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New Patient Treadmill?

treadmill.jpgYou may be feeling a bit apprehensive if you set up your practice with a greater emphasis on getting chiropractic patients than keeping patients. That’s okay. That’s where the money was back when third parties were picking up most of the tab. It didn’t make sense to squander valuable resources on anything other than what it would take to produce new patients. But now, years later, you have a burgeoning collection of brightly labeled file folders—but few cash-paying “once-a-monthers.” When you think about it, you had a “promotion,” not a sustainable practice.

Now what?

Most of those patients you saw back then got great results and believe it or not, still think of you as their chiropractor. Yet, without so much as a peep from you since they discontinued care (Are you angry with me? Did I let you down as a patient? I hope you don’t think less of me because I didn’t value my health as I should...) they assume you’ve disowned them. Not only does this block reactivations—it tends to suppress referrals.

If your numbers are a bit soft, this would be a good time to reconnect with your inactives. A simple outreach from you could reassure them that you’re not angry with them and plant the suggestion to return. Here are some approaches:

Newsletter. If you’ve neglected sending a practice newsletter, revive this proven reactivation strategy. Cloaked in helpful information, and without pandering with an overt message to return, a newsletter every 90 days or so can often prompt inactives to return. Our Relief & Wellness News is the best in the business.

Postcards. Reestablish contact with a postcard or two. We offer a variety of reactivation postcards. Use our preprinted message, or, in the U.S. for a nominal charge we can imprint a custom message, your logo, your return address or a reactivation “special” offer. Need some ideas about what to write on your postcards? Click here.

Birthday Greetings. If you’ve abandoned the discipline of sending a birthday message, you’re ignoring one of the two times each year people tend to think about their health. (The other? Six months from now at New Year’s Resolution time.) Check out our most popular birthday postcard and reestablish this no-brainer way of reminding patients of your continued interest in them.

Apologize. Did you take it personally when patients dropped out of care? Could you have done a better job of educating patients back then? Have you learned new ways of helping patients since you saw them? Get their files, close the door, express gratitude for the opportunity of originally serving them, pray for forgiveness and ask for another chance to be of service.

The fact is, few patients “get” chiropractic on their first exposure to it. It may take a series of relapses over the course of many years before they appreciate that chiropractic is a healthy habit and can be more than a short-term “diet” for pain relief. Taking the long view, avoiding all traces of guilt and shame and keeping in touch with your inactive “tribe” is how you get off the new patient treadmill. And the great thing is, you can start today.

Comments (1)

Julie Seymour:

It's July 1st ~ I've chosen this day to free my practice of the bonds of third party reimbursement. With the help of your Converting To Cash program and with no small amount of excitment and trepidation, my staff and I are happy to stop begging for payment from the clerks, auditors, and claims managers of the insurance world. We're ready to take back the control that our predecesters handed over in the eighties.

Thank you for your reminders of the treasure that we have in our inactive files. Each time I prepare a mailing I am forced to look at the names ~ sometimes hundreds of them ~ of patients who got started at my office but then stopped. It's easy to assume that we did something wrong...that I or my office made a mistake of some kind and that's what's keeping them away. Your take and your recommendations go a long way toward tweaking my attitude where this is concerned. Rather than viewing each new newsletter, postcard, birthday card, web article, or blog post as an expensive and time consuming obligation ~ each one becomes an invitation, a chance to further educate and inform patients who already know me. What a gift!

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From July 1, 2007 7:53 AM

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 1, 2007 7:53 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Moore Evidence to Convert to Cash.

The next post in this blog is Monday Morning Motivation.

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