While I totally get that it’s rotting my insides with GMOs, there is something wonderful about the Chick-fil-A experience. As I was waiting in line to get lunch one day, I told my sister that I thought working at a Chick-fil-A would be a similar experience to working at Disney World. Each employee always seemed so excited to be serving customers, it must be a magical place!
Whether or not this is actually true, our chiropractic offices could learn something from places like Disney and Chick-fil-A. These places have a different kind of culture that people want to belong to. People budget all year to get the chance to meet Mickey Mouse. People camp out before a Chick-fil-A’s grand opening hoping to be one of the first 100 who will get free meals for a year.
If a theme park and a fast food restaurant can create such a following of raving fans, the chiropractic industry should be able to do the same. Even more so, because chiropractic offers more than just a fun memory or a nice lunch. Chiropractic offers an optimal life. Here are three ways your office can grow your raving fan base:
Treat your patient like the hero.
Donald Miller, author and speaker, writes about the different ingredients in a story. In every great story, there is a character who wants something but doesn’t know how to get it (Luke Skywalker wants to be a jedi. Katniss Everdeen wants to win the Hunger Games.). This character meets a guide (Yoda. Haymitch.) who gives them a plan. The character follows that plan and either succeeds or fails, thus creating a happy ending or a tragedy (Luke blows up the Death Star. Katniss takes down the capitol.).
Most medical professionals act like they are the hero who is going to rescue the patient. While this doesn’t stop people from coming, you don’t see many people excited about going to their medical appointment.
If you position yourself as the hero, you are subconsciously fighting with them for the role and it creates an inner tension as they live their story. As the chiropractor, you are not the hero! You are the guide in your patient’s story who is giving them the plan for success. Whenever you interact with your patients, make sure you position yourself as their guide, not their hero.
Make their visit the best part of their day.
This should be the goal for each doctor and employee in your practice. It comes above scheduling patients for a future visit, above taking a clear x-ray, and above giving a great adjustment. All those things are important, but they are secondary.
Think about how hard it is to be a human nowadays. The average American is in a mad rush of constant hurrying, surrounded by people who don’t appreciate them (whether it be a boss or a demanding toddler), always feeling the strain of every day life, and living for the weekend or that rare vacation.
Your office should be the oasis. It should be that Disney experience in the middle of their weekday. Every interaction with a patient is a chance to make their day a great one. “Make every patient’s visit the best part of their day” should be at the top of every job description and the reminder every morning.
Tell the truth.
The majority of patients come to the chiropractor because of back pain. It’s so easy to let them think you’re the back doctor who can fix them. To go beyond that and tell them the truth about chiropractic – that only 10% of your nerves are for pain, the rest are for function; that chiropractic helps your body work to the best of its ability so that you can live the thriving life you were born to live – that takes guts! It means you can’t worry about what people think of you. They’ll probably think you’re a heretic at first. That’s okay! Heretics are the ones who challenge the status quo and who dare to be great.
If you can passionately communicate the truth of chiropractic and teach your team to do the same, you will see people start to get on board and switch from the average patient, to raving fan.
Chick-fil-A knows that not everyone who orders a chicken sandwich will become a raving fan. Of the 7 to 10 million people that eat at their restaurant every week, only about 10 to 15 percent could be included in that diehard fanbase. But that small percentage is crucial to the health and growth of their business.
Not everyone who walks through your office door will get it. But that’s okay. You don’t need everyone to be a raving fan, just a few. Invest in those few while still making the effort to bring new fans in. Who knows? Maybe someday Disney will be calling you for advice.