How many families have you started care with that now don’t come regularly or have stopped coming entirely?
Do you often think that families that drop out of care are doing so because they ‘just don’t get it?
How many families that you are looking after reach wellness care?
How many of your families are just not getting it?
In this video I go through the three big mistakes chiropractors make that leads to families not getting the big idea.
Imagine you have a problem with your computer, not functioning properly.
Every time you turn it on, it shuts down again.
You need your computer to be efficient and running well, all of the time.
So you take it to a computer Doctor to find out what’s really going on, and determine the source of the problem.
That computer doctor then says that the need to bring the computer again three times a week for 4-weeks, plus a few extra visits over the next six weeks.
You know how important the computer is. You understand that it is important to do what the computer doctor asks, but at the same time you don’t quite understand why it’s going to take that long to fix the problem.
In good faith you start taking your computer for its reboot appointments, but your friends ask why are you going so often? Isn’t it ‘fixed’ the first time?
And of course, eventually you stop taking the computer for a tune up.
When we are working with families it’s often a very similar story.
You explain everything in the first instance, the families are happy and understand the importance of their care plan. But how do you keep them focused on the goals of care you discussed, and ensure their confidence isn’t rattled when someone else asks – your what? Seeing a chiropractor?
The three big mistakes chiropractors make
1. Assume that you only have to tell the big idea & explain our role once.
- It takes time to understand how the body functions. It takes time to understand the role chiropractic plays. We are brought up being told that our body is working well until broken and then you have to get fixed and removing the symptoms equals health. Learning how to take care of the body takes time especially truly understanding the difference between symptom free and being really healthy.
So giving your families that opportunity to take time to learn is important. Repeat the explanations that resonate with them.
2. The second mistake is assuming that if a family doesn’t come back it is because they didn’t get the big idea or they weren’t open to it
- There are many reasons why a family doesn’t continue with care. Many times it has had absolutely nothing to do with the chiropractor or the care that you have given. Families often have circumstances, both financial and emotional that arise. They could be a family that just really doesn’t have enough money – particularly in families with one parent, or there could be other pressing medical issues.
The only way to know is to get feedback. Whether that be by phone or mail. In any business its essential to take opportunities like this to learn what could have ben done differently or more efficiently to suit your families.
3. Assume you did everything right.
- Working in any industry with people is hard. Everybody has different needs, different value systems and different ways of communicating. Perhaps you didn’t listen and speak with the families in the way they needed, maybe your communication of the big idea didn’t align with the needs of the family.
I find it frustrating to hear ‘they just didn’t get it’ without the discussion or taking the time to reflect – could I have been a better chiropractor, communicator, health practitioner.
Whenever a family chooses not to continue with chiropractic care it offers an opportunity to evaluate the way that you work with families and the way that you communicate.
Here are my three tips for improving communication & supporting families to learn and make informed decisions about the health care for their family.
- Present the information in a logical order. Talk about what a healthy and an unhealthy body needs – and why their needs are exactly the same, explain the system that looks after everything – the nervous system, talk about your role as a chiropractor, and talk about information that you need to gather and why its important for them, their children & their families.
- Always tailor the report for the child in front of you. Don’t say exactly the same thing every time. This is where you need to address the concerns and provide logical and easy steps for moving forward. Remember you have each adjustment to educate the families you do not have to bombard them all in one go.
- Set goals – let parents know exactly what you will be expecting as the child’s body unwinds under care.
Let them know what they should look out for as their child moves thorough their care plan. Engage the families further by giving them activities they can do at home to help. And of course, let them know when the re-exam will be to monitor the child’s improvement. So every family has something to look forward to.
It’s important to recognise that there are many parts in play to ensure a family stays in care. The trick is identifying any early warning signs the family might be leaving and addressing them while they are still under care.
Have you caught yourself saying they just didn’t get it?
Have you easily blamed the family for not coming back rather than looking at your own processes and role your may have played in making it difficult to stay?