Whether you’re taking health science classes on your way to a chiropractic career or you’re already deep into chiropractic courses, it’s good to realize the community you will eventually serve expects next-level customer service. A chiropractic college will teach you the necessary knowledge and skills for patient care excellence. Realizing what today’s patients see as next-level customer service…is largely up to you.
Why Next-level Service is Important
Wherever you are in your healthcare career journey, one trap you don’t want to fall into is to be so hyper-focused on achieving your career goals that you neglect essential customer service lessons.
Talk to any number of bright, super-focused chiropractic or med school students, and they’ll tell you the data and skill sets you’re expected to absorb are both massive and fast-paced.
Of course, the end result of your years in school is worthwhile: you’ll have many opportunities to improve the health and wellness of the people within a community. (Side note: a doctor of chiropractic career can typically begin in 3.3 years, because the curriculum is set up to include patient care early on, plus scores of hours in patient care clinics while you’re in school. A med school education is typically four years of primarily classwork, then a few years in a residency).
Customer Satisfaction is Next-level Patient Care
Reaching such a concentrated educational goal can be bad in one respect: the attention required for such intensive learning might cause you to miss the nuances of customer service instructors are passing along.
At the same time you’re absorbing knowledge about the human body, its physiology, and tremendously complex musculoskeletal and nervous systems, think about having conversations with patients and how best to discuss symptoms and conditions. Many faculty members who are good teachers are also excellent at patient care. Ask one of them to help mentor you. There are always techniques to be more compassionate and understanding, and to be involved with patients’ health over their lifetimes.
This whole-person view of health is happening in chiropractic colleges, according to the American Chiropractic Associations (ACA). That comprehensive view of health is because of the chiropractic philosophy of care. More than 50% of chiropractors can spend more time with patients because they are business-owners who control their own schedules.
What Next-level Patient Care Looks Like
Although this may sound surprising, a prospective patient is examining you at the same time you’re examining them. According to data from the PsC Health Research Institute, new patients are as likely to view friendliness as important as clinical skills.
A developed care network
The same report said more than seven of 10 patients wanted their doctor to have multiple services at their location and a wider network of healthcare providers. Overall, healthcare is moving quickly toward multidisciplinary (team-based) healthcare because it delivers better outcomes and is more cost-efficient.
As an example, many who enter a chiropractic career are developing a network of medical doctors and other specialists. In doing so, they can refer patients to them when medically necessary.
Efforts to establish trust
Today, trust is a big driver of choosing a doctor — and staying with them long-term.
Sometimes, discussions about health will lead to difficult conversations. To be seen as trustworthy, it’s necessary to display appropriate compassion, connect on a one-to-one level, and engage in back-and-forth questions and answer sessions.
Another example of next-level care is to ensure there’s clear-cut communication with patients. Have typed-out instructions be the standard and always include explanations of medical terms.
Using jargon and issuing hard-to-read, handwritten instructions won’t win you good reviews in social media or rating sites like Vitals or Healthgrades. More than 80% of consumers rank online reviews of healthcare providers just as influential as personal referrals.
See your practice as others do
Being proactively aware of the needs of new patients is also something today’s consumers notice. For example, imagine what a new prospective patient might think if they saw someone on crutches outside your office, struggling to get to their appointment. Now imagine the same scenario in which the front office person goes to that patient attempting to enter the building, greets them, and assists them into the office waiting area. Which doctor’s office sends a better message?
One customer service saying puts it this way: “It takes 12 good experiences to make up for one bad experience.”
Becoming a doctor of chiropractic or medical doctor is a calling. Learning to be a success with patients is both an art and a science. To ensure a positive patient experience, says Patient Engagement, “providers must deliver quality care, compassion, and convenience.”
CUKC: Next-level Chiropractic Career
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a large suburban city of 190,000 within the Kansas City metro. Since our founding in 1922, more than 8,000 doctors of chiropractic have entered the chiropractic workforce from our College of Chiropractic.
For the inside story about chiropractic careers or what it takes to become a chiropractor, get this free ebook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.