How to Be the Weight Loss Practice People LOVE (Part 2)Feb 06, 2023
Let’s face it, just as you likely love certain brands or services, there are many patients that love what you offer as well. Today, I'd like to continue our discussion on how you can become the #1 bariatric practice in your area.
What are the benefits of being the weight loss practice people LOVE?
When your weight loss practice is the one that people love, you will benefit in many of the following ways:
- You and your team will typically experience greater satisfaction and enjoyment.
- The lifetime value of your patient will increase. When they love what you offer, how you offer it and how they feel when they interact online and in person with you and your team, your patients come back for more of your services and products.
- Your patients become advocates for your practice. They tend to refer others, provide positive reviews/testimonials (especially when asked), engage with your social media posts and share your social media posts with others.
- Your patients seldom complain. Happy patients don’t usually complain much and if they do from time to time, it is more of a minor concern or recommendation and as long as you acknowledge this and work to correct any issues, they thank you without further mention.
- Your patients are fiercely loyal and if they hear anything negative or see anything negative online, they jump in to share their positive experience and counter the negativity – often before you are aware.
- When you have to make changes or are short staffed for whatever reason, they are more understanding and often offer to pitch in or try to help in some way.
What are the risks of being the weight loss practice people LOVE?
There are a couple of potential risks:
- You have more business than you can handle.
- Patients set unrealistic expectations or expect something you are unable to deliver on. Some examples may include special accommodations for appointment days/times or special accommodations for discounts. The best way to manage this is to set the expectation clearly from the beginning in a kind but matter of fact way.
How do you become the weight loss practice people LOVE?
Depending upon your practice situation (owned by a larger health system or independent) you may not have the ability to implement all of these strategies. However, most pertain to either situation.
- Hire a caring and diverse team. Hands down, unless it is a highly specialized clinical position, I will hire someone who has great customer service over experience any day. I also like to hire a team that is culturally diverse as well as diverse in terms of their talents if possible. This helps with understanding patient needs and expectations as well as the ability to get more things done.
- Know who you want to serve and clearly define their needs. I mention this a lot but if you define this clearly, you will save yourself frustration and waking up one day saying ‘How did my practice get to be this way?’ Instead of saying ‘I serve everyone’, consider contemplating your ultimate vision (understanding that it will change over time). Do you want a cash based or insurance-based practice? If insurance, do you want all insurances or a select few? Do you want additional profit centers that don’t necessarily rely on you? Who is your ideal patient? Women? Men? Children? Seniors? Menopausal women? Here are a few examples of clearly knowing what they desire from practices I work with directly:
- OB/GYN physician who chose to phase out of obstetrics, start her own GYN practice and focus solely on 5 services for specific female age groups. This is now her reality.
- Bariatric Surgeon who desired additional services that did not directly rely on him. He now has medical weight loss and retail sales adding profit to the bottom line of his independent practice.
- Bariatric Surgeon who desired a higher percentage of self-pay weight loss surgery patients. We created his entire package, marketing, messaging, training, education and he has increased from 1% to nearly 11% of his cases as self-pay in 1 year.
- Bariatrician who wanted to lessen total reliability on her for care delivery and grow her practice. A focus on her expanded team and an entirely new organic marketing campaign we created and implemented boosted new patients by 60% in less than 6 months.
- Focus on your unique strengths while establishing your unique services/products and don’t forget to involve your team. Where is your genius zone – and does this bring you great joy? Are you great at counseling or are you the one who is laser focused on diagnosis and treatment? Do you like doing procedures? Do you like cooking? Work with your team to create a few various program options (2-week, 3-month, 6-month) and go from there adding on maintenance and other offerings as desired to further enhance growth that is in sync with your genius zone and team support.
- Provide outstanding service to your patients. Deliver an unforgettable patient experience each step of the way. This includes areas such as online posts/blogs/webinars/videos; your office atmosphere; phone, e-mail and text etiquette/ease of use; virtual services; and e-Store convenience. You may not offer all of these features but pay attention to what you offer. Make it user friendly, respond in promised amount of time and be positive/kind. Focus on customer service and you will reap many benefits.
- Create rewards and/or referral programs. These can be extremely effective. However, just be sure to evaluate underlying costs to make sure you aren’t eliminating your profitability. Don’t be afraid to ‘stack’ offers and value add complementary services and products to make your offers irresistible.
- Consistently show up online and via e-newsletter communications. I have so many trainings on this. Reach out to me if you can’t find them in your Bariatric Business Boss membership site and of course, you can always set up a time to talk at [email protected] Also, if for some reason, you are reading this and are not a BBB member or you are a member and know of anyone who could benefit from some additional business training, here is a good place to start WeightLossPracticeBuilder.com/Free
- Listen and modify over time. You and your business will evolve. I see this every day. I may offer a lot of suggestions as we meet and discuss your goals. Often, you are not ready for them all. However, one prioritized step at a time. Listen to your team and your patients. What do they love? What is frustrating them? Keep the great if it still fits with your vision and modify the rest. You are in control! And remember, it is a marathon…not a sprint so try not to be too impatient.
I hope you are feeling the LOVE in your practice! If you are – keep it up and appreciate the joys you have created. If you are not, I encourage you to take this month of training to heart, make necessary changes and before you know it, you will be feeling the appreciation I know you deserve.
If you have any questions or desire a complimentary opportunity audit to review where you are now, where you want to go and strategize some immediate actions to take, reach out to me – [email protected] If you desire other free resources, you can find them at www.WeightLossPracticeBuilder.com/free or subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Cheers to much continued success for your patients and your practice!
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