Appearance DOES Matter
Regardless of what most believe, a lack of new patients is NOT the primary reason a chiropractic practice struggles!
Chiropractic as a means for which people seek healthcare has been around for over a hundred years. And although there may still be a general lack of understanding by the public of the true nature and efficacy of chiropractic, a large percentage of people seek out chiropractic care on a daily basis. With that said, I still say a lack of new patients is not our primary problem when it comes to building a successful self-sustaining referral based practice.
Let’s start with the idea that we do have some new patients coming through our doors, ever so few as it may be. So where is the problem and where do we begin?
In general, I will start with Acceptance of Care.
That may sound simple enough, but there are a lot of factors that will determine whether a patient accepts your recommended care. Factors that start from the appearance of your office externally and internally, the overall feel of your office, how a new patient is treated by your staff from the first point of contact to the last, and even how they perceive you as a doctor. These are certainly not all the factors involved, but are a few of the major ones.
For the purpose of keeping this article short, for now I will only cover a couple; appearance and feel.
First, how is the appearance of your office externally and internally? My experience has been that most chiropractors think there office appearance is O.K. However, O.K. is not good enough. There are specific details of office appearance, if overlooked, that will have a huge impact of a patient’s decision to accept or deny your care recommendations. For example, how your different treatment areas of your office are set, from reception area, to consult, exam and treatment rooms. Every detail matters! Knowledge of how that appearance should be is priceless!
It has been estimated that a person processes 87,000 images a minute. A patient’s first impression of your office appearance comes at the moment they make eye contact. Eighty-seven thousand images a minute of the appearance of your office, from outside to inside are being processed by a patient!
As far as the feel of your office, it will be influenced in part by the appearance. In general, a rule to remember here and throughout life is; “people remember a whole lot more about how a place, person, thing, event, etc. made them feel than what they may have actually seen or heard.” You can’t underestimate the importance of the correct appearance and feel of your office as a key part of building a successful self-sustaining referral based practice!! In all honesty, do you really know what kind of message the appearance and feel of your office is portraying? If not, you need to find out.