Every morning all of us get up and face a new day. For some that’s a more daunting task than for others, depending on what is going on in our lives.
Everyone has their own way in going about their lives. Different routines. Different eating habits. Running out the door at a slightly different time than yesterday to get to work. Different ways of addressing the divine (or not) in their lives.
To a certain degree, we all live inside boxes that make our lives comfortable and routine for us. It’s like the cozy sweater we put on everyday that makes us feel warm and safe. Everything we learned from our parents, and now teach our children resides in that box.
When a new patient walks into a chiropractic office, more often than not it’s because they are in pain. When people are in pain, they are way more likely to check the boundaries of that box they live in.
Their bodies are under stress and duress and looking for safety and boundaries is the logical course of action that the usual human being takes. Walking into a chiro office, usually, means that they are taking a wide step out of the comfort zone of their “box”. Especially if they’ve been walking in the typical medical model through most of their life, where popping a pill is perceived as a reliable cure, even though it has more than likely failed them at this stage, hence why they are in your office!
They have come into Smith and Jones Chiropractic, in pain, filled out a heap of paperwork, gone for x-rays (maybe), submitted to an exam (that wasn’t as scary or painful as they thought it might be). They’ve had a nerve scan, and seen the pictures with the patterns and the crazy colours (gasp, was that red AND black?) and have been introduced to a whole new world, and a whole new language, and its leader is subluxation.
And they’ve got one.
It’s a very overwhelming amount of information to take in and process. And now, potentially, they’re staring down the barrel of an adjustment, which they likely have something of a preconceived idea of, and they are possibly incredibly nervous.
Years ago, when I first saw someone get their neck adjusted, I nearly passed out!
(I was a brand spanking new CA with zero chiropractic knowledge. I was hired because I knew how to handle serving 12 tables at a time!)
Hopefully, you and your CA(s) have your procedures down pat for walking a patient through all these stages. Depending on their personality, some will need way more hand holding than others.
They go through this whole process and then comes the moment where the CA has to collect payment, and pre-schedule an entire treatment plan AND convince the patient that it’s in their best interest to do so. It’s the deer stuck in the headlights moment.
This is where the patient puts on the brakes because now you are dabbling with their time AND their bank account, and the CA puts on their brakes because they are bracing for the confrontation of values.
There is one thing through this though that your CA needs to remember that will help ease the tension of this transition point. And it’s something a very wise woman once told me, and it’s held true through all my years of being a CA, and it’s something I’ve passed onto my kids when they took on jobs in the fast food industry (as kids often do).
People just want to know that they are going to be taken care of.
Almost any situation that you come across that has that feeling of tension from the one being served will immediately be alleviated if you can relay to them, that you genuinely want to make sure that they and their needs are taken care of. The CA does not need to become all preachy about pre scheduling, and financial packages.
…Just let them know you are going to do your best to take care of them.
“Mary, I am so glad that you were able to come in today so we can begin the process of getting you and your health taken care of. To help facilitate that, we’ve created some financial packages with significant savings that will help lessen any financial strain for you, and if we could pre schedule all your appointments until your next re-exam, then that will take the guesswork and stress out of it for you as to when you need to be here, as well as help the doctor monitor where you are in your healing journey.”
As CA’s it’s very easy for us to become emotionally involved in our patients lives and feel the tension they’re feeling in those moments where they recognize there is an exchange of money and time for the offices services. But in reality we need to stand on the miracles that we get to witness everyday.
The patient in front of you is just the next miracle waiting to happen. Conviction, sincerity, and love will win the day and win the patient in those tough moments and get them on that best road to recovery, and then on that road to wellness care.
As much as chiropractic is a profession it’s also a way of life that everyone can benefit from. We just need to steer them in the right direction!
We know our CA’s perform mini miracles everyday. And we know there is so much potential there, but when was the last time you did a mystery shop call to see how well they are performing your well articulated systems? We created a 28 point data checklist for our calls, accompanied by a report and a follow up call. Check it out by clicking the link below