This Technique Addresses The #1 Problem In Chiropractic: Retention. Are You Using It?
While we can all agree that there is no retention problem possible without new patients, an industry average PVA (Patient Visit Average) of 15 is sad. This literally means that the average chiropractor is having to look for another new patient to replace the one that left 15 visits ago. If the chiropractor succeeds in replacing the ones that leaves, the practice will remain where it is. On the other hand, a practice with a PVA of 15 will require a great amount of time, energy and money spent on attracting new ones if it to experience growth. In my experience, chiropractors with low PVAs fail to sustain the energy needed to grow their practice or merely replace the patients that are discontinuing care. At this rate, failure is inevitable and the statistics your professor in chiropractic college shared to the class to instill fear in every student are becoming real.
Retention is a crucial part of growing the practice of your dreams and is an art that can definitely be mastered. Here is one of the easiest techniques you can use in order to improve your retention: Future Pacing!
Future pacing is the art of always letting your patients know what to expect and what is coming. Future Pacing is one of the biggest technique I use in my flagship program Adjusting Attitudes. A great way to use future pacing is to let patients know about their up coming progress exam.
"Mary, I know this is only your 4th visit, but remember I told you we are going to re-examine you on your 12th visit. Progress exams are exciting visits for our patients as they get to see and realize their amazing results. I can't wait to see yours!"
Another opportune time to use future pacing is when discussing wellness care.
"Peter, you may already be wondering how you are going to maintain your results after we are done with the structural component of your care. Don't worry, at that point we will talk about a wellness plan that will have you coming in for maintenance visits that we will schedule according to your needs. We want to sustain these results for a lifetime!"
Feel free to use this technique whenever you feel appropriate. At times, you may get the feeling that patients are already looking for the exit sign because they feel so much better. Here is another beauty:
"Jim, you have been doing well with your care and it is evident you are feeling much better. Remember that pain is just the tip of the iceberg and the cause we need to correct is the bigger part of the iceberg that lies below the surface. This is why we do objective progress exam so you don't have to judge your health by how you feel. Yours is coming up in 10 visits! I can't wait to see your results."
By future pacing your patients, you take control of their destiny and indirectly their results. We all know the miracle stories happen after the pain is gone, so higher retention means more amazing stories, more referrals and a booming practice. Remember that patients needs to be led. Always dangle that carrot in front of their nose and future pace them to wellness care.