Chiropractic is adding to their life and their families life is the essence of Patient Retention.
People will not continue to invest their resources in anything that they do not see adding value in a meaningful way. The best way to gauge this added value dynamic is to simply ask: “Why are you here?” OR “Why do you get adjusted?”. If you were to ask each your patients, would they be the answers that you would want?
I often ask if I can share my fantasy response after they’ve shared theirs:
“Well my chiropractor is THE EXPERT on my healthcare team. He/she checks my spine and nerve system regularly for any interference in the flow of information that keeps my body healthy and healing. Why? Who checks your spine and nerve system?”
Create your own quote or use mine! Either way just do it and put it on a business card to give to your patients. If we expect our patients to remain under care and confidently refer others, we must take responsibility to equip them with the right tools.
Finally, let’s look at the final stage of Developing Value: Capturing Value
Ah, the getting paid part! The fastest way to derail value development in any relationship is to de-value your services in the transaction phase. You are Creating, Delivering and Adding tremendous value to your practice members. Why would you ever feel challenged around charging for your care?
Trust me, this pitfall derails more docs in achieving quality, productive and long-lasting relationships in their practice.
Any misstep here will create imbalance in your relationship and it is the fastest way to push great patients out of your practice. Your people truly value the care that you deliver. They want and desperately need what you provide for a lifetime. So continue this fair, life-long exchange of patient value.
Don’t screw this up.
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