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Search engine optimization…is it just me or are there really some down sides to owning your own business? I’m not saying SEO’s are bad but to me there are so many more interesting and exciting things to do as a business owner.  But hey, in the age of technology, speed of information and the majority of research and shopping is done online, I guess I better put SEO’s at the top of my to-do list.   If you are a little lack luster about SEO’s like I am, keep reading to find out why they are super important and will help grow your chiropractic office.   SEO really works… google alone is processing over 3.5 billion requests everyday!! Thats almost unfathomable. The cold, hard truth is the higher up on Google your website appears the more likely someone is to click on it. Really when was the last time you went to page 20, let alone page 2 of a google search? Um…I’m gonna guess probably never.   Cell Phones/Tablets=Bigger Opportunities for Small Business Owners… have you ever been walking down the street or driving around in a new town and decide you would like some coffee, pizza or ice cream? The first thing you do is go on your phone, type in “Coffee shops near me” and google brings up a list of surrounding coffee shops. This is the opportunity for a small business to up their google SEO so their shop appears before Starbucks.   Those on top Win… consumers give more credibility to websites listed at the top of the google search. Part of the reason is, your website probably has relevant information or content to the search.  Just like with anything, the more relevant you are the more people want to know you and use your services.   Organic Searches… this idea also ties back into “those on top win.” When a consumer does a google search, they generally look past the paid advertisement and click on one of the top websites that google brought up. Organic searches are leading in web traffic at 51% compared to 10% from a paid search, 5% from social and 34% coming from other source (BrightEdge).   Better ROI… think about…if most searches now are organic (non-paid) that means more money in the pockets of the small business owner. Organic searches which result in a lead opt-in will also reduce the cost of lead generation which again means a better return on investment.   SEO is Measurable… if you like this kind of stuff you can totally geek out over it. There are a bunch of numbers that can be tracked.  Google analytics is a good place to start with trying to sort through all the data. You can see all kinds of cool stuff like learning about your audience, traffic sources and viewed content/ most clicked pages, etc.   SEO and Voice Searches… ”Siri search for chiropractors in my area”… now with consumers using voice searches at least 50% of the time it’s good to have your website optimized so that it will still pop up at the top of google.   Kassandra Schultz D.C
I know as business owners, our frustrations can be endless.  Payroll, rent, advertising, taxes, customer fulfillment, patient complaints and employee drama just to name a few…but what happens if you have a rockstar employee or associate? What if your associate or front desk staff are really bringing the magic with patient satisfaction? What if the clinic hits the financial goals for the month? What would be some simple, yet thoughtful ways to really say thank you to a kick butt employee?   Lunch with the Boss: nothing says camaraderie like breaking bread with someone. Let them choose the restaurant.  As you are out to lunch, try and keep the conversation to a minimum about work stuff.  Use it as an opportunity to get to know them better, build some good rapport (you might need it later) and it also allows you as the boss to become more human to them.  Depending on finances consider dinner with some drinks.  Team Shopping Spree: this one is very much dependent on hitting financial goals/numbers. Let’s say you have 3 employees.  The gross goal for the clinic for the month is 30k. Each employee would get 3 hours, $300 to spend at the mall.  Afterwards everyone could get a snack, grab a glass of wine or maybe even dinner to conclude the day. CEO for the Day: they get to be the boss for the day. Let them choose something like a jeans day or a potluck.  (For added fun for you, let them field the complaints and write the checks..just kidding).   Need some more simple ideas? Keep on reading… Public Recognition… if a particular employee has been doing something really well don’t be afraid to acknowledge their good work in front of the other team members. Thank You Meeting: call them into your office to tell them specifically what they are doing well and thank them for their hard work. Certificate of Achievement: create and hand out a certificate for a specific achievement. Impromptu Time Off: send a text or an email that says come in late or go home early tomorrow. “Its a beautiful afternoon go enjoy it or “snow day!”…this one will be greatly appreciated and maybe helpful in the future if there is a day when they have to come in early or leave late. Coffee, donuts, on my!…. learn what their favorite breakfast treat is and bring them in one day. It always goes over well when I am on my way and I send everyone a text saying “what do you want from Starbucks?” Recognition Bulletin Board… hang up achievements, accomplishments, milestones, etc. Gold stars aren’t just reserved for kids. Indoor Food Truck… when it’s hot out you can walk around the office passing out Klondike bars and lemonade. When it’s cold out make a chili, coffee, hot chocolate cart (or some kind of hot food cart). Kassandra Schultz D.C.
I think for many, many years chiropractic was the butt of a lot of jokes.  I even remember a couple TV shows where the chiropractor was the dumb one because he wasn’t smart enough to be a “real” doctor.  Or the other side is, we are depicted as super neurotic, health nuts who take supplements by the handful (oh no I do, do that lol).   Hey why not have a little fun with our profession and sometimes kooky ways??   Here are some popular and light-hearted chiropractic jokes….   I never believed that chiropractors could solve my back problems…. 2 weeks later I stand corrected.   What do you call a chiropractor that loves his job?… a crack addict   Anyone need some old copies of Chiropractor Monthly?… I have a lot of back issues.   “But Quasimodo, what makes you think you need to see a chiropractor?” “Oh it’s just a hunch…”   Why was the chiropractor a good interrogator? He always got the suspect to crack   I broke up with my chiropractic girlfriend. She was too manipulative   My chiropractor is serious as hell. But he still cracks me up   How many chiropractors does it take to change a light bulb? Just one but it will take about 8-10 visits   What do you call two chiropractors who’ve got each others back? Vertebros   Why did the chiropractor go bankrupt? He owed too much in back taxes   What’s your favorite chiropractic joke?    Kassandra Schultz D.C
Bad reviews on social media, talk about a sticky situation.  For a business, good reviews are like gold.  Customers are actively looking at Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc to tell them if a business is worth their time, energy and money.  I know personally I have researched all kinds of businesses from restaurants, travel/tourism, doctors, rehab facilities, etc to see who gets high marks and who falls short.   Before we delve into how to respond, just remember everyone has an opinion (for good or for bad). You could have impeccable customer service, have done everything right and a customer/patient can still get angry. I do believe not every person out there will be a good patron for your business.  I try and remember that when the occasional negative review gets posted.  Sometimes it is our fault as a business and we need to do better, sometimes they were mad because we wanted them to pay the monies owed to us and sometimes it’s for attention.  Regardless of the reason, here are some ways to help navigate a bad review on social media.   Get your head out of the sand… if you read nothing else from this blog this is the biggest point of all. You absolutely, 100% cannot ignore it. You have to respond.  I even think a bad response is better than no response.  As a business owner if you do not respond, it shows you don’t care about your customers. Even if the review is totally unfounded, you still have to respond. Keep it together… let’s say a particular review has absolutely no merit to it and you know deep down this customer/patient is just trying to mess with your business, get out of paying you money, being vindictive, etc you cannot let that show through in your response. If you get emotional, it’s going to create a war with the person who wrote the review and then everyone else and their mother will be able to see it.  Responses need to be well thought out and not reactive.  Be the Bigger Person… no matter the reason for the negative review you are going to have to apologize. It might physically pain you, but it has to be done.  Think about how it looks to a brand new, potential client/patient. If they know nothing about you, have never met you in person before, they will judge you based on your response (because it’s all they have to go off of). Showing sympathy, apologizing and offering to make it right shows a new client that even if you do screw up you appear to be a nice person and are willing to fix it. Get off social media… as quickly as you can try and get that conversation to move offline. Offer them your email, phone number or a private message anything that stops the flow of that conversation.  Send a carrier pigeon if you have to!  You never know what someone might say, it’s best not to find out in public. Get some good reviews… it’s not suggested to hide or take down the negative review. Once you have responded to the negative review, see if the customer will alter or take the review down.  I have had that happen before.  I negotiated with the terrorist and she took the review down.  In case they won’t, go seek out five awesome patients and have them write you reviews.  Those five reviews will go on top of the bad review and will start to push it down so it’s not the first one seen when someone visits your page.   A couple months back, we had a received a negative review.  This was a member at one of my kickboxing gyms.  I had responded as politely as I could, apologized for her experience, offered to make it right and put my personal phone number in my response.  Was her complaint reasonable? No she wanted her money back for classes she had already taken.  I made it right in her mind and she took the review down.  To me, it was worth the refund to get the negative review off the FB business page.  Here was my response:   “Hi __________ We’re sorry to hear about your experience. We’re usually known for our exceptional customer service and we regret that we didn’t live up to those expectations here. If you are open to discussing this further please call us as at (my phone number) and ask to speak with Kassandra one of our owners.  She is also a chiropractor & has almost seven years experience with treating kickboxers.  She would love the opportunity to discuss where went wrong and how we can make it right. We’d greatly appreciate the opportunity to make things right and work towards earning back your business. “   Feel free to use my response as a template.  Good luck!
I had a few ideas in my head but of course I had to turn to my old friend Google to get even more inspiration and see if I was on the right track.  I don’t recommend searching for “why people hate chiropractors” unless you need a good cry or want to beat someone up. Turns out, I was barking up the right tree.  Keep on reading to find out why chiropractors give some folks the heebie-jeebies.    Fear of the Unknown I was always try and be very cognizant of this with my patients.  When I was a student at Palmer, I had a really amazing professor for diagnosing and examination.  I distinctly remember him telling us to always describe everything you are doing to the patient.  Imagine yourself narrating to the patient why you do DTR’s, ROM, muscle testing, leg length inequality and what is going to happen step by step during the adjustment.    I just stand there talking out loud (mostly to myself) telling the patient exactly what I am doing and why.   Especially when I first got into practice, I felt like as a then 25 year old it helped to establish me as the authority. Fast forward seven years later, I still think it helps establish me as the authority and helps the patient relax.  If the process is broken down step-by-step it takes away the mystery, allows the patient to express concerns and ask question before anything unknown happens to them.  Let’s face it, no matter what technique you use, it’s more than likely going to be completely different than anything else they have ever experienced.    2. All about the Green Backs or Pound Sterling Hey, we don’t corner the market on this but sometimes chiropractic care can be very expensive.   I’ve seen this two-fold.  First way, is the pre-paid high dollar amount programs which allows a patient to come a certain times a week for a certain length of time and can run in the thousands of dollars.  As a red-blooded capitalist American I can’t hate on chiropractic offices who do this, I just know I have heard complaints from patients on some this type of practice.  The second way is super high cost per visit prices.  Some techniques go for $100 for 15 minutes or upwards up $10,000 for a set treatment plan.   I’m not saying the treatment isn’t worth it but I think if your going to charge serious cash you need some serious patient education.    3. Once You Go, You Always Have to Go I hate when people say this.   You mean because people are immediately indoctrinated into the medical establishment at birth? (Whoa where did that come from?) Anyways, I do my best to answer this question diplomatically and professional (even if it gives me great pains).  I like to use analogous references like getting dental check-ups twice a year, a yearly eye exam, routine male/female checks, etc.  Once you make them feel better, they have a better understanding of your voo-voodoo than the idea of “maintenance or wellness” care becomes less crazy and a makes a lot more sense to the patient.
Unless you are the only employee in your business, you will eventually run into this issue.  There are times in a business when it would be very difficult to not be excited.  Grand openings, appreciation parties, killer sales months, hitting new landmarks within the company, etc. all help to keep employees soaring high.    But what happens when there is a slow month? What about three slow months in a row?  All of a sudden, there is a lot of employee turmoil or unrest among the ranks?  It’s a lot easier to be a pleasant boss when the numbers are good, the rent is paid, payroll is accounted for and you enjoy the team you have in place.     What do you do when the excitement of owning a business wears off? All you can think about is ripping your hair off and running off to a deserted island and your employees can see and feel your tension.  They start to see the dark circles around your eyes, the worry in your face and the lack of enthusiasm coming off of you when you go into the office.  They become worried about the stability of their job, their sense of security dwindles and before long they are using their lunch breaks to look for a new gig.      How do you turn that around?    1. Top Down…It Starts with You I completely understand how it feels to have a business sucking the life right out you. Even if business is financially going well, they take a lot of time and energy.  I think one of the biggest things the owner or boss can do is everyday when they are in front of or around their employees is to put on their happy face.  You need to wipe the RBF off, drink some coffee and put your big boy or big girl pants on.  Employees cannot see the captain of their ship faltering.  When the leaders have it together (even if just on the surface) that will help inspire and build trust with the rest of the team. 2. Communication…the Good, the Bad and the Ugly I am have always been very open about the health and status of the business.  All the employees know the numbers needed for growth, their bonuses, how much rent is, etc.    Especially if they are tied into bonuses, why shouldn’t employees be allowed to know the numbers they need to hit and where the business is at any given time?   I’ve known others who were literally going out of business and waited until two days before to tell their key employees.   I started giving “status” reports at a minimum of once a week.  It doesn’t matter what your metrics are for the business, daily/weekly/monthly posting of them won’t leave any employee in the dark.  If the numbers are good that’s exciting and if they aren’t then everyone knows what they need to work on.  Surprises in this area never turn out good.    3. Get FeedBack    I did this in our last meeting.  We have made some changes to our operations and wanted to know their opinion of some different ways of how we could make everyone feel more connected and more confident in what we are doing.  I was amazed at the amount of ideas they had.  Later after the meeting, I had one employee reach out and thanked me for making them feel heard and included.  The benefit was two-fold: one the employees at the meeting felt like their voice and opinions matter (which they do & helps morale) plus it will help simplify our new procedures that we put into place.    4. Be a Good Finder   This is my favorite one.  Always be on the lookout for positive or well-done things that an employee is doing.  I know it can be hard sometimes and definitely easier to focus on the negative qualities all the time.  People also need to feel safe around you and know that if they do screw up (heck we all do) that mistakes are ok.  Generally, as the boss you are always on the hunt for something that was done well or you appreciate them doing.  It doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when an employee will need to be written up, re-trained or fired but overall, try and reinforce the behavior you want more of. 5. Bonuses Who doesn’t love the opportunity to make more money?  When implementing a bonus structure, this is where #2 about communication is going to be key.  Nothing will lower morale more than not knowing what the target is, changing the target or not be honest about how bonuses work.    Kassandra Schultz D.C
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