Exponential Practice GROWTH

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Exponential Practice Growth

  10th January 2012 
Primacy and Immediacy 

"The Importance of the Before and After" 

By: W.J. Simmons 

     I am going to share with you something very simple yet it is guaranteed to make a profound difference to the way both your clinic and your treatments are perceived, but first I want to clear up one small detail:

     “Primacy and immediacy” is not a song by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder!

     As you may be aware when it comes to memory and recollecting any particular event the two things that are remembered with the most clarity, the two things that have the greatest impact or how the event / situation was judged is what happened first and what happened last. This is the primacy and immediacy effect.

     In other words for any given experience we tend to remember things that happen at the start and at the end of the encounter...

     …and this is VERY important in business.

     Because this means that anything that happens in the middle tends to be forgotten about…

     The “last” thing we want to do is leave our clients with a ‘lasting’ negative impression and likewise we want the “start” of their experience and relationship with us to get off on the right foot!

     Therefore it doesn’t matter how great a treatment you give your patient it will not be remembered if their initial encounter with you or your staff was in any way not up to scratch.

     This can be anything from receptionist failing to greet them appropriately by calling them by the wrong name or something simple like failing to acknowledge them when they enter the clinic. You will be amazed what a simple “hello, how are you” and a smile (or even a smile and a nod of the head if they are on the phone) can do to promote warm, fuzzy feelings.

     It can even involve something that happened just prior to the appointment such as the patient not being able to get parked outside or nearby the clinic.

     A simple thing I had several clinics try was to have a bowl of 20 pence pieces on the side of the receptionists’ desk available as a refund for those patients who had paid to park at the local car parking. Sure it cost 40 pence or so for the refund (and yes some people took 40 pence even though they hadn’t come by car!) but it negated the initial bad feeling the patient sometimes felt when they had to pay 30 pounds for a treatment and 40 pence to park!

     The money involved in paying these parking fees was soon recuperated when the clinic next put their fees up so there was no real cost to the clinic either (it is amazing how little charges like this can be “hidden” in a larger fee and the overall effect of having “free” parking was a tremendous selling point!).

     If you appear hurried towards the end of the treatment and not available to answer any questions which may have arisen during the session will also counteract any good you have achieved whilst the patient was there in your care.

     So, a brilliant treatment and all the good it has done can be immediately cancelled out by poor first and last impressions. This will result in reduced referral opportunities, less patient compliance and more “no shows” or “DNAs”…

Does it happen in your clinic?

Are you creating a fabulous first impression because as the saying goes “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” and are you creating a lasting ‘last’ impression - the one people will take away with them (because you only get the first chance to make the last impression as well!).

     How many firsts and lasts do you have every single day - what difference would it make if each one were not only memorable - but unforgettable for its positive impact...

     …and what difference would that make to your clinic?

Source: http://www.osteopathicmarketing.com

Developing exponential practice growth by creating a brilliant first and last impression!