One of the most important concepts for entrepreneur business survival is having an articulate strategy that provides the vision and mission for organizational success. For many firms, strategy fails in implementation because it 1) reaches too far into the future or 2) is not understood by management and staff and 3) lacks accountability. Organizations will fail in the latter two areas when there is little incentive for following procedures and processes.
The core tactics directly support the major pillars of professional success for any and every organization including chiropractics. In fact, many chiropractic firms are lacking in two areas or more. The turbulent economy requires new methods of reaching patients and retaining those that sit on the fence. Chiropractic like any successful business requires the 3 Strategic Pillars: Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
Customer Service. Peter Drucker once stated that every organization exists for one reason- the customer. Yet survey research proves that asking chiropractors why they are in business, over 87% state the reason as
money. Untrue. This is absolutely the wrong way to think about a business. The business of chiropractics
requires an inexplicable amount of foot-traffic dependent demographics and location. In an age when
competitive differentiation is required; customer service is vital to organizational success.
Customer Service is not simply a notion or experiment; it must be the organizational culture. This begins with the front desk and the manner in which each patient is greeted. It extends to the treatment room and how Physician Assistants and other staff engage and interact with patients and finally it is the mannerism of the doctor. There is an ever present need to provide an experience that keeps patients returning and creates a buzz for the firm.
Marketing. Chiropractors are not in the back treatment business, they are in the marketing business. According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is the organizational function and set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders. This denotes that chiropractors must conduct business activities that provide value, increase buzz, and engage prospective patients while finally converting them into frequent clients.
Recent research illustrates an interesting perspective; chiropractors not working the business. Ironically nothing happens without a client. However, rather than use integrated marketing concepts, doctors hang shingles, place ads and build buildings without return on investments. Today, patients are receiving more than 8000 marketing messages per day. This equates to a myriad of messages from competitors and non-holistic advocates that deter messages from your organization. To be successful, a business must create a series of integrated messages that produce brand appeal and client allure. Nameplates on buildings do not equate to client value.
Sales. Without something being sold nothing happens. If one wants business they must seek it. The practice of chiropractic requires a doctor and all the staff to be ready to make a sale. Simply put this requires a cultural mindset. Selling is simply moving the patient relationship forward so that there is trust and value. Patients conduct business with whom they know and trust. This is a competitive differentiator. All staff needs to engage patients and create trusting and rewarding relationships.
Chiropractors must be very active and educated entrepreneurs. The business requires strategies and techniques that move patients from the stands into the field of play. It is not about treating body issues and ailments but how effective the physician and staff is at getting out the message, creating a buzz and increasing foot traffic in the waiting room.
Copywrite 2009. Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.
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