Get Control of Your Marketing
Based on our 3 previous Upper Cervical Practice Surveys, the number one challenge Upper Cervical Doctors are facing is a lack of new patients.
Here are some other startling statistics from the Upper Cervical Practice Surveys:
- 36% of doctors number one problem is generating enough new patients
- 10% of doctors see 5 new patients or less per month
- 19% of doctors are collecting less than $10,000 per month
If you can’t consistently attract new chiropractic patients your practice will struggle.
But as my friend Dr. Noel Lloyd says,
“Fix the new patient problem and all of your practice problems become a lot more fun, such as where do I put them all?”
So today we are going to focus on how to get control of your marketing and consistently attract high quality new patients for your Upper Cervical Chiropractic Practice.
New Chiropractic Patients
New patients will come to your practice in one of 3 ways:
- Internally: they learn about your office from an existing patient
- Externally: they learn about your office from a source other than an existing patient
- A Mix of Both: they may have heard about your practice from existing patient but they eventually come into your office because of external reasons
Ideally your Upper Cervical Practice should be generating patients through all 3 ways.
The strongest most successful practices will not have all of their eggs in one basket and instead will have a solid mix of new patients coming from internal and external marketing and their internal and external strategies will feed into each other to make both more effective.
Get Control of Your Internal Marketing
Generating referrals through internal marketing initiatives is the lifeblood of any Upper Cervical Practice.
Here are 5 keys to generating lots of referrals in your Upper Cervical Practice:
- Get great results. Work on mastering your technique through your technique certifications and conferences. Work with a mentor and other doctors to encourage and challenge you.
- Give people opportunities to refer. Use health certificate programs, internal events and other internal marketing initiatives to incentivize referrals.
- Encourage patients to refer others. Use referral statements, teach to testify, and other strategic communication techniques consistently with patients.
- Genuinely show that you care about your team. Your team may have a greater impact on your ability to generate referrals than you do. Take care of your team and they will take care of your patients.
- Genuinely show that you care about your patients. People refer to doctors that they know, like and trust.
I have spoken a lot about the importance of giving people opportunities to refer and encouraging patients to refer others in other blog posts but here are some specific ideas to help you increase your internal marketing referrals by taking care of your team and showing your patients that you care.
Ways to Show Your Team That You Care about Them
- Pay them well. Give them profit-sharing bonuses, performance bonuses etc. Give them benefits including complementary Upper Cervical Care for them and their family, major medical policies, health savings accounts, 401(k)’s, vacations and other perks.
- Show appreciation. Recognize and praise them regularly. Understand what they like and give them specific gifts to show appreciation such as concert tickets, movie tickets, a surprise shopping-spree at Christmas time, a weekend away with their spouse, tickets to a sporting event, or concert. Or even a $50 handshake after an especially awesome day is a great way to show your appreciation.
- Encourage and promote an enthusiastic team. Create an energetic environment. Part of creating this environment is in the way you treat your team on a daily basis. You are your team’s CEO Chief Energy Officer.
- Make sure to be professional with concerns, complaints, and reprimands. NEVER EVER express any of those in front of a patient no matter what. This shows your team member respect, and most importantly, keeps the environment positive for the patient.
Ways to Show Your Patients That You Care about Them
- Understand your patient’s personal passion. Keep a sheet in the patient’s chart or in your patient management software identifying things that are especially important to your patient looking especially for the need behind the need of why they originally came into your office. No one comes in your office because they have migraines. They come into your office because of what the migraines are keeping them from doing in their life. It may be how the symptoms were affecting their golf game, their work, their time with their family, their time with their spouse etc. All team members should be a part of identifying this item.
- Thank you notes. Have each team member (and the doctor) hand-write one thank you note each day (or once a week) to a patient that they encountered, thanking them for the visit or whatever special moment they shared during their time together. This can be wishing them a safe vacation, congratulations on their new grandson, or a new recipe they should try. Seek to build a relationship with your patients that differentiates your practice.
- Do something special if they have to wait too long. Inform your patients if there will be an unusual wait. Patients appreciate that the doctor acknowledges the patient’s time. Remember, time is the most valuable resource, so be considerate of your patients’ time. Also make sure that you have solid systems that keep wait times down.
- Present time consciousness. See the patient as a person not a number and remember to remain in the moment with the patient. Understand the patient has only one experience in your office.
- Use humor with your patients. It helps to provide a connection between the doctor and patient and can relieve stress and anxiety.
- Compliment your patients and team whenever possible. Everyone likes to be sincerely complimented, and it’s a great way to boost morale. Make it a point to compliment your team in front of the patients, too.
- Master your greetings. Make a solid first impression with new patients and existing patients. Always greet your patients with a friendly handshake, a warm smile, and even a hug if appropriate. Address patients by name.
- Celebrate with your patients. When patients are having great progress celebrate with them. Give out high-fives, hugs and smiles liberally.
- Acknowledge all patients at all times. Have the front desk person greet new patients by walking into the reception area not just reaching over the counter to shake their hand. By greeting the patient the same way you greet a guest into your home, you’ll make them feel special. Also make sure to acknowledge existing patients when you see them whether they’re in the reception area or jump seat area or a room.
- Make care calls. Call new patients after their first adjustment. If a patient had to wait longer than usual give them a call. If the patient was upset about something when they left give them a call. Have your team give you a list of patients to call on your way home each night.
- Send holiday postcards. Stay in touch with your patients by mail by sending holiday postcards such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or New Year’s.
- Acknowledge birthdays. Send a birthday greeting to each patient by mail or email.
- Greeting cards. Have a box of greeting cards on hand to send to patients such as Congratulations and Happy Anniversary.
- Thank patients for referrals. Send out thank you cards or letters to thank patients for their referrals possibly with a special gift depending on your chiropractic board. Consider doing something extra special for multiple referrals.
- Keep top of mind. Always try to keep your name in front of the patients. Send out a monthly email newsletter to stay top of mind and keep your patients informed and educated about what’s going on in the office.
- Give them a refrigerator magnet. Send to or give patients magnets embossed with your logo and phone number that they may place on their refrigerator. A great idea is a weights and measures conversions magnet with your logo and information; everyone, even chefs, will appreciate your conversions magnet in the kitchen and use it often.
- Gift cards. Keep dinner gift cards on hand to give to patients when you’re running late or to celebrate a special occasion. Hand out Starbucks or similar gift cards to patients whenever needed.
Get Control of Your External Marketing
One of the main reasons why doctors may feel that their marketing is out of control and they’re not generating consistent new patients is because of one off marketing approaches.
A one-off marketing approach is anything that does not have a cumulative effect.
So this would include events such as:
- spinal screenings
- dinner talks
- health fairs
- massage events
These events can produce new patients. The problem is if you are not doing the event you are not getting any effects from the event. So you have to give up your nights and weekends to do events to produce consistent new patients.
If you desire to move away from one-off approaches and move toward a sustainable and cumulative approach to marketing then digital marketing may be the solution.
Upper Cervical Marketing has been an expert in Upper Cervical Chiropractic marketing for over 5 years. We have helped over 150 Upper Cervical Doctors in 4 different countries, including over 30 U.S. states, to connect with over 18,000 new patients, revolutionize their online presence, and grow their practice through digital marketing.
Here is an example of one of our clients who was able to get control of his marketing because of our Upper Cervical Marketing System.
Internal and External Marketing Integration
A solid digital marketing program like ours has a natural integration between internal and external approaches.
For instance, along with all of the external marketing benefits of attracting new patients and building your online presence, our Upper Cervical Marketing System also has the following internal marketing benefits to improve retention, re-activations and referrals:
- monthly email newsletters to keep you top of mind, educate, increase compliance and re-activations
- consistent social media posts and presence to increase referrals
- text based patient feedback system to generate testimonials and reviews
- email based patient feedback system to generate consistent testimonials and online reviews
- consistently branded Upper Cervical Specific Websites
Strive to have solid internal and external marketing and integration between the two can get control of your marketing and solve your new patient problem.