Chances are, if you’ve been in practice for any length of time you now have a team of staff members assisting you with patient care and your front desk. Hopefully, you have made the right choices when it comes to the hiring of these “key players”.
Unfortunately, more times than not, a Chiropractor will hire a Front Desk Person, CA and/or Office Manager based only on their technical skills without giving proper consideration to “people skills” or personality, which can be equally important. What is sometimes forgotten or not even considered is the fact that attitude and people skills really can’t be “taught”, but technical skills can. Hiring someone for your practice that smiles often, is friendly and has a positive attitude is as important, if not more important, than hiring for office “know how”. Your “gatekeepers” can play an intricate role in the success or failure of your practice.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if you have the proper players on your team.
- Have you had any feedback (positive or negative) on the person who handles the front desk? Remember, your front desk person can be more influential than you, especially where a new patient is concerned. That person at your front desk is the first person your new and existing patients see when they walk into your office. Any negative behavior or attitude can pollute your practice. Yes, Chiropractors lose patients every day due to unfavorable team members.
- Does my “team” want my practice to grow? You may believe that the answer to this question is a “no brainer”…not true at all. Many chiropractors make the mistake of assuming that the entire team has the same goal in mind for the practice. They assume that the growth of the practice is a priority for all involved. WRONG…if any member of your team complains at all about being “too busy or over worked, reconsider their position. Once you have determined that all members of your team have the same goals for the practice, here’s an idea that to keep everyone excited and motivated. Offer your team an incentive. Remember, if your seeing 10 new patients a week and your staff is working harder, but they see no rewards for all of the extra work involved, then it is not a win-win situation…If not a win-win for all involved, your team has no reason to want to help you to expand your practice. Offering rewards and incentives is good way to keep everyone motivated. In office rewards and contests will keep your staff fired up as they become busier.
- Is my staff maintaining payments and collections? It really doesn’t matter how many patient visits you are seeing weekly if you’re not getting paid right? Have you ever lent money to a friend, a colleague or family member who did not pay you back in a timely manner? How uncomfortable did you feel just thinking about having to remind that person that they owed you money? It wasn’t easy, was it? The simplest way to avoid embarrassment for your staff or patient is to be sure that your patients are not allowed to accrue any “big balance” on their account. You deserve to get paid for your services and the best way to insure that you will be paid is to establish right away what is expected from the patient financially. The biggest injustice you can do for yourself, staff and the patient is to allow them to get behind on their bill. If a patient owes you money and is not able to pay, they will just stop coming to avoid embarrassment. If you keep your patient on the payment plan that has been set up, your collections will increase and your patient retention rate will also.
- Is my team “Sold on Chiropractic”? Are all of your staff members under chiropractic care? Do they really understand chiropractic? Can they explain the benefits to a patient or prospective patient? If you’re not sure, or think not, then you may need to reassess your team. It’s highly unlikely that any member of your staff can truly add to the prosperity of the practice if he or she is not under chiropractic care himself or herself. Your patients are looking for an advocate and a friend. They’ll need to be educated and re-educated during their course of care. If your entire staff is not chiropractic active, they can’t be effective educators.
- Is my staff amicable but abiding to patients and their care schedules? Remember every appointment missed by a patient results in the delay of attaining optimum health. It’s crucial that your staff reiterate to the patient the importance of and staying on track during care. If patients believe that missing appointments is “no big deal”…they will miss appointments. If patients feel “accountable” to you and your staff they will not miss scheduled appointments. Posture yourself and your chiropractic team so that all know and understand the value of your time and treatment.
Remember, your “bottom line” is in the hands of all members of your staff and you can be assured that by underestimating the significance and merit that each team member brings to the table will truly cost you patients and money. Beware of the misguided staff member. The harm they may bring to your practice could be irremediable.
Filed under: Chiropractic Practice Building
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