Joey Coleman’s Advice on How to Never Lose a Patient Again

Written by Claire Dowdall

On November 12th, our ‘Inner Circle’ members were joined by Joey Coleman as November’s ‘Expert Guest’ to discuss how to never lose a patient again.

Joey Coleman helps companies keep their customers. An award-winning speaker, he works with organizations around the world ranging from small startups to major brands such as Deloitte, Hyatt Hotels, Zappos, and Whirlpool.

His First 100 Days®methodology fuels the remarkable experiences his clients deliver and dramatically improves their profits. His Wall Street Journal #2 best selling book, Never Lose a Customer Again, offers strategies and tactics for turning one-time purchasers into lifelong customers.

Joey shared with Inner Circle members how following his 8 steps for creating remarkable experiences helps you to never lose a patient again.

Here are some key highlights:

The challenge that every industry has

We’re really good at the chase, we’re good at the moment of “catch”, but we fall apart when it comes to the long term relationship and retention.

The tops of most organizations have more of a focus on bringing in more and more customers as opposed to deepening the relationship with existing customers.

Why the first 100 days matters

Joey uses the example of banking where switching to a new bank is normally a painful process and a high percentage of those new customer will leave.

Another example was driving business towards installing new propane tanks where people would cancel their service shortly after installation, so although they could get the sale, they just could not hold onto those new customers because they weren’t supporting them after the sale.

Most customers feel neglected after the sale and if you’re willing to put time and effort into creating personal and emotional connections after the sale, it makes it so much easier to sell them additional services.

Creating a process with the 8 steps of customer experience

This process, applied to the hearing care industry, was developed by Joey to create the end goal of advocacy. There are 8 steps to this customer journey and Joey emphasizes the need to take the steps in order.

Step 1: Assess

This is when a prospective patient is doing their research and deciding who they might go to for help. Are you found or recommended when people research? How do you compare to competitors or even brands who’ve offered an excellent customer service to them in the past and set their expectations? If you can give them a preview of what it might feel like to work with you, you will have an immediate advantage.

Step 2: Admit

This when somebody goes from being a prospect to a customer. Joey suggests that we remind the customer that we’re excited that they decided to choose us for this journey and reaffirm our commitment to helping them. Care less about the scores you achieve than the feelings you create. When we make a purchase, our brain floods with dopamine at the thought of a product or service solving our problem. Lots of times business forget that this is a great opportunity to show we’re matching their levels of excitement.

Step 3: Affirm

Do you have a system in your business to address buyers’ remorse if it happens with new customers? Once the dopamine recedes, you need to be prepared to respond to fear, doubt and uncertainty in new patients. Joey encourages us to bring back the marketing and create the confidence they had when they first agreed to choose our practice. We do that by reaffirming the feelings they had and the results they were excited to achieve and this happens before their first fitting appointment.

Step 4: Activate

This is the stage where we do the first check in after 30 days or more. The first appointment will be the “first fit” and the next appointment is where adjustments are made. This is where we do the work to check all is well both with the device and with their experience of having the device. Joey suggests we don’t fall into routine at this point and continue to offer that service that reinforces their decision.

Step 5: Acclimate

This is where we hold the patients hand and help them navigate this new world they’re in and get used to working with us, letting them know what to expect going forward and provide ongoing confidence in a long term relationship. The biggest mistake practices could make is to slow down and take the customer for granted. At this point get really comfortable at asking questions that guarantee a response.

“What are we doing right now that we should stop doing?”

“What is something we should start doing?”

“What is something we should continue doing?”

Another great question to ask is: “I’m sure there are some things going on right now with your hearing aid that aren’t what you expected. Tell me 3 of them.” And listen hard to the third one.

Phil then gives an “Exactly What to Say” version of this approach:

“What 3 things did you like best about working with us?”

“If there was one thing you could change about us, what would that one thing be?”

“And what else?”

“What are your expectations of how we can best support you onwards from here?”

Step 6: Accomplish

The accomplish phase could be perceived to be when they can hear. But it’s more about being able to hear and not think about it in every environment. It could also be an emotional thing – not selling for being able to hear better but for what that means to them. We want to celebrate with them when they achieve that goal or feel that feeling. You therefore need to know from the start what that goal is that really matters to them and only them. And you can even encourage patients to create a hearing journal where they record the new sounds they are hearing since having their hearing aids.

Step 7: Adopt

This is when the customer becomes loyal to you and only you. These are the people that will pay to upgrade their hearing aids 5 or 10 years from now. You need to be able to identify which people have moved from being a customer to somebody with potential to stay with us years into the future. This can happen any time but we need to be ready to observe the adoption signals and respond accordingly. These signals could be proactive outreach for appointments, calling to ask a question or telling you what somebody else is up to in the industry or sharing an article with you. Sending a gift at this stage is a great idea – something personal that shows that you care and not with your logo on!

Step 8: Advocate

A sign of advocacy is when patients peak positively to others about your clinic, the service you provide and the products you use. Acknowledging these moments of advocacy is really important. A handwritten note send to their address is the perfect way to do this to complete the loop where they acknowledged you and you rewarded it with your gratitude. This creates an incentive to make this a habit and will bring more of these potential advocates into your practice as new customers.

Find out more about the 8 phases with 46 case studies by ordering Joey’s book. You can get 3 free chapters at https://joeycoleman.com/book/

These are just some of the key notes from a 75-minute interview with Joey Coleman. The full interview is only available to “Inner Circle” members, but you can view the highlights below.

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