In fact, according to a study by the Harvard Business Review, emotionally engaged clients are:
• Three times more likely to come back
• Three times more likely to refer you
• Less likely to seek out competition
• Twice as valuable on a lifetime basis
Sound amazing? In part one of this blog we started outlining our Golden 18 principles of forming an emotional connection with your patients. Here are the final nine:
10. The unexpected personal phone call
Chiropractors are busy, important, and carry a lot of responsibilities running a practice. So imagine a patient’s surprise when they get a call from you at home (or on the cell these days) the night of their treatment or adjustment. Your patients will be floored by your caring, commitment and bedside manner, and never forget it. For that reason, it works especially well if you call the evening after their very first visit. Where can you find the time? Have your assistant message you the names and contact numbers of the first-time patients you saw that day, and dial them up while driving home from work (hands-free of course!)
11. Understand their pain points
Why are patients there to see you? They're in pain. Something is broken, and their body is blocked from healing it correctly. We often forget that back pain, neck pain and other pain from accidents or injuries are the main reasons why patients come to see us. But patients can also have other pain points in their lives, like busy work schedules that make it hard to come see you (remind them of lunchtime appointments or stay open an hour later or earlier) and definitely, money and insurance can be pain points. Acknowledge, respect, and focus on solving these pain points with them and you'll have a happy patient.[G1]
12. Ask the right questions
Asking great questions is an art unto itself, and part of the active listening skill we outlined earlier. So asking questions is far more than gathering information, and certainly not just getting enough data to fill out a patient form while we wait for them to finish speaking so we can move on, but a way to get down to their root causes of stress, pain, disability, and un-wellness in their lives. It often takes a second or third follow-up question to get to the heart of what’s really going on, and only then can we get to work helping them!
13. Use social media
Wait, technology and computers can help you forge an emotional, human connection with patients? You betcha, as social media, when used right, can help build your brand – which is really just your promise to your patients, a very personal thing. Using blogs, images, videos, testimonials, stories, sharing information and tips can all offer value to your patients and audience, building trust.
14. Get personal with your own story
Don't be afraid to expand your role as a chiropractor and get personal with them, sharing your story of why you became a chiropractor, how it's changed your life, what you hope to accomplish in your professional and even personal life. You can even share the details of your major challenges in the past with health, when it's appropriate, to build a sympathetic bond.]
15. Create a culture
Create a culture around your office, by including positive, supportive, encouraging and healing elements, decorum, practices and even words. Great practices have a palpable culture that you pick up on the moment you walk through the front door that extends throughout everything they do.
16. And let them know they belong
Show your genuine appreciation for your patients by including them in that culture, including patient appreciation events, special days, offers, personal notes, greetings and anniversary announcements, and asking them feedback. They’ll feel like they’re a part of the team!
17. Let them know they’re safe with you
When you get down to it, patients want to feel like they're safe because they came to see you – or they will be safe soon. Use encouraging, affirming and positive language (without making irresponsible promises). Let them know that you've treated many people that are in the same boat that they are, but if they do what you say and stick with it, they'll come out the other side healthier, happier, and pain-free, too.
18. Offer freedom
What actual commodity are we offering as chiropractors? In some sense, we’re offering patients freedom; freedom from pain, from sickness, from feeling miserable, from stress, from disease, and from living a lesser version of their own life. Remember how important of a gift that freedom is, and celebrate it with them!