Tools to Grow Your Acupuncture Practice | Jasmine Software: February 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Using Social Proof at Your Acupuncture Practice


As an acupuncturist and business owner, how can you stand out from your competition?

Acupuncturists in popular cities face a lot of competition.

If you're in a relatively large city, you're competing against hundreds of acupuncturist. You're also competing against all the other modalities that patients can choose from!

Just in Austin alone, a quick Yelp search resulted in 412 results! Holy Guacamole!


If you look at it from the patient's point of view, how do they choose?

In this post, I'll talk about a powerful tool you can use at your practice to help patients and customer choose YOUR practice.

The tool is a phenomena called Social Proof.

What is Social Proof?


Social proof is the idea that people will match their behavior to what other people are doing.

This is especially true in ambiguous situations where the correct behavior is difficult to determine.

We all do this. And, it makes sense.

In a world of endless information, we all look for signals to help us make a decision.

Types of Social Proof


According to Buffer, there are 5 different types of Social Proof.
  1. Expert social proof
    Expert social proof is when an industry thought leader endorses your product or service.

    An good example is the US Military using acupuncture.

  2. Celebrity social proof

    Celebrity social proof is when a celebrity endorses your product or service. This is especially powerful if the endorsement is unpaid.

    Kim Kardashian posting a picture of herself getting acupuncture is a good example.


  3. User social proof

    User social proof are endorsements from regular users of your product or service. They can be testimonials (text and video), Yelp reviews, and case studies.

    Below is an example of a Yelp review. What makes this powerful, is that it's on a 3rd party site and you see a name and face.

  4. "Wisdom of the Crowds" social proof

    This type of social proof is the idea that people tend to follow large groups.

    If lots of people are buying something, it's got to be good!

    Here's an article talking about the rise of acupuncture:


  5. "Wisdom of Your Friends" social proof

    "Wisdom of your friends" social proof is the idea that an endorsement from your friends is more trusted than an advertisement or promotion. This is because your friends wouldn't lie to you and don't benefit from the endorsement.

    A referral program for customers to invite friends is a great example!


How to use Social Proof at your practice


As you can see, there are many different types of Social Proof. And, many ways you can use this technique to convince patients and customers to choose your service over another.

A few quick ways you can use Social Proof right away at your practice:

  • Add patient testimonials with pictures to your website and newsletters
  • Write a blog post or newsletter talking about which celebrity is using acupuncture
  • Create a referral program for your customers
  • Automate follow-ups with patients asking for reviews and referrals
  • Write up a case study for difficult or common patient case you treated successfully
  • Create a Youtube video of a patient testimonial
As, you can see, there's an endless number of ideas. You just have to put a little thought and creativity into it!

How will you use social proof in your practice? Post a comment below and share with the community!

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Second Most Important Question At Your Acupuncture Business


As you know, running a business is hard. Damn, hard!

When starting any business, I think there are 2 most important questions that need to be figured out.

One is fairly straight forward, and the other not so much.

Below, I'll go through each of the questions and give you some information on how you can solve these questions for yourself.

"Will anyone buy my product and service?"


The first question is "Will anyone buy my product and service?"

For an acupuncture practice, this question is easier to answer because there are already established models in the market place.

You can point to a number of successful acupuncture practices just in your own city.

Which means, a market already exists and you're not starting for scratch, like a new whiz bang gizmo no one's ever heard of.

However, this still doesn't guarantee success.

Your product and service is not merely acupuncture. It's the whole package.

I think many people forget this.

Your product and service includes your presentation, how you dress and speak, the look of your office, and even minute details like the linens you use.

This is all on top of the acupuncture and health benefits you're providing to the patients.

Every little detail is part of your product and service. As they say, you're selling an experience.

"Where are my customers?"


The second question is harder to solve. And, not only is it harder to solve, it will constantly change throughout the lifecycle of your practice, which means you'll be forever, looking.

The second question is "Where are my customers?"

I would argue that this is the hardest question you will EVER have to solve for your business. It's a very personal question too.

What works for one practitioner and office might not work for you and vice versa.

I recently talked to an acupuncturist about how he grew his successful practice. He now performs acupuncture for pro-athletes, who demand to pay more for a higher level of attention and service.

As, many of you are probably asking right now, I asked, how did he get that job??? So how DID he get his name into this very select demographic?

In short, he had the opportunity to treat a patient with a popular blog that was read by this select group of athletes. The blogger had a wonderful experience and wrote about it.

It was purely by chance! Magic!

As a business owner, your job is to increase your chances of magic like this happening to you. While you can't control or predict when or how magic will happen, you can increase its likelihood.

I think there are 3 ways to increase your chances.

The first way is providing a great product and service.  That goes without saying.

Second, you have to survive long enough for magic to happen.

The final and "magic" ingredient, is getting your name known by as many people as possible!

(plus, lots of blood, sweat, tears, ulcers, etc...)

How do you get your name known?


In short, the answer is marketing.

There are many aspects of marketing. It's more than just ads.

Many people don't realize that there are many avenues for marketing yourself.  They're called marketing channels.

Many times, multiple marketing channels have to work together for you to be successful.

Like I mentioned before, what works for one practitioner and office might not work for you, which is why constantly testing and trying different channels is necessary.

If you're interested in learning more, here's a great book called Traction, which goes through each of the marketing channels and gives ideas on how to implement them.

(I do not make money off the book, just a fan.)



Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Reducing Friction At Your Acupuncture Practice


One of my pet peeves these days is when friction is introduced into a system and slow things down.

Most of the time we don't notice friction, because they have become second nature to us and we think it's just the way things are.

But, when you take a second to review the individual steps within an interaction, you realize that many things can be optimized and made better for yourself and your patient.

Now, I'm not saying to go out and over optimize every interaction. Sometimes friction in a system is a good thing and slowing things down can help situations.

But, many times, friction in a system is counterproductive to the goal and can hinder progress.

Friction in Appointment Scheduling


Let's look at a common scenario for many acupuncturists, the appointment scheduling phone call.

Patient: <Ring> <Ring>
Acupuncturist: Hello, you've reached Authentic Acupuncture!
Patient: Hi, is this Jane?
Acupuncturist: Yes, it is. Who am I speaking to?
Patient: This is John.
Acupuncturist: Hi John. How are you today?
Patient: I'm wonderful. How are you?
Acupuncturist: I'm great John!
Patient: That's great to hear!
Acupuncturist: How can I help you today, John?
Patient: I'm having some upper back pain and I'd love to come in.
Acupuncturist: I'm sorry to hear that, but we can get you in to take a look. What day are you interested in coming in?
Patient: Wednesday.
Acupuncturist: Great. Morning or Afternoon?
Patient: Afternoon.
Acupuncturist: Can you come in at 1pm?
Patient: No.
Acupuncturist: How does 3pm work for you?
Patient: 3pm sounds great.
Acupuncturist: Wonderful. I've got you down for Wednesday at 3pm. Anything else I can help you with?
Patient: No.
Acupuncturist: Great. See you on Wednesday. Have a great day!
Patient: Thank you!

While many will look at this interaction as a perfectly fine example of scheduling an appointment. To those who do a lot of appointment scheduling, this can be painful.

The inefficiencies of this interaction becomes especially pronounced when interacted through email.

As a business owner and healthcare professional, one of your jobs is to make the patient experience as simple and pleasant as possible.

So what might a better interaction look like? Let's take a look.

Patient: <Ring> <Ring>
Acupuncturist: Hello. Thank you for calling Authentic Acupuncture. This is Jane. How can I help you?
Patient: Hi, Jane. This is John. I'm having some upper back pain and I'd love to come in.
Acupuncturist: I'm sorry to hear that, John, but we can get you in to take a look. At the earliest, I can get you in on Wednesday at 1pm or 3pm. Will one of those times work for you?
Patient: 3pm sounds great.
Acupuncturist: Wonderful. I've got you down for Wednesday at 3pm. Anything else I can help you with?
Patient: No.
Acupuncturist: Great. See you on Wednesday. Have a great day!
Patient: Thank you!

See how we've been able to combine steps and interactions to reduce friction and create a more pleasant patient experience?

Also, note that we're not rushing the patient. We're still giving the same attention and care, only in a more compact and efficient way.

The Goal


Why is all this important? The quicker you can complete your goals with the least amount of friction, the more pleasant it will be on you and your patients. The more money you can make.

In my own experience, I've had appointments fall apart because of the back and forth of emails. Due to this, I've learned to decrease the number of interactions to a minimum.

You may have experienced something similar in your practice.

Your goal as a business and healthcare professional is to get people in the door to help them, not to be exchanging emails or talking on the phone.

But, don't over optimize and make your interactions less human!

A better patient experience will lead to better patient outcomes!


Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Introducing: Acupuncture Patient Satisfaction Surveys


As an acupuncturist, how do you know you're getting better?

Imagine, a patient just walked in the door with one of the most difficult problems you've ever faced. You reach deep into your many years of experience and learnings and pull out an obscure rarely used set of needle points. You're ecstatic that those brain cells still exist!

After the hour treatment, your patient gets up feeling great! And that stiff right hand is swinging like he's Muhammad Ali!

The praises start flowing and you get showered with a barrage of "Thank you's!"

But then, you never hear from the patient. Did she get better? Were the praises sincere?

As you might know, most feedback is useless. Most practices will leave it up to chance that a patient sends you the occasional critical and useful feedback that you can actually take action on.

Some of you might have even had that "oh shit" moment where a patient goes on Yelp or Facebook and wrote a critical comment for the world to see.

One of the most powerful systems that any acupuncturist and clinic can implement is a continuous feedback loop.

Continuous Feedback Loop


A continuous feedback loop is, as the name suggests, a proactive system you put in place to elicit comments from patients about you and your services.

It's proactive in that you are actively seeking the advice.

It's a system, meaning that, it's a routine and required step built into your patient lifecycle management as a practitioner and business.

Patient Satisfaction Survey


A patient satisfaction survey is an easy way to implement a continuous feedback loop into your practice.

After every appointment, ask your patients to fill out a quick survey with one or two questions asking about their experience at the practice.

One of the best questions to ask is "How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family member?"

This question is an NPS score (Net Promoter Score) and it measures the willingness of customers to recommend your product or services.

With this simple question, you can unpack a lot about your patient's experience at your practice.

The Ego


What may be the hardest thing about implementing a continuous feedback loop, is yourself and your ego.

As a society, we rarely ask for critical feedback. Mainly because we don't want to face our own inadequacies or failures. It hurts!

But the opposite hurts even more in the long term, which is never knowing that you're doing something wrong.

Once you're willing to suspend the Ego and start learning from your mistakes, is when you and the practice will improve.

How Jasmine Helps


I'm excited to introduce a new feature in Jasmine that help you and your practice implement a continuous feedback loop and patient satisfaction surveys into your patient lifecycle management flow.

After a patient's appointment, Jasmine will automatically send a patient satisfaction survey to your patient to fill out.



The data and feedback is stored in Jasmine and can be viewed and reported on to improve yourself as a practitioner and business!

Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!