There’s a crucial question all practitioners need to ask and regularly: Do I really know what my patients want?
While many health professionals will have deep inklings into why patients choose them and what they gain most from their consultations, these insights may be skewed, incomplete or, at times, inaccurate.
Understanding what your patient’s want is a key step to practice success and growth. Simply, if you know what they truly desire, you can offer tailored services, structure treatment and retention plans that work, and serve people in a way that meets their wants and their needs.
Wants and needs can be, at times, two completely separate entities.
Let’s look at a Chiropractic example…
A patient attends because they have back pain. Their main key performance indicator (KPI) is wrapped around the Chiropractor’s ability to ease their discomfort, and fast. Before a more detailed discussion can take place, there must be progress in this area: the patient must feel better.
The Chiropractor, however, is concerned about the right short leg, functional scoliosis and the sacral subluxation. If this doctor immediately dives in and discussed a 36-visit program to correct the underlying cause, missed communication will likely occur.
The patient’s initial aim is relief.
On the other hand, the focus of the Chiropractor is correction that will bring long term pain reduction or resolution, fewer recurrences, and better health.
Most patients will not possess a level of understanding that is within the same ballpark as the practitioner. This can lead to communication misses. The patient may feel that the Chiropractor isn’t listening and is prescribing an approach they don’t want. The Chiropractor may miss the opportunity to serve this patient because they haven’t started where the patient is at: pain relief.
This is why taking the time to deeply understand your patients’ desires is crucial. It helps pave the path to greater understanding and gives the patient what they want.
How can you deeply understand what your patients want?
There are a range of strategies that support deeper connection with your patients. Here are six…
Want to know what your patients want? Ask! Face to face conversations can be uncomfortable. People will often tell you what they think you wish to hear. Politeness can get in the way of progress. Instead:
1) Place a feedback box on your reception desk and ask a single question. “How can we best serve you?”, “How can we improve our service to you?”, or simply “We appreciate you and want to continuously improve how well we serve you. With this in mind, what exactly do you want when you attend our practice?”
2) Request anonymous online feedback. Short surveys can be conducted through SurveyMonkey.com for free.
Know You Patients (KYP) Days
This is such an important concept that there are four official days each year dedicated to its focus. On the 3rd Thursday of every quarter, implement one strategy that helps you get to know your patients better.
Hold an event
Mingle with your current and potential patients. Learn what they love, what they dislike, what they want. Who they are as people, what family life looks like, which hobbies they have. Importantly, discern their biggest challenges so you can then tailor the perfect solution.
Consider a competition
Do you hold competitions in your practice? One way to identify patient priorities is to offer a choice of three similar value prizes. Target each with a goal in mind.
Are you a massage therapist?
Prize one could be a relaxation massage with aromatherapy oils. Prize two, hot pack application followed by a remedial massage. Prize three, a treatment aimed at a specific injury that includes topical cream, trigger point therapy and home advice.
Ask entrants to “Tick your preference to be in the running to win.” Choose a winner but also collate the data. You’ll gain one happy patient and valuable insight, through all those ‘votes’, into what your patients really want.
Wine and dine
Take your three to six highest value patients out for a nice paid dinner. The focus? Getting to know them better. Enjoy your time. Gain insights into who your ideal patients are. Ask questions about what they want and need. Be accessible, remain professional and tune in to make the most from your learnings.
Share product samples
Know Your Patients Days are the perfect opportunity to share product samples. CBDCLINIC™ topicals begin to relieve pain quickly.
By offering a trial that can be applied in practice, either at reception or during a consultation, patients can experience the product and fast relief, without any risk. This provides instant feedback on patient preferences.
Patients who gain immediate relief are numerous times more likely to buy a full-sized product.
The Importance of KYP for Your Practice
Getting to know your patients is crucial because this regularly overlooked step uncovers their deepest desires, their truest needs. Time spent understanding people, the language they use, their greatest frustrations, the reasons they purchase — or not, is a worthy investment.
The knowledge gained enables you to provide appropriate and considered treatment and advice in a way that makes sense and encourages action. This places you well ahead of other healthcare providers.
Plus, any financial decision involves an element of trust before an investment is made. Health is an intimate affair and, while your expertise is second nature for you, it isn’t for the majority of your potential patients. This raises the ‘know, like and trust’ bar before someone commits to care. This means building a relationship and rapport is key and having the above knowledge fast tracks this.
Imagine: You’re in a foreign country and the mood for a pack of gum strikes. You don’t recognize the brands but the trust hurdle is low: Will it hurt me? No… Ok, we’re good to go.
Now, compare this to the patients search for care.
A patient is suffering from acute low back pain. He/she feels vulnerable, uncomfortable, and has a variety of thoughts wildly running through her head. Chaos abounds, his/her cognitive functions may be clouded, and he/she needs to decide on the right health professional to ease her pain. That trust bar is a great deal higher. Right?
He/she heads online and performs a local search. Your practice shows up, which indicates that Google has flagged you as relevant. This potential patient visits your website, where he/she learns of your extensive expertise and qualifications. He/she reads a blog post with information explaining common triggers for acute low back pain (he/she sees her cause listed). He/she also notices testimonials from previous patients who’ve gone through your low back pain program and achieved remarkable results. His/her trust continues to grow as does the likelihood of his/her booking a consultation.
See, by intimately understanding what patients just like him/her need, by knowing what people want and what their strongest pain points are, your communication and recommendations will hit the mark. This results in a higher conversion rate and better results.
By incorporating patient feedback, you’ll be able to perfectly customize treatment and retention plans. You’ll deeply understand how to attract and convert patients. Plus, you will safeguard the existing patients you’ve worked so hard to attract.
Special discounts and offers are attractive. However, if you really want to kick it up a gear, targeted promotions are where the magic happens. By providing unique discounts that are tailored to specific groups, the appeal rises. Loyal patients, people suffering from back pain, those experiencing migraines, athletes. Once you know your current and potential patients well, creating a magnetic offer becomes possible.
The sweet sound of a name
“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language” – Dale Carnegie.
A whisper that carries your name will likely turn your head. As Dale Carnegie said, there is no more attractive word to its owner. When communicating with patients, the use of their first name assists in authentic connection. It lets them know you see them, you know who they are and that they are worthy of your time and focus.
When you or your team speak to patients in-practice, over the phone, via text, or over email, include their first name.
Note: If you send a digital newsletter, this can be done with a simple piece of code and your autoresponder platform.
What is your best and worst seller? Why?
As you can see, it is crucial to understand your patients well. This extends to the products you have in stock. Check sales data to identify the best-selling and worst-selling products.
When a patient purchases a product, ask them why? Make a note to follow up in two weeks and ask how the product is performing, what they like or dislike, and if they would purchase it again. This knowledge will help you identify which products work best, which to recommend more strongly and help you create tailored plans.
How can deeply understanding what your patients — or in our case, customers — want to contribute to your success?
Simply, it provides the ability and knowledge to connect and convert because that’s how we each make our difference to the world. Below we share some of our testimonials. Read them carefully. Note down any aspects that are important; those that share our product story well, help specific groups and reveal persuasive benefits…
The Voices of our Customers: The Benefits of Topical CBD Products like CBDCLINIC™
“As a specialist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and trained in Osteopathic manipulation, Medical Acupuncture, and Integrative Pain Management, I am impressed with the dramatic pain relief CBD CLINIC topical products have provided my patients with acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain. As an example, one of my patients with severe osteoarthritis of the elbow that failed to obtain sustained benefit from multiple cortisone injections provided by his rheumatologist was told he might require an elbow replacement. During his office visit with me, I started him on Level 5 CBD CLINIC ointment for at-home use. When I saw him for a follow-up visit, not only was his pain under better control, he was able to mow his lawn, and was not planning to pursue surgery. I now keep a jar of Level 4 CBD CLINIC in my jacket and offer an application to many patients. The sensation of relief is so immediate that by the time they get to the front desk after our treatment session, they request a jar. In terms of clinical effectiveness and immediate pain relief, CBD CLINIC products have outperformed any topical agent that I have used in 30 years of practice.”
-Mitchell Prywes, MD,
FAAPMR, FAAMA, DAAPM Medical Director,
The Center for Pain Rehabilitation,
Danbury, CT Medical Director,
Board Certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Medical Acupuncture & Integrative Pain Management
“I have been using the CBD Clinic Level 5 Pro Sport™ product for about 7 or 8 months now. I cannot imagine, at this point in my life, not using it. My results have been nothing short of fantastic. I am 68 years old and have always known that, as we age, the knees tend to weaken first and that is exactly what was happening to me. When drying out the shower or getting down on the ground to do just about anything, I would struggle to get up off the floor, using my arms and shoulders more than my knees. I knew this was not a good sign, but honestly, what was I to do? I had a bad hyperextension of the right knee 40 years ago and have been avoiding the right hip replacement for about six years. My wife purchased this product for me and I was, of course, skeptical but tried it nevertheless. From just moments after applying it very sparingly to my right knee and hip, I knew that the Pro Sport CBD topical was different. And within two weeks, I could actually do deep knee bends, put my socks on without a struggle and towel out the shower and get up off the floor without struggling and without pain! If you are wondering if you should give this product a try, let me tell you that I have never, in my 25 years as a chiropractor, seen anything that even comes close to the effectiveness of CBD Clinic’s Level 5 Pro Sport product. Just get it, try it and see for yourself. You will thank me and bless CBD Clinic!”
-Dr. Colleen Knasky, DC
“We can’t keep CBD CLINIC products in stock. These new pain relief ointments and cream have received an absolutely positive response from our patients—about half of whom have already tried it. Fibromyalgia patients love it; especially when they have pain flare-ups. Powerlifters use it. It’s great for all acute and chronic pain. One of our patients was in a car accident a year ago, needing multiple steroid injections and was on opioids throughout the year. Now, this patient no longer needs to use opioids before bed. They just use CBD CLINIC ointment. It’s that good.”
Dr. Lloyd Ramby, DC
Ramby Chiropractic Clinic
Reliable, effective and versatile pain relief
“CBD CLINIC has come to the rescue for an amazingly diverse range of pain challenges. For one patient with a chronic rhomboid shoulder issue, CBD CLINIC calms the spasms and eases the pain so this patient can get to sleep. Another patient with chronic pain previously needed Ambien to sleep. Now the CBD CLINIC ointment calms the pain enough. Nearly all my patients who have tried CBD CLINIC products have come back, asking for more because it does what it’s supposed to do. It relieves pain quickly and for hours.”
Take the time to know your clients
Understanding what your patient wants is an important step. The time spent uncovering this truth will assist you as well as your current and future patients. You can get to know your clients or patients and learn how to give them added value by:
- Asking your clients or patients what they need and want face to face
- Requesting feedback online, through email, or through notecards left at your desk
- Holding a competition or event that includes an option for feedback
- Inviting a group of clients for an event, special appreciation dinner and reception, etc.
- Offering product samples and free consultations
- Offering discounts to try your service or product
These are just a few of the ways we’ve found that worked. What’s your favorite way to get to know your patients or clients?