We’ve been considering some new treatments and tools, so Tara’s going through her usual willing victim/guinea pig phase, being poked, prodded and zapped. It reminds me again of how effective it is to fully immerse yourself in the patient experience, and how great it is for referrals. When was the last time you actually were a patient, as opposed to just treating one?
Switching roles has some fantastic benefits, including:
- A better grasp of what works and what doesn’t
- Deeper empathy for the challenges patients face during treatments
- Ability to increase patient compliance with lifestyle changes
- Improved patient outcomes
- Increased referrals
- Greater insight into patient flow and treatment management
- Better insight into pricing and perceived value
- Smarter decision-making when adding new products and protocols
If you decide to become your own human test-subject, here are a couple of tips to help you make the most of your self-experimenting:
Don’t Forget to Try Your Existing Stuff
When was the last time you tried that cleanse you recommend? Or took the supplement? Or had a treatment? Being a guinea pig for your own protocols is a must for new and existing products and services. You can’t beat the hands on experience, and it gives you credibility with your patients that you can’t buy. As a result, they tend to follow through, get better results, and refer more. And if you’re not doing it, how good is it, really?
Try Someone Else’s Stuff
If you really want another practitioner to refer to you, book an appointment with them. You can schmooze and network and lunch and send notes and letters, but nothing seems to work as well as just booking an appointment. You get to understand what they do much better, and in most cases, you’ll get a decent amount of talk time in so that they can understand what you do, then refer more. Works every time.
Play The Role
If you’re going to do this, try really being a patient. Run through the whole process from appointment to re-booking so you understand the entire flow. And make sure you pay with real money – don’t exchange services when you’re trying someone else’s stuff. Paying out of your own pocket will give you a better sense for the value of the service and put you squarely in your patient’s shoes.
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