Create Raving Fans

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By Erin Cammarata

Earlier this year I attended a Tony Robbins five-day business mastery seminar.

It was an intense and amazing experience. I learned a ton, took pages of notes, and met some amazing people. One of my big take-aways from the week with Robbins was his teaching and talking about the importance of creating raving fans.

During the seminar, Robbins stated that while a satisfied customer will eventually leave, a raving customer will stay. If a customer is just satisfied, he will jump to another company as soon as a better offer presents itself. When you create a raving fan atmosphere, your customers will likely not only stay but they will duplicate your efforts by telling others how great your company is and all the wonderful things your company has done for them.

While I was speaking to a client last week, I was given an unsolicited compliment. He said, "Your team is amazing. I have grown because of your company, and I am excited to grow with your company." As a business owner this is the best gift you can receive—a client turned into a raving fan.

For those in O&P, it's not just our satisfied patients but also our satisfied referral sources and our satisfied employees who will jump at the possibility of a better offer. Here's what you can do to create raving fans within your organization.

Employees: To create raving fans in your employees, the company's core values and purpose must be not only known, but a source of inspiration across the organization. Your employees also need to be treated as equals. You need to talk to them as professionals and the environment within your organization should be positive and promote communication.

When we create raving fans within the organization the employees will answer the phone with enthusiasm and a smile. They will talk to their patients with energy. They will be excited to add to the success of the practice, and they will help recruit and add value to your employee pool by telling others how great it is to work at the practice. It is important to let employees know their opinions are respected and appreciated.

Here are two examples we use in our organization: During each quarterly staff meeting, we generate enthusiasm by reading testimonials from clients who applaud our employees and we all celebrate them. On our company intranet we also have an area where employees or the management team can nominate a coworker for a CBS Rock Star award. An employee is usually nominated when he or she has gone above and beyond their job duties. The award includes a certificate that includes how it was earned.

Patients: The biggest factor when it comes to patients is communication and consistency. We need to do what we say we're going to do, under promise, and over deliver. For example, if you have the patient scheduled for a three-week delivery and the brace is not ready at that appointment, it is safe to say that patient will be less than pleased with your service. Communicate clearly and accurately what the patient can expect from the services they will receive at your practice. Train your staff well to answer questions appropriately, promptly, and with a smile. The patient experience must be positive with each department.

Referral sources: It's not just about making the best limbs or braces that can turn your referral sources into raving fans. It's knowing more about the needs of the referral sources, identifying their pain points, and solving them. You need to identify what they need from you to make their jobs easier. Make correspondence clear and succinct. Make them feel as if you are solving a problem for them, not giving them one to address. They should feel as though you are part of their team.

A raving fan in a referral source is one who chooses to refer that patient to you. And a raving fan patient who reports back to their referral source is going to be contagious. A satisfied patient will ask the referral source if he knows of others in the area they can try the next time. A satisfied referral source will give them another name.

Can your practice be like Robbins and teach and talk about the importance of creating raving fans? Take a good look within your organization and assess what level of fans you have and if there is anything more you can do to get them to rave.

Erin Cammarata is president and owner of CBS Medical Billing and Consulting. She can be reached at erin@cbsmedicalbilling.com.