Get With the Times—Get Visual
by D. Fernandez
Imagine using X-ray equipment from the 1960’s. Imagine a modern farmer using tractors from the 50’s. Imagine a computer from 1970 handling all the billing and keeping track of your statistics today. Sounds ridiculous, I know. As time marches on, new products are created and invented to make our jobs easier. We can now have digital moving x-rays with incredible quality. Farmers can harvest twice as many fields in the same time as did their 1950’s counterparts. Computers are now lightening-quick, with massive amounts of memory. All these improvements are making jobs so much easier and effective, while yielding better results.
So, why are so many chiropractors using methods from forty years ago to educate patients? As the times have changed, so have your patients’ ways of receiving “education.” Have you ever wondered what your patients see when they come to your office? Do you really think that your patients read posters printed back in the 80’s? I’ve seen chiropractic offices hand out literature that has been photocopied so many times, some words are unreadable. Then, with your words, you try to educate your patients about the benefits of chiropractic care; they’ve tuned you out after about nine seconds. Remember, your patients are living in today’s times. This is a time when texting and instant messaging are daily habits, a time when a cell phone doubles as a computer to surf the web. Obviously, we live in 2008—not 1978. My point is this: What current methods are you using to maximize your ability to educate and retain your patients?
In 2002, the British Broadcasting Corporation issued the following statement: “The addictive nature of web browsing can leave you with an attention span of nine seconds—the same as a goldfish.” So, as you ramble on about “vertical subluxations” and “dis-ease vs. disease,” your patients have already thought about checking their Blackberries, not just once, but two or three times.
In May, web usability consultant Jakob Neilson found that the more words you add to a page, the more people skim it. In other words, our short attention spans cannot handle long articles, and we end up just skipping to the bottom. Keep this in mind as you provide your new patients with brochures about chiropractic care. Are they REALLY going to read it?
So, what can you do? How can we keep patients’ attention on chiropractic? How can you convey the benefits of chiropractic in a few words and in under nine seconds? Be visual! You need to do something different to get different—yet better—results.
Just the other day, I was at the Advanced Spine & Wellness Center in Rockville, Maryland. There, Dr. Brian Paris has implemented a fantastic way to create not only enthusiasm for chiropractic, but better education. His patients eagerly wanted to have their pictures displayed alongside their seven- to twenty-word testimonials, posted on three flat screen plasma and LCD monitors. What I saw was amazing. Patients are not only seeing their pictures, but dozens of other patients’ pictures, both young and old, exclaiming about how Dr. Paris has helped them with their ear infections, headaches, asthma, and a variety of other complaints. Retention will definitely improve, and the infectious nature of enthusiasm will almost certainly bring in new patients.
Doctors of Chiropractic, as you prepare for a busy morning, remember who you are talking to: a patient who respects you, admires you, and appreciates what you do for them. Also, remember that these same patients think they know what you do—but they don’t. In order for them to improve their understanding, something must change. I suggest you get with the times and discover ways to inspire your patients—visually.
D Fernandez has extensive experience working with chiropractors throughout North America, specializing in bringing in new patients, as well as increasing patient visit averages. Today, people are growing more accustomed to being educated through technology. D gives you a wake-up call on how people perceive chiropractic care and illustrates the importance of not simply educating patients, but transforming their thinking. To learn more about D or to inquire about him speaking to your group, call 1-860-514-8668 or email [email protected].