Covid’s back, what can you do?
This week we have has to close our clinic’s doors due to being 5 staff down and a 50% cancellation rate. From being fully booked up it now appears that everybody has either got covid or is close contact. Here’s what we will be doing during the quiet times and to try to prevent it from happening again.
- Let clients know what’s happening – Being upfront to clients only works in your favour. You will be surprised as to how understanding they are and willing to help. Send them an email and keep them updated.
- Compact your diary – If your patients are aware of the situation then they won’t be upset with you giving them a call to change their appointment time. It’s only going to be a one-off so don’t worry.
- Reduce open hours – By compacting the diary your will be able to reduce open hours. This can help save you money on staff and overheads.
- Divert your phone – just because you have reduced your working hours does not mean that your workload should decrease. You can’t afford to miss calls and bookings, so divert the phone to somebody who is able to answer it.
- Increase your fees – To reduce losses Maybe make this new year a time to increase your fees? Everybody expects a small increase in fees. Why not make that time now?
- Start charging for people paying on credit cards – We did this at our clinic recently. We introduced a 1.5% credit card charge. Bank fees add up at the end of the year. This is an easy way that you can reduce those fees without clients questioning a price increase.
- Peoples private health has reset – Most private health funds have reset. Make the most of this and ensure clients update their orthotics, or get another set for a different pair of shoes.
- Encourage people to get new care plans – New year means 5 more visits. Encourage them to get a new one. Whether it’s face to face in the clinic, via phone call, or email.
- Get on that phone – call clients, check-in with them, make sure their ok and keep safe. Ask how family members are, see if they have any questions, give them free advice. You are amazed at how clients appreciate it. Plus you will get a few bookings which is always a bonus
- Orthotic update calls – out of all calls these are perhaps the most important. These are the clients that you want. Higher spending, returning clients. If it’s been 12months or more get on the phone and ask them to come back in for a review. Even if it’s a free quick review just to get them in the door.
- Keep your team in the loop – Keep your staff updated with everything. This includes income and financials. Make sure they are aware of how this is affecting the business. Make sure they know how much the overheads are to run the business. This will help them appreciate and understand your decisions. We show our profit-loss statements to all staff every month. When they see how much this month has hurt us they will get a much clearer understanding of why we are making the decisions we are.
- Keep up team morale – The little things help. They know it’s a tough period and they may be just as worried as you. Why not do a free outdoor team bonding activity such as a game of touch, cricket or yoga session.
- Plan of action – set out a covid plan of action with everything you want or need the staff to do in situations like this. When staff numbers and client numbers are down. That way they know exactly what they should be doing in their spare time.
- Remind clients about wearing a mask, alcohol gel and social distancing – Send out an email, put it in your appointment reminder and tell them when they are booking.
- Keep all of your staff in the low-risk category – wearing n95/p2 masks and goggles – have them keep to their separate rooms and try to keep staff distanced from each other
- Split shifts – split your team so that not everybody works together. This will help reduce your team all getting infected at once.
- If your clients mask slips under their nose, ask them to pull it back up – Some people won’t like this, but if you explain the reasons you need to be strict with this they will understand. Just remind them you have high-risk clients that will be at risk, you don’t want to get sick, it could potentially cause the business to close.