7 Deadly Mistakes Made By New Practice Startups

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18: Negative Feedback: On a Positive Note

It’s going to happen to us all, no matter how hard you try, no matter how many Starbucks cards you give away in your clinic for positive feedback, no matter how many families that you ask to leave positive reviews online.  The day will come, I promise.  And when it does, embrace it and learn from it.  If there is something that you need to change within your business, then do that.  In this episode, I give some insight to negative reviews and how they can make you better and more genuine.

In this episode:

01:15 – Appreciate you guys reaching out to me and all the thoughtful e-mails and comments
02:33 – Another space available for the Perfect student
03:57 – We see about fifteen hundred patients per month between both businesses
04:50 – Negative feedback
06:52 – You have to be clear upfront when you talk to your patients
08:31 – We work for the public
10:12 – I’m proud of my one star feedback review
10:35 – Listening to my consumers and my family members and learn from that feedback



You have to be clear upfront when you talk to your patients about money and fees. There can’t be any financial ambiguity it’s got to be all clear upfront because people love you until they get the bill.

[Commercial] Well, Hello everyone! You’re listening to the Speech therapy Private practice Startup Podcast; this is episode number 18. My name is Kyle Meades and I’m a speech pathologist since 1993 and these podcasts are designed to help you improve your business and your life one podcast at a time.

Welcome back to the show. I just wanted to say thank you for all the listeners out there who emailed me over the past few weeks checking on my family. If you’ve listened to episode number 17, you realize that where I’m from the area the area of South-east Louisiana, they had a really bad flood and my parents got affected, my brother and his wife and daughter got affected and I just appreciate you guys reaching out to me and all the thoughtful e-mails and comments. It just really meant a lot to me and the title of that episode 17 was about relationships and I do feel connected to my listener audience because its just some of the things that were said and it just felt really good. So I’m hoping you guys are getting valuable information out of these podcast and again thanks for all the e-mails, tweets and all the comments and I just really appreciate it and thanks again for all those who are leaving some five star feedback on iTunes for the Speech therapy private practice start-up podcast. I really appreciate it because when you do your part and leave some feedback on iTunes, other people will find this information too. And again I do this all for free because you’ve heard me say it time and time again, Value is what you get in the absence of money, and these podcast are free for you and they’re designed to help you improve that business and improve your life. So if there’s anything I can ever do to help you, if you have any questions about a specific topic related to growing or scaling your speech therapy private practice shoot me an email I answer all my emails personally and pretty quickly to kyle@privateslp.com.

Also I wanted to say I have another space available for the Perfect student and the Perfect student is where you can come in to Tucson to work with me one on one if you’re wanting to start your own Speech therapy private practice or if you want to grow your own Speech therapy private practice, you can simply email me kyle@privateslp.com, and the subject line there put The Perfect student, send me an email, give me some background about you and what you’re up to, if you’re just starting out or if you’re growing and scaling your own business, if you’re taking insurances, if you have employees or how many patients you’re seeing a week. Give me some background information because to have a good solid foundation you have to have a good relationship. So I want to find people who will work well with me; and that way I can show you how to run, grow and scale your own Speech therapy private practice.

Now this service is not free but it is affordable so if you’re interested email me kyle@privateslp.com, you will be able to come in to Tucson. You can fly in, come to work with me in the outpatient clinic I’ll also show you how to run a Home health private practice as well. I’ll show you how we bill it, how we collect it, how we do our account receivables, all of that information you can learn from a successful brick and mortar outpatient clinic.

And again we see about as of this recording and this is October 2016. We see about fifteen hundred patients per month between both businesses and we also have twenty eight part and full time speech pathologist, speech therapist assistance, occupational therapist, certified occupational therapist assistance. We have a full billing staff and also front office admin as well and we do a good job. So if you really want to get your growth curve on email me kyle@privateslp.com and I’ll do my best to help you. And again it’s got to be the right fit. You can read books out there you can listen to all the podcast. You can search online, get some PDFs, you can get some good information but if you really want to learn and you want to be challenged and you want to be the best you can be, email me and I’ll help you succeed.

Also too I wanted to talk today about Negative feedback and that’s something we as speech pathologists I think we all have a hard time with it. Now when you put yourself out there, when you have your own business you’re putting a part of you out there for the public to see. Now that entails an office, the cleanliness of your clinic all the way to service delivery, how well the evaluations are being scheduled, how quickly the therapy appointments are being scheduled. All of that is taking into account because when you start your own business, this is what we do; this is how we make a living. This is how we help other people; it’s everything about us. So it’s got to be done well but once in a while you’re going to get a complaint, you’re going to get a legitimate complaint whether it’s an email in your inbox or a letter in the mail or it might even be a one star rating on Google or Yelp or one of those other social media outlets like Facebook. What do you do; what do I do when I get a negative comment or a negative feedback from a parent or a family member. The first thing obviously it makes us a little angry, obviously I’m sure it does.


But when you stop and you look at what that family or that consumer is going through there might be some truth to that negative feedback. In my experience these days I have had family members call me and yell at me over the phone. I’ve had patients you give them a bill. I’ve had patients throw the bill at our office admin staff. I mean I’ve had some really nasty patients before in our clinic and I’ve been chewed out up and down. You would be surprised and I really don’t want to go into it in this podcast. But I have heard a lot of feedback from a lot of patients and some of it, its just people having a temper tantrum because also when people get the bill they obviously don’t like you anymore right. That’s why when we do our billing and accounts receivables we need to get that bill out fast and you have to be clear upfront when you talk to your patients about money and fees. There can’t be any financial ambiguity it’s got to be all clear and upfront because people love you until they get the bill. That’s a big reason you’re going to get a one star feedback on Google I’d say or let’s say if somebody is running late. We are not doormats, we have to run a business, we have to provide for our staff and our therapist livelihood so we have rules in our clinic and we have to hold patients accountable for those rules and sometimes when a patient shows up let’s say five or ten minutes and they have a thirty minutes appointment they’re only going to get that twenty minutes in that visit and people really get upset when you have to say something like your appointment time is every Tuesday from three to three thirty when you show up at three ten we can’t go over because we have someone else waiting at three thirty for their appointment they’re here already waiting or let’s say somebody gets a no show fee or late cancellation fee. People get very, very angry and they like to leave feedback on Facebook or Twitter or Google.

When you go into the histories of some of those people who leave those one star feedback for your business you might see a pattern so you might see a one star feedback for their paediatrician’s office or you might see a one star feedback rating for a restaurant that they’re frequent. You can see a profile, you can see that this person is generally one start dinger so they’re going to leave you a one star feedback no matter what you do but don’t forget let me tell you something speech pathologist out there in private practice. We don’t work for Google, we work for the public, we work for ourselves we are in private practice for a reason and that is to change the lives of our patients, our families and our employees and our staff so don’t forget that just because you get some negative feedback online it’s not the end of the world. I mean a lot of people and I’ve talked to many people about this. They want to go in and ask Google, “Hey can you remove this one star feedback from my profile it’s bringing me down from five point zero to four point eight.” It makes you look more honest when you have a negative feedback review in your profile versus the other guy who has all five stars and they’re replying to all their five star reviews and everything’s all just perfect. You know what I’m talking about and you know what I’m talking about.

So don’t forget when you get negative feedback you can talk to Google about it. You can talk to Facebook about it or you can do you can learn from it if it’s something that you need to address with your staff or a patient or a family member go to that person and say, “Hey, I realize that you’re unhappy but you’re more than welcome to talk to me and let’s make this right.” I’ve given folks refunds before for appointments sometimes when you get paid twice from a co-pay and in the insurance pays the hundred percent, I give refund checks. I do the honest thing I always do the right thing but I’ve got to remember I can’t please everybody in the whole world. I can’t do it and I’m not going to try because the more I try to please everyone and get into that whole perfectionism thing it’s just going to make me crazy and I’m not going to go there, I’m proud of my one star feedback review. I’m proud once in a while when I get these negative feedbacks. It means I’m real, it means I’m thrown in out there. I’m doing the best I can and I’m trying to serve a need in our community and I’m proud of that and I know that we provide some of the best speech and language therapy in this town so I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m going to keep listening to my consumers and my family members and learn from that feedback.

When people call and scream and yell and they’re late and they’ve got to pay their no show fee, sometimes it just is what it is. Anyway I want to know what you do to handle your negative feedback in your business. There’s comments below I want you to go down there and tell me what you think about negative feedback when you get somebody who dings you one star on Google or Facebook. What do you do so I want to open it up for discussion there. I hope you guys are finding these podcasts valuable. Again please go to iTunes leave me some good five star feedback on iTunes so others can find this information. And as always Thank you for listening.


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