Do you measure client retention?
Do you track how many sessions you can “get” a single client to book with you?
Is your goal “the more sessions the better”?
I’ve got a paradigm shift to drop on you!
This is a RANT to THERAPISTS WHO WORK WITH PATIENTS FOR PAIN RELIEF & IMPROVED FUNCTION
(NOTE: This post is for practices that are not providing relaxation or pampering services, and that are not billing insurance for payments.)
Most smart businesses (INCLUDING THERAPY CLINICS AND SOLO PRACTICES) measure success by KPIs.
(These Key Performance Indicators help the business know EXACTLY where they are and what’s going on (usually financially) in their business.)
Key Performance Indicators are numbers that are tracked daily, weekly, monthly, annually…
The KPIs of most clinical businesses include measuring things like:(A) # of new clients/patients
(B) Revenue for a specific time period (both gross and net)
(C) # of Program Starts
(D) # of visits per client/patient (Referred to as Client Retention and usually the higher this number the better.)
Today I’ll share my thoughts on (D): Client Retention.
In a typical Open To The Public Practice, the premise is to book as many sessions as possible for each client…
The motivation for multiple bookings can make sense if your thought is that you simply want to get the client in for more visits because each visit is worth $$ to your practice.
If that is only how you look at it, it makes sense to think the more visits per client the better.
More visits = more money generated in your practice.
HOWEVER, THIS IS SHORT SIGHTED!
Don’t get me wrong,… I do suggest you measure Client/Patient Retention BUT, I want you to look at this KPI NOT as a positive outcome if you have a high KPI number.
AND INSTEAD, consider this Client/Patient Retention KPI number from the goal to book each client for as few sessions as possible.
The lower # is better.
Assisting your client to get faster results, is a win-win for all.
It rewards you and the client for your (and their) EFFICIENCY and PROFICIENCY.
How Will You Get Brilliant Results In Fewer Sessions?
YOU MIGHT CONSIDER ALL ELEMENTS OF BIO-PSYCHO-SOCIAL COMPONENTS WITHIN YOUR SCOPE OF PRACTICE.
- Talk and ask questions of the client for you to better understand their presentation and experience, and for them to be truly heard.
- Support the client to see their pain from our current understanding of what is actually happening. (Pain as output, not input)
- Remind them pain with movement doesn’t always mean it’s causing more damage to their body.
- Encourage movement through postural adjustments, strengthening, stretching, etc as needed for each particular client.
- Manual manipulation if/when indicated, or requested.
- Help them create awareness of their body, their emotions, their feeling and see if you can support them in changing the ‘old stories’ they’re repeating in their head and replace them with new stories of what IS possible.
WHAT TO MEASURE?
I suggest you start to track how FEW sessions you need to provide in order to get a patient the desired outcome.
For all that is good and holy, as a client, I want you to get my shoulder moving and fully functional in as short a time-frame as possible, not dragged out for as long as possible!
WHY DO CLINICS TRY TO BOOK SO MANY VISITS?
I’ve observed most therapists over schedule due to 4 main reasons:
- They are encouraged by management to schedule a pre-determined # of sessions based on the condition or complaint.
- They are not skilled clinicians so it simply takes them longer to get results….if they ever do!
- Their goal is to rack up as high a bill as possible to generate the most revenue from each client.
- They were taught in school or by business coaches that their calendar should be FULLY booked up.
(Isn’t it’s a badge of honor to say, “I saw 8 clients today!”? )
From a pure business model — this sucks.
I BEKLIEVE it is far better to get patients in and out as fast as possible, so they can get back to their lives.
The added benefit side effect to your business is these thrilled clients will be singing your praises to their friends and colleagues (and to their referring HCP if there is one).
This 1 happy client brings in at least another 2-3 more patients!
These new referred patients will bring in far more revenue combined (& new referrals) than just milking a single patient dry to the bone.
(I refer to this concept of ‘in and out’ by creating positive change with your clients quickly without feeling rushed or missing steps for acute care as the Proficiency Efficiency Upward Spiral…)
The more efficient and proficient you are in supporting your clients and patients to get the results they’re after as quickly as possible, the better it is for them and you!
PLUS, when you structure your fees appropriately, you work fewer therapy hours to generate the same revenue because you & your clients are not just multiplying out how much the fee is per session!
Of course, after you’ve supported the client to reach their goal, and they are not in a chronic or acute situation, it’s completely appropriate (and preferred) to keep them in your practice through your effective maintenance program.
You’ve heard me say it for years — And, I’ll say it again:
SELL RESULTS NOT YOUR TIME!
Now, please comment bellow with your thoughts & share with your colleagues via social.
Agree or disagree? Let’s discuss!
I have identified why a therapist is not getting repeat clients, when/if they come back they come back to me instead. I have discussed client retention strategies with this therapist and am now at the point of one last chance. I am uncertain how to accurately measure their retention rate without giving them another year, the therapist has been with me nearly 2 years. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.