Is Your Clinic Boring?

November 15, 2011

I've been having headaches and neck pain for the last week, so I decided to take the morning off to get an adjustment/massage at one of the local chiropractic clinics. The doctor and his staff were friendly and professional. The office was clean and organized. But I couldn't stop thinking "wow, this place is really boring and I'm glad I don't have to spend any significant amount of time here."

The clinic was sterile, inhuman, and felt like a filing cabinet.

It had all of the generic educational pamphlets, posters, and products. It also had office plants, degrees hung on walls, leather reception chairs, and six month old magazines. Everything about this clinic was generic (except the wonderful staff, who deserve praise).

As yourself the following question:

"Will my patients like me better if I'm boring?"

Of course not! If you're boring, people are going to forget to talk about you and they're going to be ambivalent about coming to your clinic. You're going to be degraded, in the patient's mind, to a glorified auto mechanic who they like but don't particularly care about until their suspension breaks.

Remember this: you're selling an experience, not just an adjustment. Give your patients a remarkable experience and they'll brag about you to their friends and look forward to their next visit.

Roderick Campbell is the marketing director at ChiroHosting. You can reach him via email or by calling (800)295-3346 Monday-Wednesday from 10-5pm PST.

How remarkable is my practice?

Choose the answers that most closely resemble your own clinic. Some of the answers won't be exact (e.g. you offer coffee instead of tea), but it's the spirit of the answer that matters. Be honest!

  1. In my waiting room...
  2. Plants, generic seating, posters or stock art, old magazines, sterile environment Artistic or stylized furniture, recent specialty magazines, real art on the walls Highly specific design that caters specifically to athletes, families, ethnic community, etc Exceptional furniture, hand-picked magazines, educational videos, massage chairs, snacks
  3. My staff...
  4. Competent and friendly Competent and exuberant Attend to patients, offer beverages, engage in conversation Highly skilled, provide drinks/snacks, educate patients, suggest magazines, shake hands
  5. My location...
  6. Strip mall Urban area (downtown) Suburban area (not downtown) Middle of nowhere
  7. My amenities...
  8. Magazines and brochures Magazines, brochures, complimentary drinks Hand picked magazines, complimentary drinks, something special Truly remarkable -- like a massage chair and complimentary snacks (First Class)
  9. When a patient walks in...
  10. My staff says hello and hands them paperwork My staff shakes their hand, engages in conversation, and walks them through paperwork A doctor shakes their hand, asks them how they're doing, offers them something special (e.g. tea) A doctor says hello and recognizes them, they receive First Class services
  11. Time with patient...
  12. Primary doctor spends less than 6 minutes with each patient Primary doctor spends 6-8 minutes with each patient Primary doctor spends 8-15 minutes with each patient Primary doctor spends 15+ minutes with each patient
  13. Treatment room...
  14. Looks like a doctors office (posters, white walls, cheesy art) Looks like a closet (cramped, dirty, rented from another doctor) Looks comfortable (good art, neat educational tools, warm colors) Looks high-tech (iPad educational apps, flat-screen monitors, cutting-edge educational material)
  15. Patient follow-up...
  16. Mailers, automated emails, text messages, generic phone calls Custom-written mailers, high-quality emails, personal phone call Personal email from doctor, hand-written birthday cards, Facebook friend request First Class (something really remarkable and