5 Lessons We've Learned About Building A Successful Cosmetic Practice

Patient Experience

John D. Rockefeller's quote of "I would rather earn 1% of 100 people's efforts than 100% of my own" is exactly right. So how do you get your patients to help you out just 1% and turn your dribble of patient referrals into a torrent?

The smartest clinic owners know that getting your patients to work for you just that 1% is the path to easy, repeated sales, makes life difficult for your competitors, and isn't forcing you to work 80 hours a week to keep your head above water. Savvy clinicians intuitively work towards each of these goals, but they often don't think of them as part of a whole. In this series of posts we're going to pull these topics apart and detail why and how they all fit together to build a machine that perpetuates and grows your clinic's income. 

I'm going to break down 5 critical areas that you need to spend effort on improving if you're going to move past the average medical practice income and reputation and get into the VIP section of top performers. Leave any one of these out and you're hamstringing your business. 

  1. Mastering patient consultations
  2. Replacing yourself with systems
  3. Delivering the remarkable
  4. Aligning your staff's perceived best-interests
  5. Waging asymmetrical warfare against the competition

Note what's NOT on the list - anything about patient outcomes. (We'll take it for granted that you're not burning patients with your IPL or they're getting ptosis from your Botox.) Outcomes are really what patients "perceive", not the actual clinical result. Improving these 5 areas will readily increase patients perception of the value you're delivering, and their outcomes. What else is not on the list? Price. (More about this below.)

Here's why these 5 areas are of critical importance to your clinic, and what you can do to start improving them.

Mastering Patient Consultations 

Top performers know how to sell. Average performers hope you'll buy.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rank your consultations? How good do you think you are? It's probably that you think that your consults are somewhere above average.  After all, you're getting patients and you're busy so what's the problem? Isn't being busy the goal?

Actually, no. Everyone is busy. That part's easy. Being successful and profitable is the goal. (Having a work/life balance and a 36 hour work week may be part of that too.) and if you're not delivering perfect consultations you're stepping on your own success. 

It's most likely that your consultations - like most - are completely average.

94% of college professors believe that their teaching skills are above average, a statistical impossibility, but there's nothing special in this regard about academics, clinicians also think they're above average in every self-assessment of skills.

We sent a survey to thousands of clinicians and asked them to rank their consults on a scale of 1 to 10. The results of that survey fit right in line with the college professors, every response rated their consultative skills between 5 and 9. So, if you answered the question above and ranked your consultations as a 7 or 8, you're right at the top of the bell curve and you can bet that your consultations are solidly average. Sorry.

Why is that important?

Poor consultations destroy your reputation and waste every dollar you spend on bringing new patients in to your clinic. Poor consults will put you out of business.

Average consultations generate some sales and leave you almost (but not quite) satisfied with your business - where you can't quite figure out what's missing and your clinic is just grinding along. 

Great consultations are the secret of incredibly profitable clinics. They almost print money. Great consultations fill your schedule and treatment rooms and create fanatically loyal patients and they boost your revenue faster and easier than anything else.  Best of all, mastering patient consultations is a skill set you can learn.

What to do: You need to improve your consultations. To that end, we're about to launch the 10X Consultation Playbook in the Training Academy in order to teach you and your entire staff how to master consultations. This masterclass teaches you everything you need to know to put your consultations at the very top of the heap. Oh, and it's 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

Replacing Yourself With Systems

Top performers use systems. Average performers don't.

 Stop working IN your clinic, and start working ON your clinic.

Systems are what every clinic uses in order to stop micro-managing, stop flailing, stop losing patients, and stop losing revenue. They're a way of replacing yourself. Systems help you pre-decide what’s important to you — ONCE — and then force you to stay focused. Instead of your clinic staff wondering what they should do… or making it up on the fly… you’ll have a clear system to follow that is both structured, and flexible, so you’re not constantly “trying harder” to “catch up.”

Once you integrate real systems into your clinic, you’ll feel the freedom of not being crushed by the necessity to be involved in everything (I'm talking to you, micro-manager) because you know that everything is getting done, and it's getting done right.

Think of the simplest system you use — where you put your keys. Maybe it’s by the door, or in the kitchen. Yet it’s become a habit and you never think about it. You don’t have to “try harder” to put the keys where they should be… it just works. It’s mindless. And it does what it needs to do.

You may be thinking that you already have systems. You have a manual, you have some "policies", everyone knows pretty much what to do and when.

Eh... I'm skeptical.

A few weeks ago, I sent a survey to 472 physicians asking about their clinic's efficiency and productivity. Perhaps you're not surprised by some of the results. You might even recognize your own clinic.

  • Over 9/10 of physicians said that their clinic operated at less than 80% efficiency
  • 4 out of 10 said that their clinic efficiency was below 60%!
  • Physicians reported this "productivity gap" costs their clinic between $5k and $40k in lost revenue every month.
  • When I asked them what doesn't work, the most common responses: "lack of systems" (44%), "wasted time and effort" (50%), and "micro-management" (40%).

There's a better way that can pull you out of the micro-managing, hair-on-fire, unproductive daily grind and put you in a position where you're working ON your business, not IN your business.

You're smart. You're tired of sloppy training, loose accountability, and variable patient care and you want some control of your business and your lifestyle. You're tired of putting out fires, answer the same questions, micro-managing everything, and running legal, clinical, and business risks.

Get real systems and put them to work for you.

Being Remarkable

Top performers are remarkable. Average performers are nondescript.

Please don't be beige.

Hard I know, but beige sucks. Beige is mediocre. Beige is completely forgettable. Unfortunately, most clinics aspire to beige... do what everyone else does. It's safe. They're thinking, "I should be able to make go of it... I can do what others are doing...  at least I won't make any costly mistakes that cost me."

Not so.

Working to be average is among the most costly mistakes clinics make, and the most common. Playing it safe leaves stillborn everything you might do that could cause a patient to 'remark' about your clinic. It leaves your patients in limbo and forces you to carry all the water yourself. 

To get your patients to tell others you need to do two things; first, you need to be worthy of being remarked upon and second, you need to make it easy.

Example of being remarkable: One of my clinics was located near a big U.S. Air Force base with about 20,000 military personnel and staff. When operation Iraqi Freedom was launched in 2002 many of those military members were about to be deployed to Turkey for a year. Just before this deployment were some politics going on in the UN and France vetoed a resolution which was unpopular at the base.

I took the opportunity to launch a tongue-in-cheek PR campaign to "Veto French Armpits" and we gave away free underarm laser hair removal treatments to every female military member as well as any wives or girlfriends of military personnel. It was open-ended and completely free series of 7 treatments, a complete package. We didn't tie it to other offers, and yes, we did get some patients who took advantage of it completely but that was what elevated it and made it remarkable. 

The result? We donated more than $40,000 in treatments which made us a lot of friends and brought in a massive surge of new patients, we got national media attention and a deluge of local coverage, and we took a massive chunk of the market that continues to this day. That investment in being remarkable produced about a million dollars in revenue over the years, dwarfing our investment.

If you're open to seizing opportunity, you can do remarkable work with just about any situation. We secured a massive patient population not by doing something that was simple, but by doing something that was remarkable.

Do something, anything, that makes you worth talking about.

Second; you need to make it easy for your patients to help you. If you don't,  you're missing out on all of the goodwill and positive thoughts you're generating.

How many times have you asked patients to share a Like on your Facebook page, or leave a review on Google, or just hoped that they would see how incredible you are and tell everyone?

Hope is not a strategy.

You need to make it easy for them, and that means facilitating the action you're asking them to take - Keep a stack of postcards at the front desk and give them $10 off if they'll write a friends address and a short note when they check out. Give a free package for local business owners or their spouse. Start a corporate program. 

The key is that you want to build these out as part of your standard processes and make it drop-dead easy.

Take a look at the special offer from Podium, the leader in patient review marketing. It's a paid application that allows you to capture reviews from you happy patients right at your front desk when your patients are most likely to take the time to help you out.

Aligning Your Staff's Best-Interests With Your Clinic's Needs

Top performers are leaders. Average performers just pay.

If you think that anyone works for you, well, news flash -  they don't. They all work for themselves, just like you do.

Your job, as a business owner, is to align what they perceive to be in their own best interest with your business goals. This will always include money, but there are other areas where you can have a drastic impact. Workload, environment, professional and personal satisfaction, advancement and training, reputation... your goal is to make your staff believe that making your clinic excel is the most closely aligned with their desired path forward. Do this, and you're going to have a motivated team.

If you can't do this, you're going to have constant turnover and you'll lose income. Your staff may comply with your demands, but they're working for a paycheck, and it only takes a single arched eyebrow or eye-roll to cost you a $4,500 package sale or destroy a reputation with a patient. Multiply that by every patient interaction and you'll see a significant problem.

What's the difference?

Leaders understand that everyone works for themselves. They understand that leadership is given by those willing to follow from the bottom up. Leaders have to live up to very high standards to be worthy of being followed, and they work at it constantly.

Average performers think that their staff works for them. They have 'authority' that flows from the top down, but they're not leaders because they're not worth following. People work simply for a paycheck and will leave as soon as something better comes along. 

What can you do?

  • Work hard to be be someone that others are willing to follow. It's not easy and there are challenges. You'll occasionally be taken advantage of but much less so if you just take the authority route. 
  • Implement systems in your clinic that get your head above the ground and allow you to focus on bigger picture goals.
  • Constantly talk to all of your staff members. Be aware of changing attitudes that may signal a problem. Ask them how aligned they think they are with the clinic. Most people will be very open if they sense that you're interest is genuine.
  • Empower them to make decisions, and use policies to make sure that everyone knows which types of decisions they can make.
  • Get better at interviewing people and asking the right questions.
  • Fire faster. Firing is difficult and most people wait until there's real damage being done.
  • Make sure you understand common embezzlement and employee scams. Forewarned is forearmed

When you've aligned your team you'll feel like you're running downhill. Everything is just easier.

Destroying Competitors With Asymmetrical Competition

Top performers make it happen. Average performers hope, and hope is not a strategy.

Like it or not, cosmetic medicine is a business, and that means that it's going to be increasingly competitive as treatments and services become commoditized and prices drop leading to increased competition.

Asymmetrical Competition is finding and exploiting game-changing opportunities that your competitors can't easily match or compete against. 

When we began opening clinics in new locations we devastated the existing clinics run by clinicians who were taking their patient populations for granted. These physicians (mostly plastic surgeons and dermatologists at the time) expected that they would simply inherit all new cosmetic treatments as part of their current fiefdom of "aesthetics". 

They couldn't respond or adapt to the playing field we created.

Rather than position ourselves as competitors to existing practices we redefined the market and positioned ourselves as the experts in nonsurgical cosmetic technologies. We positioned the existing plastics and derm clinics as experts in surgery and dermatology, and we took everything else. The competition didn't have an easy answer since what we were doing was a fundamental change that they couldn't respond to or reproduce.

We focused with absolute madness on keeping appointments on time, on incredible patient services, and on giving power to our patients. We built systems that put our clinics on autopilot and allowed us to easily scale. We empowered our staff to make any decision, as long as they could explain that it was in the best interests of the clinic. We initiated corporate programs, free educational seminars and consults, incredible comfort and atmosphere, and we took all design and marketing seriously. We trained our staff to perform consultations based on sales and service that crushed our goals while turning our patients into raving zealots. We embraced social media and email. We answered questions and posted our pricing right on our website. In short, we did everything that they couldn't do. 

Of course they adapted and started trying to copy us, but they couldn't actually compete. They didn't have the systems, or the desire.

Asymmetrical Competition is available to you as well. You just need to look at what your capabilities are and match those to the market's need. Most clinics don't have the ability to change. They're essentially locked in place and that always presents you with opportunities to exploit areas that they can't adapt to.

As a Medical Spa MD Member you have assess to a wealth of information and know-how about building your clinic. Special offers from partners when you're buying your next laser or IPL, group-buy wholesale pricing on fillers and injectables, software deals, design & marketing services

Be smart and take advantage of it all.

Note What's Not On This List

The cosmetic medical market has matured in the last 15 years, but 5 areas above are not entirely tied to medicine, they're really business strategies. You won't find "improving patient outcomes" here because those are simply table stakes. 

Patient Outcomes - You can't build a business marketing better patient outcomes.

Outcomes are what the patient says they are. You can have a perfect outcome but if the patient expectations are unrealistic, the 'outcome' from the patients point of view can still be negative. Trying to build your clinic and reputation only through your technical prowess is essentially a dead end because it's beyond your control.

(Now I'm not saying that this is not a priority and shouldn't be your focus, but I am telling you that trying to convince your patient population that you're 'better' than the competition makes you seem small and petty and is only a part of what a successful strategy looks like.)

Technology - Not a determining factor in your success

There are successful clinics using every platform.

Choosing the right technology is important, and can save you money, but the lasers and IPLs that you put in your clinic are all producing the same light waves. There are differences; customer service, cost, consumables, and usability, but none of those will either put your clinic out of business, or make you more money on their own. It's reasonable to let laser companies help pay for some of your marketing, but don't make the mistake that they're going to really help you much. patients don't buy based on which IPL you're using, they buy from someone they know, like, and trust.

If you're looking to save money and find a reputable vendor of used devices, contact anyone in our used cosmetic lasers classifieds who is a member of our Certified Partners program and you'll get a great deal. (And if you have a complaint you can contact us directly as a Member and we'll intercede on your behalf.)

Price - The death spiral of lowest-pricing.

Do not hitch your wagon to being the low-cost provider unless you love being on the verge of bankruptcy at all times. There can only be one lowest price in any market, and everyone who will come to you because of price will leave you just as fast. If you can't justify higher pricing then put the work in to build a clinic that does. 


In future posts we're going to dive into these areas in detail and help you take actions to improve them.

Have some thoughts on this or anything to add? Leave a comment. I read them all.

References For This Post:

  1. Svenson, O. Acta Psychologica 47, 143–148 (1981).
  2. Kruger, J. & Dunning, D. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77, 1121–34 (1999).
  3. Gabriel, M. T., Critelli, J. W. & Ee, J. S. J. Pers. 62, 143–155 (1994).
  4. Hoorens, V. & Harris, P. Psychology and Health 13, 451–466 (1998).
  5. Alicke, M. D. & Govorun, O. in The Self in Social Judgment (eds Alicke, M. D., Dunning, D. A. & Krueger, J. I.) 85–106 (Psychology, 2005).
  6. Cross, P. New Directions for Higher Education 17, 1–15 (1977).
  7. Taylor, S. E. & Brown, J. D. Psychological Bulletin 103, 193S210 (1988).
  8. Shedler, J. et al. American Psychologist 48, 1117–1131 (1993).
  9. Colvin, C. R. & Block, J. Psychol. Bull. 116, 3–20 (1994).
  10. Sharot, T. The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain, New York: Pantheon Books (2011).
  11. Johnson, D. D. P. & Fowler, J. H. Nature 477, 317–320 (2011).
  12. Trivers, R. Deceit and SelfDDeception: Fooling Yourself the Better to Fool Others. (Allen Lane, London, 2011).
  13. Barber, B. M. & Odean T. Quarterly Journal of Economics 116, 261–292 (2001)
  14. Johnson, D.D.P. 2004. Overconfidence and War: The Havoc and Glory of Positive Illusions. Cambridge: Harvard University Press (2004).
  15. Enquist, M. & Leimar, O. J theor Biol 127, 187S205 (1987)

Patient Retention through Better Customer Service

Even medical practices need to brush up on customer service. Some patients complain about the poor services provided by staff. Online reviews for some practices have patients talking about how poorly they were treated by the staff and may need to find a new doctor. This could hurt your practice, as your leads could decrease because of your staff members.

If you received poor reviews about the staff, then it might be time to reconsider getting friendlier staff or training them for better customer service.

Manage staff well

Customer service starts within the practice. How you deal with staff could translate to their behavior towards patients. Aside from better treatment towards staff, provide them with appropriate training such as customer service and procedures.

In a medical aesthetic practice, allow staff to have training and delegate tasks for them so they could also take part in your practice and learn more about how to deal with patients in different situations.

Survey Patients

One of the many ways you can connect with your patients is to give them a say in what you are offering. Many experts suggest this method as a way to put your patients first. While you cannot offer every treatment out there, at least consider the idea of having that non-surgical treatment or an alternative.

For your reference, the most common procedures in 2016 (according to the ISAPS) were Botox or dermal filler related procedures, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser hair removals.

Hold Offers, Discounts, and Specials

All patients love to hear the words discount and special. If you have found footing Advertise it on social media or conduct an email blast. Either way, build a relationship with all your returning patients, and hook them up with your offers and specials so they could refer your practice to their other friends.

Invest in Social Media

A large number of practices are on social media, not to keep up with trends, but to connect with customers digitally. Social media is one of the most recommended marketing strategies, and this is how you can pick up potential patients for the practice.

Twitter and Facebook are among two social media outlets that have improved on the business side of customer service. Businesses on Twitter have been given a feature to accept or decline a Direct Message (DM) from an individual. Facebook has also that option on Messenger to set up chatbots for your business. Further discussion about this concept will come at a later time.

Why Blackberry Failed, And Why Traditional Medicine (And Your Medical Spa) Will Too

The Globe and Mail has an article on the fall of BlackBerry which actually has three authors and takes a deep-dive into the Canadian phone makers woes.... but there's information in there for physicians.

The overarching explanation of what happened is something that we already know: RIM (Blackberry's maker) failed to iterate/change/evleove at anywhere near the speed that the market demanded in the post-iPhone era, but the article, which includes quotes from an interview with RIM founder Mike Lazaridis really puts touches the main point with the tip of a pin. Here's the quote:

“The problem wasn’t that we stopped listening to customers,” said one former RIM insider. “We believed we knew better what customers needed long term than they did. Consumers would say, ‘I want a faster browser.’ We might say, ‘You might think you want a faster browser, but you don’t want to pay overage on your bill.’ ‘Well, I want a super big very responsive touchscreen.’ ‘Well, you might think you want that, but you don’t want your phone to die at 2 p.m.’ “We would say, ‘We know better, and they’ll eventually figure it out.’ ”

Hubris is the fall of many frontrunners and works on every business scale, including individual small business.

You may know better than your patients, but if you don't listen to them and execute what they want, they'll go somewhere else eventually; just ask the droves of plastic surgeons how have lost patients to the familiy practice guys who aren't constantly pushing their patients into surgical proceedures.

Dr. Lawrence Broder - Beleza Medical Spa In Austin Texas

Dr. Broder has a unique combination of primary care experience and surgical training. Now he's has dedicated solely to medical aesthetics and cosmetic surgery. What prompted the move?

Medical Spa Austin TX

Name: Lawrence Broder MD
Clinic: Beleza Medspa
Location: Austin TX
Website:  BelezaMedicalSpa.com

That's interesting: Dr. Lawrence Broder is a decorated veteran. He is a former US Army Major and Flight Surgeon. 

Dr. Broder - Medical Spa Austin TX

Family Medicine is very similar to cosmetic medicine. It's all about customer service. Many of the patients you see as a PCP will get better on their own and your job is to not hurt them and reassure them. As a cosmetic physician, the patients are different and are usually looking for a correction of a specific problem. You have the solution to that problem. Just like a PCP, the cosmetic physician must make sure the patient gets the right treatment without harm and reassure them about the side effects and results. The cosmetic patient who has feels better about their appearance, usually is happier than the patient whose sore throat has resolved. The sore throat probably would have resolved on its own, but I directly helped the cosmetic patient.

The other thing I enjoy about Cosmetic medicine over family medicine is the transparency. My prices, my results, my reviews and my background are all there for every patient to see. As a PCP, the patients did not know what the prices were (insurance), did not know if I had good outcomes with my patients nor knew who I was most of the time. I believe the whole US medical system is designed to extract as much money as possible from the insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid by upcoding and unnecessary procedures. Cosmetic patients know what they are paying and will even bargain for better prices. Cosmetic physicians have no choice but to be honest about their prices and results, there is no...

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Dr. Michael Ehrenreich, Founder of SOMA Skin & Laser

Dr. Michael Ehrenreich, SOMA Skin & LaserDr. Michael Ehrenreich, the prime mover of SOMA Skin and Laser in Millburn, New Jersey.

Though most people know him now as a dermatologist, Dr. Ehrenreich has a broad range of dermatological interests: medical dermatology, cutaneous surgery, laser surgery, cosmetic dermatology. He is also a noted authority in tissue engineering.

Dr. Ehrenreich began his career as an investment banker. His background proves to be a critical element to the success of his practice. 

Name: Michael Ehrenreich, MD, FAAD
Clinic: SOMA Skin & Laser
Location: Millburn, NJ
Website: somalaser.com

You have a very interesting career path as you hold a BS in finance, aside from having a medical degree. Can you tell us more? 

Prior to attending medical school, I was an investment banker, so I have a strong business background. A business background is certainly helpful if you want to start and operate a practice. Although physician’s work to help people, medicine is also a business. And like any other business, it’s hard to succeed at it without some business skills. Medicine is moving away from the sole practitioner model. More and more, physicians operate as...

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Buyer's Remorse In Plastic Surgery

Medical Spa Plastic Surgery"OMG!! what did I do?! ...

I must be crazy to do this!" said my patient only hours after her tummy tuck. She was in some pain and distress, as the anesthesia was wearing off, and began a tirade of self-disparaging statements reflecting all her worst fears and anxieties about the surgery.

I stopped what I was doing, and sat down with her on the recovery room bed to calm her down. It's amazing how comfortable those recovery room beds are...and the patients seem to really like it when I take my time to explain and review things with them. She did fine after some pain meds and a little small talk, and on her 1 week postop visit, was happy as a clam with her new flat tummy. And that's when I realized just how common "buyer's remorse" is in plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery, especially cosmetic surgery, is elective. That means that it isn't surgery that you need, but surgery that you want. Oftentimes, people overlook the pain and discomfort that is inherent to any surgery. Although, most people who have had plastic surgery, and, gladly, the vast majority of my patients, will say that they are happy with the decisions that they made, a certain segment of the patient population will always have difficulties in adjusting to the postoperative demands, no matter how carefully they were selected by the surgeon or how well surgery was performed.

Every plastic surgeon hones his/her patient selection skills over years of education, training, and practice. The goal of every plastic surgery practice is to only have happy patients. As this is an ideal that will probably never be reached, we surgeons must realize that some of our patients will be unhappy, at various stages of the postoperative period. Those patients need special attention, understanding, and a compassionate review of clinical details. They must be empowered, and be actively involved in the procedures of postoperative recovery. It's also important to give your patients options as to colleagues who may serve as second opinions.

As a patient, if you find yourself unhappy with the results of a cosmetic procedure, take a deep breath and fret not, as it depends on the timing. Most early remorse cases are due to the unexpected, and probably poorly managed, pain and discomfort. Moreover, remorse is clearly correlated with incidence of complications of surgery. In the case of the former, simple and more precise pain control and behavior modification is all that is needed. In the latter, both preoperative and postoperative miscommunication between patient and surgeon is the usual contributing factor. As difficult as it is to do, as a patient you must communicate with your surgeon, even if you believe that he/she is responsible for a poor outcome.

We must realize that we can all end up being the patient who regrets having plastic surgery. It can happen if you're the best patient, or if you have the best doctor. What's important for both of you is to keep the lines of communication open so that proper, just, and adequate resolution is reached. No patient should abandon his/her doctor, and the opposite is just as true.

If You Can’t Lower Prices, Offer Higher Value

higher value

Our MedSpa, as most others, is severely limited in how low we can go on our prices. All of us in the industry pay roughly the same amount for our products, whether it be Botox, fillers, or equipment.

However, especially in this tough economic climate, our clients are looking for bargains. Price comparison shopping is a fact of life, and is made much easier for the consumer by readily available pricing information on the internet.

But low prices are not the only way (nor maybe the best way) to attract patients to your facility. To us at Canyon Lake MedSpa, the answer is VALUE: meaning, if we can’t lower prices, we have to offer more value for the money.

In our case, we offer free microdermabrasion/chemical peel (we almost always combine the two together) to any patient who purchases any other product or service. Additionally, if we hold a seminar or any other promotional event, we entice people to attend by offering free microderm/chem peel to all registrants. It takes very little time, and limited resources, to perform these procedures. And it gets people into our facility, gives us a chance to evaluate, speak with, and get to know them. Established and new patients alike can then be assessed for possible further interventions.

Even though these treatments are free, we never want the patient to feel rushed or feel less special just because they’re getting a free treatment. Taking your time now will pay off in dividends later on, when more lucrative procedures are scheduled.

Most importantly, our patients feel like they have received more value for their dollars, and it keeps them coming back.

In summary, service and value will trump lower prices in most markets and situations. Consider if it might be valuable for your facility.

Dr. Daniel Kaufman, Discreet Plastic Surgery In Manhattan & Brooklyn

Daniel Kaufman MD stays busy with clinics in Manhattan's Upper East Side, the East Village, Brooklyn, and a location in Garden City, Long Island. 

Dr. Daniel Kaufman Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Name: Daniel Kaufman, MD
Location: New York, NY
Website: DiscreetPlasticSurgery.com

Thats interesting:  He holds a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. In fact, he helped create the program, just after completing his medical degree.

What is your professional approach to cosmetic medicine?

Training in plastic surgery, you learn about a wide variety of surgical procedures, cosmetic and reconstructive, that can be utilized in a multitude of medical situations. As a plastic surgeon facing difficult medical problems, I always

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Push Your Medical Spa Overboard With Customer Service

Some of the best marketing for your medical spa is not 'marketing' at all... it's incredible customer service.

(A regular physicians office is probably the very worst customer experience there is... and of course many medical spas are run by physicians who have started a cosmetic practice as an add or or a transition from a regular practice.)

Customer service is probably the easiest way to distance yourself from the competition.

Read the forums and you'll find lots of threads discussing how commoditized the market for Botox or laser hair removal has become, how much to pay your staff, and how Groupon is destroying everyone's margins... but you'll be hard pressed to find discussions about how to deliver service that generates sales.

But delivering great customer service is something that you should think of as driving sales, not lost time and a money-sink.

Our clinic staff operations were designed to provide fantastic customer service to everyone, but to really go above and beyond with selected patients in an effort to wow them, even if it cost us money. In fact, wowing patients had budget set aside from marketing.

 The key is make your customer ecstatic about your business by catering to what they need so they’ll tell their friends about it. In fact the more egregious the demand or the more dramatic the effort needed, the more likely that word about your clinic will spread. As anyone in cosmetic medicine can attest, you don't have to wait long for some stressed out patient who's a candidate. In one case a bride called us in tears on a Saturday morning asking if there was any way that she could get her mother and mother-in-law treated with Botox before her wedding on Wednesday morning... and they weren't arriving until 10PM that night. One of our physicians actually met the wedding party at our clinic on Sunday morning in order to make sure that the effects of the Botox had time to take maximum effect before the wedding. 

Most clinics or physicians would not have done this, they would have scheduled the treatment for Monday if they could fit them in and lost the opportunity to create fanatically loyal clients.

In the above case the physician went above and beyond even what we would ask, but the results were really quite remarkable. Within the following 45 days we had 8 new patient consultations that were directly attributed to that one event. (New patient consultations were something that I tracked carefully since our analytics showed that every new patient consultation was worth approximately $1,300 in revenue within the following 30 days.)

That Sunday treatment drove an extra $10k in revenue at that clinic that month. 

How you deal with your customer service will define your business and your revenues.

Some recommendations for fantastic customer service:

  • If you think that any customer is acting in good faith, don't even question what they're asking. Just do it. If they're unsatisfied, make them happy and take extra time to do it. (This is not a recommendation to deal with those who are clearly just trying to take advantage of you.)
  • The more hoops you have to jump through, the more likely word will spread. Dig out the really extraordinary ways that you can make a splash.
  • Other physicians and clinics aren't likely to offer this level of support. Focus on this and use it to your advantage.  All it takes is a few over the top customer stories, and people will talk, people will post to their Facebook page or Twitter account, and people will tell every friend they have about your clinic.

 Tell me I'm wrong.. or right. Tell your own customer service story in the comments.

Service In Your Medical Spa

Your medical spa service is determined by what client's feel about it.

This weekend I was eating at one of my favorite restaurants when I noticed something different with the experience.

Usually, after ordering the waitress brings over a basket of magnificent, crusty rolls and cinimon butter. (They're really good and something everyone enjoys.) However, on this night our bread-basket arrived with just three rolls in the basket for a table of four.

When we inquired about this, the waiter informed us that the 'ration' had been cut in order to keep costs down AND prevent diners from filling up on free bread in the hope that they'd order more items from the menu.

I gues that's somewhat logical, but the effect that this actually had was very different. What could have been another great experience was overshadowed by this relatively small event.

This experience and some other posts I've read got me to thinking; there are times when we're all providing 'three roll service'. In the same way that this restaurant made a slight change that saved them a couple of dollars a day, and cost them many times more in lost business. Are are times when I drop the ball with the small things that people remember? I know that there are. Perhaps I don't call someone back as quickly as I could, or I don't take the time in an email exchange to pad the message with a sentence or two and it comes across as terse and angry.

There's a lot we can learn from a three-roll experience. It's always the small things that differentiate an experience.