In the Podiatry Business Owners Club on Facebook I asked the following question:
When you think about your favourite patients, what is it that makes them your favourites?
I was not surprised by the comments this Facebook post attracted, because they were pretty much in line with the traits and mannerisms I used to enjoy most about my patients.
Here is an abbreviated list of what was posted:
- They have a positive attitude.
- They are punctual, interested and empowered of taking care of their health and lives.
- They value their health and the service you are providing.
- They are always friendly and easy to get on with, punctual.
- They listen and follow the advice they've been given.
- They are appreciative of what we do for them.
- They never whinge about a fee increase.
- They refer their friends and family, and then they spread the word.
- They follow through with your education and take ownership of their health.
- They give you open and honest feedback so you can help them further.
- They ask questions and are eager to learn.
- They are thank-you at the end of their treatment.
- They never complain.
- They make you smile
- And....and they bring plonk and nice food :)
Understand & Identify
I think it's crucial to understand what you like most about your favourite patients, and it's just as important to identify what you don't like about certain patients.
Patients that arrive late, continually complain, are always negative and often rude to you, and your team will make your work-life a living hell. I know from experience some patients make you want to stay in bed in the morning, and that's not how you should be living.
Rank Them A to D
In my book, It's No Secret There's Money in Podiatry; I recommend ranking your patients A, B, C and D.
- A - These are your awesome patients.
- B - Good patients, but not as awesome as your A's.
- C - These patients are often not fun to work with.
- D - Are simply not nice people.
Your goal is to build a podiatry business full of A and B type patients and get rid of your D's immediately.
With your C patients, explain to them what they need to do or change to become a B patient, and if they do not make the required changes, you need to show them the door.
Your Game, Your Rules
Some podiatrists may say you cannot do this, but it's your podiatry business, and therefore you make the rules on how the podiatry game is played in your business.
Q: If a team member treated you as poorly as some of your patients, how long would you tolerate this behaviour?
Q: How many times would you allow a team member to arrive late for work before saying something to them?
I'm guessing you would be having a stern chat with them sooner rather than later and if changes did not happen immediately, you would let them go.
So, if you would sack a team member, why not sack C and D patients, and allow more room in your diary for A's and B's. Just a thought!
I also shot a quick YouTube Video about this idea - Sack Your C & D Patients
If you're a podiatrist, you may also want to come over to the Podiatry Business Owners Club on Facebook.