Recent years have invited many evolutions in the way we communicate and in the way we hold our bodies throughout the day. These evolutions are giving rise to a rash of new complications as patients start walking through the office door with neck and shoulder pain, pinched nerves, and headaches. The cause? This infiltration of handheld devices into our every waking moment has us all looking down—to text friends, family and business contacts. Enter the new age of digital trauma and the addition of modern ailments, such as the insidious explosion of disorders associated with reading ones blackberry or android, handheld nintendo, and you begin to notice an epidemic. This latest epidemic has our younger, possibly under-considered community members, surfacing in masses and finding their way into our practices.
This new influx of young adults is an ideal place to begin planting seeds and educating the next generation about the benefits of chiropractic. With accurate treatment plans, patient education that extends beyond advising them on how to relieve imminent distress, and follow-up appointments that do more than simply send them on their way, we can start building long-term relationships that will outlast the latest gadgets they hold in their hands. And keep in mind...with every technological ailment, there is an associated piece of technology with the capability to refer your services to droves of new patients with the same habits who could benefit from the same chiropractic support and education.
We have an opportunity here to reach out to an underserviced subsection of our community. The simple fact that we may not see young adults as commonly as those in other age brackets necessitates a customized approach to patient retention and referrals.
Meet Them on Their Level
Understand their lifestyle and activities. What they are doing these days may be much different than what you were doing at that age. Do you understand the lifestyle of the modern young adult? Are you sensitive to their daily activities and can you diagnose their ailments and identify their triggers, based on your understanding of their environment and their habits? Take some time to learn what’s changed in the everyday life of the young adult.
Connect to the Greater Consciousness
According to a new study from the Pew Internet Project, 72% of cell phone users send and receive text messages, 38% access the internet, and 52% have apps on their phones. Typical American teens are texting 50 messages a day on average. Connections and referrals no longer only occur during an in-person meeting or a discussion over a neighbourly fence. More and more people are doing the majority of their communication remotely. Make sure you are doing all you can to integrate your practice into the web and take advantage of the booming social media society.
Cater to Their Activities
In addition to technology, there are many additional areas of a young patient’s life where we can address their routine. Imagine treating one young adult who plays sports on a team. Helping that patient with sport-specific treatment that yields results can give way to entire teams of potential new patients. You’d be surprised how much business can be generated just by showing up to a game or two and speaking with the coach about the unique needs of the team.
Encountering a patient in their younger years ingrains a familiarity with chiropractic that can last a lifetime. As technology evolves, the habits—and, therefore, the needs of our youth—are evolving along with it. Seizing the opportunity to address these unique habits can bring your practice into the technological loop of the younger generation and allow you the chance to bring them up-to-date on how chiropractic can address their unique challenges and fit into their today and, also, their tomorrow.