[PT Business Growth School] – The New Patient Journey Experience (Part 2)

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So Week 2 of “PT Business Growth School” – has kicked off, and the momentum and energy just keeps building…

This week my 72 students were joined in class by PT industry Superstar “Jerry Durham”…

(…who REALLY lifted the energy!)

What I love about Jerry is that he “gets it”…

He “gets” that as a health care provider we have to do more than just be “great clinicians”…

…We’ve got to be EVEN BETTER providers of EXPERIENCES for the people we serve at our clinics.

It’s why I brought Jerry in to co-teach the module titled “The New Patient Journey Experience” – where we map out the ENTIRE journey – step-by-step – that your patients go through with you, and ensure that they get more than they were expecting.

So with that said, here’s a digest of Module 2, and “10” of the most prevailing highlights from Week 2 of PT Business Growth School.

Key Takeaways

#1 OVER DELIVER on the EXPERIENCE DELIVERY

Last week (over in Week 1’s highlights), I explained that your clinics “USP” is possibly the No.1 most important thing you can get clear on to grow your business…

(Your ‘UNIQUE Serving Proposition’)

Once you know that, you can begin to communicate differently with your clients.

The next thing to do is CREATE AN EXPERIENCE that your patients are happy to pay for.

“Goods and services” are no longer enough to foster growth in ANY industry…

…And given that the PT Profession is saturated with undifferentiated providers of what appears to be the “same service”…

…The greatest opportunity to beat the ‘co-pay’ or “deductibles” issue is to deliver an exceptional start to end EXPERIENCE that they’re very happy to pay MORE for.

For context – at my clinic they pay $160 per visit.

$100 for PT…

…The other $60 is for the experience my team and I provide for them.

#2 Being Nice, Polite And Courteous – Isn’t Enough

When it comes to “customer service”, being “nice”, “polite” and “courteous”, just isn’t enough any more.

Those things should be happening anyway.

And I worry that some owners think that’s them providing an experience.

It really isn’t.

When someone pays for a service, they pay for a set of intangible activities to be carried out on their behalf – like a “Massage”.

But when someone buys an “experience”, they pay to spend time enjoying a series of MEMORABLE EVENTS that a company stages to engage them in a personal way…

#3 PT Clinics Are A Commodity

Quick task:

“Do a Google search for PT clinics in your area”.

How many come up?

A lot!

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The problem is this: we live in a ‘Service Based Economy’ where consumers become more and more likely to purchase goods solely on price and availability…

If people in your town can’t “differentiate” between the other clinics in your town and you – then the only thing you compete on is your PT service – and it’s for that reason so many clinics are experiencing a price pressure right now with patients looking for the cheapest, and minimal viable option.

The answer is to provide an exceptional experience that makes you different.

#4 Creating An Experience Requires You To Do 4 Things

Each of these:

1. Educate (actively)

2. Entertain

3. Escapism

4. Aesthetics

And if any one is missing, then customers feel it and will tell you their dislike of their current experience with the words “I can’t afford to come more than once per week”.

Roughly translated as: “I don’t see the value in coming here more than once because I’m only getting a massage or some exercises.”

Give them a reason to come that is MORE THAN JUST PT – and they usually do.

#5 The Way Your Phone Gets Answered Is The Most Important Part Of The Relationship

When a brand new patient makes the decision to pick up the phone and call you, that first phone call is the most important interaction that will take place.

EVER!

Why so important?

Your no show rates, cancel and arrival rates are 100% determined, before the patient EVEN arrives in your office.

Unfortunately, for most patients, they don’t get more than a “3” minute phone call that does nothing except confirm an appointment time and talk about insurance.

At best they’ll get some directions and told to go onto a website to fill out some forms before they arrive.

That was ok in the 20th Century when people didn’t have a choice, but it’s not acceptable anymore…

#6 A New Way To Answer The Phone

Ir’s important that you don’t get involved in a “transactional” phone call…

…and no matter how they start the call, it’s about you being able to smoothly transition to a question that is both engaging and emotional.

This allows you to add EQUITY and VALUE to the relationship BEFORE you even get them on schedule.

What’s more, doing this will help you better answer the first question that almost all patients ask:

“I need to book an appointment,
*do you take my insurance*?”

#7 Take Your Patients On A Journey

This is the critical difference between the good and the great clinics…

And it’s what successful companies like the ‘Ritz Carlton’ are doing to WOW their customers and stand out from the crowd.

Remember – people don’t want PT, they want the TRANSFORMATION that the skills we have can provide.

(Big difference…)

And one of the things we should do is “time travel” – and that means finding out where people want to get to as a result of coming to see you.

How do you do that?

Take the time to ask them *on the first phone call*!

#8 Chuck The Insurance Under The Bus!

One of the easiest ways to make a connection with a patient is to find something in common…

And if there’s one thing that patients and PT business owners have in common right now…

…it’s a dislike of insurance!

As my good friend Jerry Durham says:

“It doesn’t do any harm to “chuck the insurance companies under the bus” once in a while, if the sore subject of “co-pay” or “deductibles” is getting in the way of much needed care”.

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#9 The Value Added Welcome Sequence

This is one of the most powerful systems that helps to grow a thriving PT clinic!

Having this ensures that your patients recognize the value of what you’re bringing to their life – and even provides you with a safety blanket.

That means that even if your secretary is having an ‘off day’ and the first phone call with a new patient doesn’t get answered as you would like…

…You can relax knowing that this email sequence will be in action helping patients to understand more about what makes your clinic so different – and what you will REALLY be doing to help them in exchange for their time and money.

#10 Give Them The “Warm And Fuzzy” Feeling

It’s important to CONNECT with patients before they arrive.

I call it giving them the “warm fuzzy” feeling so that they are excited about coming to see you.

It could be a video of something fun, something that shows-cases you, your staff or your clinic … and allows people to resonate, and feel CERTAIN that they made the best decision about coming to see you!

(People pay a LOT to feel certain these days!)

Ok, there’s your “digest” of Module 2…

To sum up:

It’s all about growing a business that puts PEOPLE first.

If you do that – you’ll make the profits you truly deserve and people will get the help they surely need.

Right now my students are on with their homework ahead of next week – where we’ll be joined by PT industry “numbers” Expert, Andrew Vertson!

PT Business Growth School is all about having a business that grows without you – and for that to happen, you’ve got to track your numbers.

The problem is, which ones??

We’ll be sure to share some of the highlights from Andrew with you, next week.

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Paul Gough

About Paul Gough

PAUL GOUGH is one of the top Marketing and Business Coaches in the physical therapy industry and his Systems are helping clinic owners all across America run more profitable clinics. He is a published Author, Newspaper Columnist and before his stunning success in business was hired by top professional soccer teams. HIS SUCCESS STORY is one that inspires many pt's around the world - at the age of 26 Paul QUIT a high profile job in professional soccer to begin his own clinic. He had NO money, NO business or marketing skills and NO experience - and yet now owns and runs 4 pt clinics and has a proven track record of growing a physical therapy business from 0 - $2m in record time.
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