6 Patient Retention Strategies for Your Chiropractic Clinic

One of the biggest challenges we hear from our chiropractic clients is maintaining consistent patient retention.  Clients will often report they’re able to identify their target audience and get them in the door but then they see a failure in patient follow through with the established plan of care.  Of course, this is incredibly frustrating and can result in poor clinical outcomes for the patient and a profit loss for you.  


Now we never want to encourage unnecessary visits or keep people beyond the point that it is beneficial or necessary, but we do want to ensure that patients are reaching their goals and receiving the care they deserve to get them there.  From a chiropractic consultant’s perspective, there are many focused strategies to improve patient retention. With the right tools and mindset, you can easily integrate these strategies into your business and practice operations to reap the benefits.  So today, follow along as we discuss 6 of our top strategies to keep your clients committed and boost your overall patient retention rates.

1. Set a strong groundwork

We all know that your initial evaluation with a client is exceptionally important.  During this time, you identify your patient’s impairments and establish a plan of care that sets the framework for all your treatment interventions moving forward.  But remember, this onboarding process isn’t all about your assessment or your patient education.  Instead, it is about identifying the PATIENT’S problems and the PATIENT’S goals.  What are they hoping to get out of their care?  How would they define success in their time spent under your care?  Taking the time to understand the motivation behind a client’s intentions for seeking chiropractic treatment, can make or break your client rapport.  From here, you can determine what value you can bring to them and provide a solution and a structure to that solution.  Don’t be generic! Communicate clearly both short-term goals and the long-term plan to get them to their desired destination.  Get a verbal commitment, create a partnership, and let them know that you always cherish an open line of communication to ensure they are on the same page and can be honest if things aren’t going as planned.

2. Own your confidence

Non-verbal communication can have an almost equal impact as verbal communication does.  Therefore if you’re not practicing with confidence or delivering your communication with both compassion and directness, you’re going to miss a huge opportunity to gain your patients’ trust.  You’ve put in the work and excelled in your studies… now it’s time to know your worth.  A great strategy to acknowledge your value is to look back through your testimonials and write down what benefits physically, mentally, and emotionally you have brought to prior clients.  Having the ability to reduce or take away someone’s pain and improve their function is incredible- so remember that and practice with the same passion that got you into chiropractic in the first place

3. Commit to continued education

In a saturated chiropractic market, it can be challenging to set yourself or your practice apart.  In a quick-fix, technology-focused world, people have access to just about any piece of information they want.  So when it comes to healthcare, people aren’t looking for generic programming or hands-off care.  Instead, they expect (and should expect) custom, expert-level care which is only possible with a dedication to continued learning.  At the beginning of each year or each quarter, set a goal to master something- be it a new manual technique, advanced kettlebell training, or a specific nutrition program.  Then, use this knowledge to re-attract current and past clientele to help them further improve their overall wellness and function.  New learning can reset our passion, enhance our client experiences and outcomes, and open up new avenues for revenue so make it a priority in your practice.

4. Objectify your progress

A big part of human nature is to remember the bad stuff and forget the good stuff.  Clinically, this means patients may not always acknowledge the progress they’ve made but surely can focus on setbacks or rough days and easily give up.  In the chiropractic world, completing regular re-examinations can be a great way to objectify progress and help patients acknowledge the ongoing benefits of their care.  While a quick treatment session can be subjectively valuable if you can’t track what you’re trying to do, how can you actually support whether or not your strategies are working?  Use these assessments to your advantage- getting the patient excited to measure their progress, discussing progress made towards goals and continued growth opportunities.  These more comprehensive check-ins give both you and the patient an honest opportunity to discuss progress, communicate openly, and ensure that your plan is effectively moving them forward toward their goals.

5. Follow-up strategies

Whether someone is in the middle of active care and misses an appointment or it’s been a few months since they’re checked in, you need to have an integrated plan in place to recapture lost clients.  Now the challenge is finding that fine line between reaching out too little and harassing the client and losing their business.  For a short-term follow-up, say an active client that missed an appointment, an automatic text, email, or call should be completed to ensure that they are both okay and that they have a future appointment set to continue progressing forward in their plan.  For those patients that are less acute, or have received treatment in the past, use technology to your advantage and integrate automatic messaging that is a touch-base”, no-pressure kind of reach out.  This message can be as simple as, “Hi (name), just checking in to see how you are feeling and wanted to let you know that I’m here for you should you need any future care needs.”  We live in a busy, jam-packed world, and a small gesture can make a big difference both in your relationship-building and your patient retention.

6. Be authentic, display your passion, and GET TO KNOW YOUR PATIENTS

Relationship-building is the cornerstone of any successful chiropractic practice.  Take the time to get to know your patients and show genuine interest in their health and well-being.  In a healthcare climate hyper-fixated on productivity and quantity, be the provider that takes a breath, sits down with their clients, and engages in active listening.  We all know that many people simply want to feel heard.  If you validate their experiences and let them talk, you can simultaneously learn a lot about them and their motivations and quickly gain their trust, maximizing their commitment to you and their program.

Retaining patients is not super complicated.  Be authentic, communicate clearly, commit to continued learning, and set clear expectations upfront.  In doing so, you can greatly improve your patient experience and your bottom line and build the loyal patient base that you deserve.  

If you’re interested in learning more about patient retention or other chiropractic business strategies, book a strategy call today at Rehab Chiro .