The one thing you need to grow your PT practice

The one thing you need to grow your PT practice

The one thing that I wish someone had told me along time ago is the fact that your customers or patients are interchangeable. Your patients are your customers. 

What they think matters more than anything. What they experience really matters. What they think about you is absolutely everything.

The realization of this brings about a number of things. Number one, you have to measure what they think.

You have to collect data and measure what they think. You won't know what they think by just showing up. You won't know what they actually think unless you're measuring it right.

There's a number of ways you can do this. 

I prefer Net Promoter Score or NPS because there's tons of research around that question. "How likely are you referring family or friend to us on a scale of zero to 10?" 

You have to measure what your customers are thinking. Their opinion of you is what drives Word-of-mouth referrals.

There was a post that somebody had earlier, where they were asking what the number one way that people got new patients was: Word-of-mouth.

Everybody's chiming in saying, "Word-of-mouth is the number one where I get my patients." Something to measure that word-of-mouth and determine how to grow that will be going to be your biggest leverage point. 

If it's your number one referral source, then it's going to be the biggest leverage point in your business by far. But most people aren't even measuring it. 

They are not asking their patients for feedback, and when they do, they're not doing anything with it. They use it for like quality assurance on the inside of their practice.

They don't leverage what their patient thinks to turn that relationship that they've spent so much time and money building into new business and new growth. 

What your patient thinks is the money. It is the leverage point in your business that determines whether you're going to grow, whether you're going to die, or whether you're going to become stagnant.

What other people think about your business and those word-of-mouth, they drive everything. They drive other connections with other people, even outside of patient referrals, like physicians.

They walk into the physician's office, and they tell the physician, "Hey, I went down there, and John's great like you. He's just an awesome dude. I just love him. I can't say enough about the guy. He did a phenomenal job with me. My back is so much better." 

If I keep walking into that physician's office and tell that same story, then with that patient's opinion of you, you can go in and market to them all you want. 

The relationship with your customer is the most important thing in your business. Forget about getting your next certification. That is not where the money is. 

In your practice, the money is in the head of your patient. If you can figure out the ones that aren't happy and make them happy, you've turned that into money. 

If you can stop one negative review from happening by identifying it ahead of time, your practice is going to grow. You've got to be able to get into the head of that other person. 

Their head space is where you need to live. You need to figure out a way to measure what they're thinking. If you can measure it, you can change it. If you can't measure it, you can't change it.

You don't know if what you're doing is working or not. Your personal biases start to come in. Everything you're doing, you don't know what it's going to do or where it's going to go, so you have to have some method of measurement. 

Now, a lot of people are using email to measure what their customer thinks. 

The only problem is your response rate is about 16-17% that you actually get back.You're not getting the headspace. You're getting in 16-17% of the people's headspace. 

The rest of the people - the other 83-84% - you have no idea what they think. So you've got to do something better than that.

Text messaging is slightly better. You're up at around mid 30s. But still, the vast majority of people or around two thirds, you have no idea what they think. That's not good.

You can't improve your practice unless you know exactly what your patient thinks, so you've got to measure these a number of ways. 

My preferred method is that Net Promoter Score. Are you doing quality assurance measuring? If you are, what are you doing? How are you doing it?

Is it by email or by text? Is it by paper or by some other method? I use an app. I have an app that I created for it. 

Are you measuring this right? Then what are you doing with that data? Where's it going? What are you doing with it? 

Are you matching it up to therapists? Are you calculating this? Are you graphing it? Are you comparing it to other people? Is it only normalized data? 

The Net Promoter Score has a certain amount of normalized data that you can reach in us. Net Promoter scores the question on how likely are you to refer family or friend?

That's why everybody is using it because there are numbers associated with that. Those numbers actually mean something more. There's normalized data that you can look at. 

You have to see where you are and what you're doing. You have to measure what's in the head of the other person. 

If you don't measure, you don't know. If you don't know, you can't grow. If you don't know what they're thinking, you can't improve it. 

Word-of-mouth is your number one referral source. If you can grow that and identify a mechanism by which you can grow, then you can identify the happy people and ask them to send you more people. 

This is the biggest leverage point in your business that people are just missing right now. There are people like Jerry, my admin here, that really helped bring my head into this space. 

That really got me thinking about this two years ago, and it changed everything. Word-of-mouth is huge. It's what grows your business. It's the number one ROI that you have. 

My software measures that. I know what my top ROI is, and I'm telling you, there's nothing that is even close. Why? Word-of-mouth is free (well, not really free).

You've got to do certain things, but it's darn close to free, and if it's darn close to free and you can grow that, that's your biggest leverage point in your business.

That is where you need to be and what you need to focus on. You have to measure what the other person's thinking. They're not always going to tell you either.

How many times do you ask a patient how they're doing and they say, "Oh, I'm doing well"? Then I go talk to my front office, they're like, "Oh, someone said that their knee was really sore."

They told me it was great. Sometimes they don't always tell you the truth because people don't want to hurt your feelings. If they're nice, they don't hurt your feelings. 

You're working hard, they like you, they don't hurt your feelings. But if you're using other things to measure that personal relationship bias that they have, it gives you more data.

It allows you to improve that relationship with the other person. It allows you to grow, to help them grow and improve. When they grow and improve, they'll refer other people.

If you use the Net Promoter Score, you know which people you should ask. The numbers tell you which ones you should ask to send you more patients by referring you to their friends and family. 

If you're not doing that, you're losing this huge part of your business, just sitting there not doing anything. 

We spend so much time to get people in the door. We work so hard to create this relationship with them, then we don't measure it. 

Don't worry about the next three letters behind your name. Get in the headspace of your patient. Realize what they want and what they need. Realize what they're thinking about your business.

An example of being in the headspace, there's a local company here called Sheetz that are all up and down the East Coast. Their convenience store chain has 600 and some stores. 

They're huge. They make almost a billion dollars a year. They're a big company. So Sheetz had a store that was doing over a million dollars profit. This store was doing very well.

They shut the place down. They ripped the place to the ground, shut down for nine months, rebuilt the place from the ground up, lost over a million dollars in revenue. 

Why? Because they measured and they had data that showed that if the customer like the store warning that day, we're going to make even more money. 

So they shut it down, ripped it to the ground, rebuilt it from the ground up, spent multiple millions of dollars in this process on top of the million dollars that they lost while they were shut down. 

All because they had data that showed that the customers' perception of their store turns into money. We don't have that data yet in physical therapy, but it's there in your practice.

So you've got to measure it the best way that you can, and try to make that number move. You have to work on your practice, and try to make that number move. 

If you are measuring other person's headspace, you can really change things. NPS is just an amazing tool. How likely are you to refer a family or friend to us on a scale of zero to 10? 

Each segment of that question, we'll get into later. It's pure gold. You can identify your drop offs before they happen. You can identify if somebody will refer to you. 

You can identify the people that if you ask them to refer, it's actually off putting, and it's going to ruin the relationship with them. 

There's so much that you can do if you just measure what the other person's thinking. What is in their head is everything. 

It will tell you everything about your business. It will tell you your health. It will tell you if you need help. It will tell you if you're dying. It will tell you if you're growing. It will tell you if you need to make changes.

It's just incredible. What the customer thinks matters. To that end, you have to measure it.

It's like trying to improve somebody's knee and not measuring strength, range of motion, or girth. You're not doing anything. Then you're like, "Okay, well, I think we're getting better. I think we're doing well here."

How do you know? Would you treat somebody new without measurements? You're going to run your business without measurements? It doesn't make any sense. You can't run your business without measurements just like you can't fix that knee without measurements. 

You need to know if you're improving. You need to know if what you're doing is making a difference. 

If you're not measuring, your personal biases come in and you're like, "Oh, this is working." How do you know? 

The numbers are improving, you have to measure. There's a number of things you can do. We can measure on the back end. This is what most people do.

You look at your cancellation and no-show rates. You look at your completed plan of care, your revenue, and varying degrees of ways. But those are all post mortem

What's wrong has already happened to patients who cancelled or dropped off, or your complete plan of care numbers go up. You're doing a post mortem.

This thing's already dead. Maybe we should measure while it's still alive. Try to do something if it looks like it's not doing well.

You got to know where to measure, and how to measure. 

The first step of that process is identifying what the patient thinks. You have to be in their head space multiple times throughout this process. 

Without it, you're flying blind. You're fixing that knee without measurements. You won't know if you're getting better or not. 

If you have any questions, please let me know. Also, please let me know if you guys are measuring.

If you're measuring, how are you measuring? What questions are you using? How are you delivering the question or questions? Are you doing this via email? Are you doing this via text? Are you doing this paper? Are you doing this via an app? What are you doing with that data?

Please share that below. The more we share, the more we talk about it, the more we can help.

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