Updated: Apr 12
A practice is a network of relationships that is created and sustained through communication and service.
I have used this definition for ages.
Customers, potential patients, and clients, seek you first and foremost for your services and results. This could be relief from a troubling condition, or perhaps general wellness care. Therefore, in marketing, you want to promote that you can deliver the outcomes people are looking for, and prove that you can produce them. There are many ways to do this, but this is the basis of direct marketing.
Next to results, your patient wants to be understood. They know that no matter how competent you are, unless you really understand their condition, you may be applying the wrong remedy. Plus, you may come across like you really don’t care. You show how much you care by seeking to fully understand how they feel about their condition. This is called deep empathetic communication – feeling how the other person feels.
I think just being genuinely interested in the other person brings about this kind of communication and feeling on the part of the patient that you do care.
This type of communication determines the quality of the relationship. But I believe that it can go deeper. Let’s look…
Kindness is more than empathy.
It acknowledges not just how the other person feels, but in fact, that the other person is privately fighting their own personal battle.
Every one of your patients is suffering — to a greater or lesser degree — though they may not fully confess it. Yes, people are tough. They must be. But when they see you, they hope that you will understand their struggles, their fears and their challenges.
There are many ways you can let them know that you grasp their situation. Most of all, seeking to understand their feelings and letting them know you, now, have a better sense of what they are talking about is sufficient. You can repeat some of what they said to emphasize that you heard and understood them. You can let them know you have experienced something similar, if you have, and sometimes, as appropriate, touching them on the shoulder compassionately can go a long way.
But there is no gimmick that expresses kindness – it is just deep human empathy.
Kindness doesn’t cost you anything, except a few moments of present time consciousness and mindfulness. Yet it strengthens trust, alleviates fear, and can help your patient improve faster.
You want to be a positive coach. But in the beginning, all your advice, adjustments and treatments, education, scheduling, and payments, must be based upon the trust you earn from your patient simply through your empathy and kindness.
Patients will seek you for your services, but they will stay with you because of their relationship with you.
Deliver excellent outcomes and promote them, initiate and maintain empathetic communication, and be kind. Include these as your goals in your mission, core values, and complete outcomes and see your practice and business grow.
“…in the world, what counts more than talent, what counts more than energy or concentration or commitment, or anything else – is kindness. And the more in the world that you encounter kindness and cheerfulness … the better the world always is. And all the big words: virtue, justice, truth – are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.”
Stephen Fry (azquotes.com)