Dr. James R. Fedich, DC Chiropractor, Coach, Speaker, & Podcast Host

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Blast Calls

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Blast calls are a often under looked method at building your practice! Most doctors and therapist aren't using blast calls at all, and when they do, they aren’t doing it right!

So, what is a blast call? Its when you send a pre-recorded message to a large list of names and numbers. With the advent of new technology, you can call thousands of patients at the same time! It’s really amazing. Now, you don't just want to call them for no reason, and they are some rules with this.

  1. You cannot call anyone, they are rules to this, and you must check with your state. Usually if they have been in your office within a set time period, say a year or two, that is consent to be contacted by you via mail and phone. But, your state may vary. Definitely do not call strangers, or buy lists or anything like that. With the do not call list, this is serious trouble!
  2. Don’t call them too much, i would say between 1-4 times a year. If you call them 2, 3 times a year, they think its neat, fun, interesting, etc. Start doing it once a month, they will get mad.

So, what do you call them for? I call them for our patient appreciation day twice a year. I would definitely recommend that. You call them a few days before to remind them of the patient appreciation day.

You can do recall calls, just upload a list of patients that hasn't been in for a while.

You can call them for other events your doing, doctor with a heart, food drives, etc. I usually recommend doing them for the twice yearly patient appreciation day, maybe one other event.

So, when you are promoting say a patient appreciation day, send postcards maybe a month before, and do the call maybe on a Tuesday for the Saturday event.

Some words of wisdom,

People call back, they don’t listen to message, they just call back. Why they do this? I have no idea. So, when you schedule the call, make sure your staff can handle all the call backs, we try to do it a slower time in office so staff can manage phones. They wont all call but a bunch will.

Types of calls

  1. For the answering machine
  2. For live answer
  3. Both

I send only one message for both, and we try to have it go to answering machine, you can have two messages one if someone answers, one if no one does. I just do one!

What do you say in the message? For the events, i keep it easy, Hi Its megan for docs office, i was just calling to remind you about our patient appreciation day this sat, 11-1, free food, free care, and live music, come on down!

This seems to be the best method in our office.

You can get really fancy with this and do impersonations, hire voice actors, and more. Which i don’t do, my staff do a great job!

There are a lot of sites out there that do this, we use voiceshot, it isnt fancy, but its easy, cheap and works!

GOOD LUCK!!!


TV Giveaway Promotion

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Want a simple summer promotion? This one has been around, so i cant take credit for it, but i do it yearly and it still gets great results.

Here is How it works, Go buy a TV. Flat Screen, I usually get a 32 inch tv. You could do bigger 42 inch, but i put it on front desk, so you dont want to take up too much room. When i started doing this promotion, that 32 inch TV costs 1200, now it costs 300! So, its a winner

Buy a decent TV, put it on the front desk with a sign that says! WIN THIS TV!

You can see our picture, but you can do the tickets different ways! Here is what we are doing 1. Ticket per office visit 2. Tickets per referral 3 Tickets for checking in on facebook 5 Tickets for a testimonial

At the end of the period, pick a winner and there you go!

You can change around tickets and values, but something like this works well.

Then pick a winner.

Announce the winner on facebook, maybe youtube, and in your email newsletter as well as your regular one if you can!

This works great in the summer, we usually do it mid july through august, but you can try it any time you like! Let me know how its going, drfedich@milliondollarclinic.com


Testimonials

Saturday, July 09, 2016

One of the most old fashioned pieces of marketing is still one of the best. Testimonials! What are you doing to get patient testimonials? Social Proof is still one of the most powerful forces for consumers today. What does that mean? Social Proof? Pretty simple, people will do what they see others doing. Humans naturally want to fit in. They want to be part of the heard. How does this affect your practice? People want to go where others are going, they don’t want to go somewhere no one else is going. How do we capitalize on that? There are techniques with scheduling to make the place appear busier. If your new in practice, and don’t have a lot of flow, don’t schedule a new patient when no one is in the office. They wont feel good about your choice in coming to you. This is one reason i don’t like these new patient blocks. Some office set aside certain hours for new patients. I don’t think its convenient for the patient, but i think it looks bad if they come in and they are the only patient there. WEll, I degrees.

Patient testimonials

GET THEM
  1. Written
  2. Video

Written, have a form handy for testimonials, it will have a few questions on there, to get a good testimonial, and a release to use it in your marketing and we.

Video. Even Better! WE get a ton of video testimonials. http://www.hackettstownfamilyclinic.com/testimonials.htm

Video is better for several reasons.

  1. It is more believable, its easy to fake a written one
  2.  Its multi-use, put it on your website, Facebook page, you-tube channel, then i transcribe it and use it as a written one too, its awesome!

How do you record them? I PHONE! My staff are mostly younger and know how to do this better than i do. Its so easy with modern phones. They will know how to do it.

How do you get them? Incentives! Just like most things in life a good incentive! Give your staff a bonus for each one they get. IF you have the right staff on board, they will get them!

GO GET SOME TESTIMONIALS!


Patient Recall

Friday, July 08, 2016

Hey there! As clinic owners we are often obsessed with getting new patients. However if you have been in practice over a year, reactivating existing patients, or prior patients will probably be a lot more profitable. They already know you, they know where your office is, they know what you do, they just maybe forgot about you. Or another reason.


Top Reasons Patients Leave Your Office
  1. They feel better. This is number one, chiropractors, physical therapist, dentists, acupuncture, pain management, all of us, once the patient feels better they don’t come in. Now, we can argue if this is right or not, most of us would agree maintenance and checkups are an important part of your lifestyle, however, patients forget, feel better, get busy.
  2. You did something. Did you bill them, did you annoy them? Maybe someone was rude. Who knows. If it wasn’t too severe, if the patient knows you care, they will come back.
  3. THEY ARE EMBARRASSED! This is probably the number one reason. They are embarrassed. What about? Could be several things. They feel bad they didn’t follow your treatment plan, they feel bad about insurance not paying your full bill, they feel bad about missing appointments, they feel bad about not doing maintenance care, who knows. If they know you still care, they will come back.
Top Methods to Get Patients Back Into Your Office
  1. Keep in touch. Send a monthly newsletter, birthday cards, postcards, xmas letters, Thanksgiving card, etc. The more times a year a patient hears form you, the more likely they will come back.
  2. Recall Letters. There are many ways to do this. We are doing a monthly recall letter. So, they haven’t come into the clinic for one year this month, they get a one year recall letter. WE are also doing a 6 month. You can also do a blast recall letter. I have done this, and you can do a combination of the two. Send a letter to all patients who haven’t been in for a year, send a few hundred at once. Good Idea!
  3. Recall Calls. You can do this several ways. Get your staff a good script, email me if you want one, drfedich@milliondollarclinic.com. They can make random calls daily, you can make it a yearly blast, or even better, do recall follow up calls to all the patients you sent the letters to! We do the monthly letters, then follow up with a call several days letter. 4. Recall Postcards. Same Idea as a letter, but go to vista print, upload the list of recalls, send a postcard with a discount, you will get response and its cheap, easy. Probably the fastest, cheapest way to get patients back in the office ASAP!

So, don't forget about your prior patients! There are dollars in that file cabinet!


Pareto Principle

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Have you ever heard of the Pareto principle? I hope you have. The other more common name is the 80/20 rule. It basically state that 20 percent control 80 percent and vice versa. It was first observed in Italy as 20 percent of the people owned 80 percent of the land. It has been used ever since to describe everything. IT has come to light again recently as the economic changes we have faced over the past few years. The 1 per centers talk is really an extension of the Pareto Principle.

How does this affect your practice. Well, you will find this principle holds true for you in your life and in your practice. I bet about 20 percent of your patients provide 80 percent of your income. Its the patients with good insurance, come in regular, refer, buy from you, etc. I bet 20 percent of the patients cause 80 percent of your headaches. There is not much getting away from this rule. It is life! So, what can you.
  1. Understand the principle. This is how life works
  2. Use it to your advantage. Which 20 percent are your best patients? For us, teachers are a big chunk of that, they are great patients, they pay, stay refer, and they have great insurance. SO, why not go out and get more. Recruit the people you like, hold events for them, offer them specials, etc. Recruit more.
  3. Don’t fight it. Many will say get rid of the 20 percent that cause your headaches. Yes, get rid of some, but some will be replaced by new people with the same headaches, why? That is how the principle works. You will never have 100 percent great patients who pay stay refer.

Its a way to put perspective in your life and practice. One big thing is to think what activities you do that produce the most results. What is the 20 percent you do, that produces 80 percent of your results? Treating patients? Doing the marketing? Find what it is, do more of it, and less of what isn’t helping you out.

Do some more research on the Pareto Principle, and see how you can apply it to your life and practice!

Snow Storm is Coming!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Here in the northeast, all anyone is talking about is the snowstorm! Its coming this Saturday, or Friday night, or maybe not at all, maybe Sunday! It’s supposed to be a big one, or its not. Could be 2 feet! Could be 2 inches. Who knows! I am amazed this weathermen get to keep their jobs! If we misdiagnosed our patients half as much as they missed the weather we would be in jail! At least out of business! But they collect 6 figure checks! Must be nice! I am pretty sure the farmers almanac predicts weather as good as these guys with the fancy computers and satellites! It amazes me!

Anyways! What do to do about this weather for you practice! Well, it all depends on many things! The northeast is used to snow, sorta! Many people will still freak out and buy bread, milk, water, etc, like they are being locked in their house for a month! No matter the snow totals here, its always cleared next day! So, what do you do about office hours,

I have found that it is better to stay open unless the storm is terrible. In the northeast, i would put that at maybe 6 inches, or more, I will close. Below that we open, but usually cut down on staff.

Why open?

Well, i have gotten new patients on those days that stay with us for a lifetime, if your back is killing you, everyone is closed, this guy sees you and fixes you in the storm? patient for life, referrals, and more. They make great patients, and it will probably happen once a storm.

Regulars will come in, I always have a group that comes in. Usually the macho guys. They love getting out of the house, proving they can get around and coming in. Its great fun! Enough of them will come in to make it a profitable day for me.

Besides the new patient or two, and the regulars, I find it a great day to catch up. Clean out your desk drawers, straighten up, I usually end up with bags of garbage to take out of my office as things pile up. Its also a good time for staff to catch up on some things and straighten up as well. I also usually spend some time on marketing calendar and various other business activities.

What about if its over 6 inches and you close? Put it on Facebook, email and let people know. Forward the phone to a cell phone of staff if available. I always keep a continuing ed class available at home, so its a good way to get a few credits and then enjoy the snow with the family!

GOOD LUCK IN THE SNOW!!!


Your FIRED!

Monday, July 06, 2015

Trump said it the best, YOUR FIRED! Who knows what Donald Trump is up to now, but have you ever fired a patient?

I guarantee every single one of you reading this have at least one patient you should be firing. Is there that one patient who everyone cringes when they see them on the schedule? The one patient that ruins your day? The patient who asks a million questions, the same questions all the time. The patient who drives the staff crazy. Keeps asking about insurance, complaining about the co-pay, wait times, everything?

How about the patient who is always late? ruining your schedule? How about the male patient who says inappropriate things to you staff? How about the person always paying late? The guy who keeps insurance checks for months? I had a guy tell me to bill his secretary at work for his copay, because he was too important to pay at time of service.

I know you all have a patient like this. Let me tell you, get ride of them now!! DO IT! Fire on patient today, it will make you happier, the staff happier. Why are you letting one person ruin your day, week, month or year? That is crazy. It is your clinic, you must rid it of these types of patients. Its like weeding a garden, if you don’t get rid of the bad weeds, the good plants wont be able to grow! WEED YOUR GARDEN.

Here is how to discharge a patient. I have found its best to sent them a certified dismissal letter. Doing it in the office is only going to cause more problems, a big scene, in front of other patients and drive your staff more crazy! Send them a copy certified and one not certified to their home address. Keep it very professional, short and sweet. I will put a link to ours. Don’t get personal. Also, there are patient abandonment rules. So, you have to watch what you put in there, usually just something saying you will treat for regular care 30 days, emergency for 45 and then call your insurance for another provider. So, do it the right way, but get rid of a patient today!


July 3, 2015

Friday, July 03, 2015

Are you open today? I bet your not. Our clinic is open 9-1. We are booked solid, literally every slot is full for two providers. I bet we are seeing more patients before one today, then most clinics see in a day. So if your serious about building your practice why aren't you open? I'm the director, im here, clinic and non clinical staff are here as well.

If your not open today, your probably not serious about building your practice. Its great to take time and take family time, I will be doing that the rest of the weekend,and i take time off. We probably have less than 1/3 staff in today, the rest are enjoying, then next holiday we rotate. We will have a good day today, and it sets up next week, as we are in today to make appointments for Monday.

So, if you seriously interested in exploding your practice, why aren't you open today?


Patient Newsletters

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Are you sending patient newsletters? No? You should be. All doctors offices should be sending a physical newsletter to all of their patients. Lets talk more about it.

Email Newsletters:
Go ahead and send it. However, open rates are terrible. If you are getting 20 percent, your doing great. That is one in five. If you don’t know how to craft good emails, you will probably get 10 percent or less. Of those 10-20 percent who open it, many just open it quick, and then delete it or close it quickly without reading. Who knows what percentage actually read it, i would guess less than five. Although email is free, it isn’t. You have to keep an email database, someone needs to enter it, you need to pay the email company (constant contact), and the biggest time suck is writing the email. A decent email with a few pictures and links will take at least an hour to set up. I don’t have anything against emails, we send a lot, just cant be your only newsletter.

Quarterly Newsletters
Some offices will do them quarterly. This is good, better than not doing. But i think for many of you, that is too long apart. They say the more patients get in the mail from you the better. Newsletters are also like ads, if you sending an ad to someone whose back doeskin hurt that month, they don’t care, but the next month if there back is hurting, they may call. So, if your sending the newsletter on the month they aren’t in pain, but next month they are, they may go elsewhere.

Monthly Newsletters
I would recommend you do it monthly. It is more work and more cost, but it will pay off. It depends on your specialty, but for most of us, monthly is best. Like i said before.. The more patients hear from you the better. If they hear from you 5 times a year, versus 10, it will make a difference in your bottom line. Also, like i previously mentioned, if they are hurting that month, they get a newsletter, they will call. Also, if there friend needs someone that week, or month, and they get the newsletter, they will call!.

Pre-fab or Custom
Well, i have tried both. Doing a full custom, unique to you newsletter is best for you. However, almost none of you are going to do it monthly. If you have a full time person who can do this, great. It is time consuming and more expensive. But like i said its the best. If you do custom, put personal stuff in there, about your family, kids, staff, etc.

I use a pre-fab newsletter company. I get to customize the back page, they do the front 3 pages. Its a good compromise, and since they do so many, the printing costs are so inexpensive. I use stony brook publishing. Call and ask for Sheri (800) 736-3632 Ext. 217, and she can tell you what we do. There are other companies in other fields, stony brook does dentist and chiropractors, you cannot beat the price.

Who do you send them to?
Well, it depends on how big your mailing list is, and how long you have been in practice. If your smaller and want to keep the budget down, start with your most active patients, say patients that have been in for the past few months. However, i have found, the more patients you mail the better! WE send 3000 patient newsletters a month, basically our active database. But, start small and go up!

Good luck!!!

UPDATE!!!! 9/11/15
I have spoken to my contacts at Stony Brook Publishing and for my clients and readers of this blog, they will wave the usual setup fee!! Just mention Dr James Fedich sent you and contact Sheri at
Sheri Needham
16772 West Bernardo Drive
San Diego, CA 92127
Phone: (800) 736-3632 Ext. 217
Fax: (858) 673-8300
Sheri@stoneybrookpublishing.com

Mention My name and they will wave your setup fee!!!


Office Hours

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

What are you office Hours? Especially in chiropractic we tend to have very strange office hours. Closed on Thursday, 3 hour lunches, crazy stuff. Dentist tend to do some weird hours as well. Here are my thoughts on office hours.

  1. When you are open should be based on what your patients want, not you.
  2. In a new practice, solo doctor, be open less than you think you should be, so you can be out marketing and networking.
  3. IN a more mature practice, over half million, you should be open more and more hours. The more your open, the more convenient you are, the busier you will be.
  4. Be open when others are not. Every other dentist is closed Wednesday, so will i. That is backwards. They are all closed, you be open!!
  5. Once your busier, schedule your personal hours around your life and schedule, but not the clinic hours. For example. We are open for patients M-F 9-7. Perfect, Do i want to work like that? NO! I see patients, m, w, th 9-1, 3-6, t, f, 9-1, Not bad, but i put 11 years in! and have doctors and therapist making me money when i am not there.

Think again about your hours. The other big thing i would say, is don’t worry about changing hours. I remember worrying and stressing. DON'T! Just let the patients know, they will come in. Every time i adjusted clinic hours, we got busier and i got better hours! its a process. But it is kinda backwards of what you may think. IN the begging be open less, as your practice matures and you get help, open more! And think of the hours your patients want, not you or your staff. Don't be afraid to experiment. Many docs have had the same the hours for twenty years. Why? You haven't had the same car that long, or clothes? So, take a look at hours, i bet you can adjust them! Email me for help, drfedich@milliondollarclinic.com, NO charge!



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