Don’t Let Your Chiropractic Assistant Make These 5 Practice-killing Mistakes

In the day-to-day operation of your chiropractic business, you’re juggling countless responsibilities. You’ve probably got a long to-do list, with just a handful of hours to accomplish all your tasks. With so much on your plate, it’s easy to overlook small, niggling concerns about your staff. But if you let your concerns go ignored long enough, you may find yourself dealing with larger problems, like staff errors, patient complaints, and even cancelled appointments.

Take an objective look at your staff and see if you spot any of these problems:

  1. Poor telephone skills – A patient’s first impression of your chiropractic office is determined by the person answering the telephone. If your staff lacks training, or is rude or rushed, it is a direct reflection upon your business. It may also may a deciding factor in whether a new patient chooses to schedule an appointment. Take time to listen to a typical inbound phone call. Does your receptionist or CA sounds friendly? Begin the call with an appropriate greeting and end the call with “Goodbye.”? Answer questions patiently? Provide the patient with adequate information? If not, immediately establish phone etiquette guidelines and communicate your expectations clearly.
  2. Negative attitude – Inexperience can be overcome and new works skills can be learned, but a negative attitude may be impossible to change. Often a person’s inherent negativity doesn’t show up in the initial interview and may only appear over time. Unfortunately, if you don’t get a handle on the situation quickly, the negativity can affect co-workers and patients alike.
  3. Unable to handle stress – All of us feel a bit frazzled at times, particularly when faced with a challenging patient or a hectic schedule. However, your staff must be able to handle difficult situations while remaining outwardly calm and pleasant.
  4. Poor time management – Do you often wind up with a waiting room full of patients? If the problem’s not an overbooked schedule, your staff may need instruction on time management. On busy days many therapies can be performed before an adjustment to assist in a smoother work flow.
  5. Forgetting to set appointments – Part of your staff’s function is to promote your practice. That means encouraging patient compliance with your appointment recommendations. During check out, your staff should try to get patients to schedule their next appointment. For shy staff members, this may be challenging. For tips on getting patients to book follow up appointments, read our article here.

Lastly, try to keep your office adequately staffed. When working with a tight budget it may be tempting to pare down office staff. This strategy may backfire if your patients always receivea recording when calling your office, or feel as though they are not receiving enough attention during an appointment.

What patients say will often provide clues to their satisfaction level. Listen closely during your patient/doctor conversations. If you frequently hear, “You’re so busy!”—read between the lines! They may be hinting about long wait times or general dissatisfaction.

To sum up, well trained, professional staff members are your greatest assets. Your chiropractic assistant can promote your services, sell products and make your patient’s experience a satisfying one. These skills may not be easy to find, nor do they alway come cheap, but the payoff for your investment can be huge.

Here is a Method That is Helping Chiropractors Hire Better Chiropractic Assistants

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