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Now, here’s today’s host, Dr. Erik Kowalke.
Welcome to the Look to the Children show sponsored by ChiroSecure. Thank you so much to ChiroSecure and Dr. Stu Hoffman with all he does for the chiropractic profession, and just for putting so much resources into pediatric chiropractic. And these shows, I film… My name is Dr. Erik Kowalke get filmed this show the first Thursday of every month. Dr. Monika Buerger films the show the third Thursday of every month, which is awesome. If you haven’t seen her show, I highly encourage you. Just connect to the ChiroSecure app or the Facebook page to get more information on the shows, as well.
But I’m excited to talk to you today about pregnancy and the experience that we’re able to give pregnant moms in the office when they come in. My office is in Grand Rapids, Michigan Higher Health Care [inaudible 00:01:33]. Dr. Andrew White, who you also see here, either on this side or this side, or maybe he’s above me, runs the Higher Health Holland office in Holland, Michigan. And he’s just super innovative with ideas to reach more people and has grown super fast to over 500 visits a week in a couple of years, and just has a ton of information and cool ideas.
So, I wanted to come on to talk about that. But this whole show is geared around pediatric and pregnancy chiropractic. How does the average chiropractor improve their office? So, we do this 15, 20 minutes, it’s not super long. You can listen to it on a lunch break or something. And what can we give you, action steps that you can take back to your practice, implement right away either today or tomorrow or the next week that can make a significant difference to allow you to see more kids and more pregnant moms?
And our overarching mission, why I personally do this and I’m sure why this program exists, initially was to just further pediatric chiropractic. We know so many kids out there need chiropractic care, and it comes through education, it comes through knowledge, it comes through the initiative of chiropractors just wanting to help more people. And truly, that’s my mission, to help more people. So, if I can help you see a couple more kids in your office, it’s going to ultimately help more people across the country. And those kids turn into adults, and healthy adults is going to help society, it’s going to help everybody. We’re going to change the world.
So, Dr. Andrew, let’s get started. Strategic education upfront is the first thing we want to talk about. So, walk me through the process. Pregnant mom finds your office, what makes her come in more comfortable? What helps her not be scared of the office? What helps her connect and be excited like maybe this place can help me?
Yeah, that’s a good question. So, obviously, a pregnant mom that’s coming in more than probably any other patient is thinking a lot about visions in her health really critically, as far as from the things that she’s eating, to products that she’s using, to the providers that she’s choosing. I mean, there’s a lot of big decisions that are happening, and we have probably their most critical patients that come in as far as we have to be just very sharp and make sure that we are building trust with them, because it’s a huge thing. A mom might only go through this once, and that’s where our mindset is, is we wanted to make a pregnant mom that comes in, just their experience really exceptional and special because it might be the only time they have a child or it might be time that we get to be a part of it if they’ve already had kids. So, with that in mind, we were just really intentional by a lot of the processes.
So, a couple of things that we do right away, I mean, we give a tour to new patients in general, but we do that with pregnant moms. And we kind of read them because sometimes if they’re pregnant with kids and and they have kids with them, sometimes we augment what we’re doing as far as like maybe if… Sometimes I’ve had moms come in and they’re pregnant, they got a baby on one hip and they got another kid that’s running around, she’s trying to keep them in line, and so in those cases, we actually sometimes we’ll cut the tour short and just make sure that we can make the kids comfortable with a play area.
And so, right away, our CAs will last like, “Hey, is there anything we can get for you or your son or your daughter?” We got snacks, we have toys. And we just really try to make sure the kids are taken care of as far as distracted so that we can really focus on mom and make sure that she’s able to communicate with us effectively and efficiently. Because again, it’s a special thing. We want to make sure that she’s able to communicate and not have to worry about anything else.
And then, when CAs, obviously we’ll do the initial consultation, at least in our office, but then it’s really important for pregnant moms, the doctor touchpoint. That’s what we call it when a doctor will come in after the initial exams are usually completed, and during that process, one of our doctors, whoever’s in there, spends a little more in time with that mom than just a normal new patient on their day one process, because we want to make sure that we’re building a lot of trust and asking good questions. If that makes sense.
As far as some of the strategic things that we do, I’m always cognizant of the fact that some moms will come into our office, we have a lot of referrals, and so sometimes my mom will come in like 36 weeks pregnant with a breached baby and she’s just coming in cause her girlfriend told her that we could help with it. And sometimes moms are coming in right early on in the first trimester, and they’ve heard the chiropractors good for it and they’re coming in. So, one of the things that I’m always intentional about asking is just what are your goals? First of all, if you’ve had a child before, now I want to ask you… I’ll ask the mom, what’s your ideal birth look like? What are your goals looking like? Are you open for a natural birth? If you don’t know, then we just spend some time with them educating them, at least what we see as some of the benefits and why we encourage moms for natural birth.
But I’m always just cognizant of the fact that it’s not my job to tell a mom what she has to do in her birth. That’d be really invasive and I think wrong, so I just try to spend some time asking questions with them. And then, once I get a better idea of what their goals are and where they’re at, then I’ll just spend some time sharing with them, then, how we can fit into that goal as far as, “Well, I want to be a resource for you, and I’m really excited that you’ve been able to share with me what your ideal birth looks like. And I’m just going to talk for a few minutes about what we can do for you specifically. They’re going to put your body in the best position to get to that ideal birth.” If that make sense.
Yeah. So, I think for the majority of chiropractors, pregnant patients aren’t the majority of the people that you see, so they might be 5%, maybe, or even less of the population that you see. So, it can get easy to maybe you have a table that the centers can drop out if you’re using drop tables, or if you use the stationary tables, you have pillows they can lean on. It can be easy for that stuff to get hidden around the corner or out of the way or all of the pregnancy stuff is in a different place. So, then a mom comes in, and if she gets the experience like, “Oh, you don’t normally do this?” Or, “This isn’t a normal scenario.” You’re trying to figure out what to do and where to go and where I need to go and all this. She instantly doesn’t feel comfortable in that space because it’s not something… It’s like, “Well, if you don’t normally do this, then why would I want you to do it on me?” Even if you do and it’s just in the wrong spot.
So, being really thoughtful on that. “Okay, do I have a room? And this is the room that I’m going to see the pregnant moms in. And what does the room look like? Is it all set up so that I can flow through this really easily? And I’m very confident in what I’m doing and how I’m doing it,” is just so, so important for a pregnant mom because they’re picking up every little detail, because they’re worrying about a life inside of them.
And sometimes more so than themselves.
Yeah. And that’s a good point. Another thing that we do just really intentionally, or I do really intentionally, if mom comes in and this is not her first birth, especially if her kids are with her, which is pretty common, then I’ll be sure to engage with the kids when I come in. And sometimes I’ll introduce myself to mom and then very quickly ,before I ask any questions about mom, I’ll just start to engage with the kids, ask them questions, talk to them a little bit. Because what it does right away is it shows that I’m very comfortable with kids, that we see kids often, and it just builds a lot of rapport really quickly.
Because if I can build an easy, quick bond with a child that’s in front of me, then that’s going to build a ton of relationship capital and trust with that mom, because she can tell, “Wow, this guy’s not afraid to talk to my kids. He’s going out of his way to just engage them, make them feel comfortable.” And then, obviously, focusing then completely on mom. So, a couple of these little things can go really a long way because, again, we just want to make sure that mom feels comfortable, like Dr. Erik was just talking about.
Yeah. So, is it true that you grew so fast because every pregnant mom, you counted as two adjustments instead of one? I’m just kidding. But isn’t the only time you adjust two people, you’re only adjusting one. The nervous system controls the baby’s nervous system, so just saying. Okay. This is what we want to talk about next. You came up with some really cool stuff with your team about creative gifting for pregnant moms, so we’ll go through each stage of that and what you guys send them. But to start with, what’s the mindset around that, and what’s the culture that you’re trying to create and what started the discussion of, “Okay, what’s our intent in doing this creativity?”
Yeah, that’s a great question. So, like I mentioned, a lot of this conversation with spurred because my wife and I, we had our first child almost two years ago, and it really… I had been taking care of kids and moms before that, but going through that process myself and it really just gave me empathy for the emotions that couples go through and just a lot of the mindset, things that are happening. It just gave me my empathy for that.
And so, again, it’s just such a special thing that it’s one of the best gifts ever to be able to share with your spouse, and was with that in mind, I was like, “If couples are coming in…” Because we see a lot of families, so a lot of times the husband’s there as well. So, it’s like couples coming in, and they’re considering utilizing us as part of their team to get ready for birth and even postpartum. That’s what special. It’s something that you should pause and really think about the responsibility you have to make sure you’re doing everything possible to make that mom have just an amazing experience. Even when she’s not in your office and she’s anywhere else, we just wanted to equip them with, one, knowledge to understand… We spent a lot of time just educating moms, that they have a voice, the decisions that they can make with their birth and the preferences they can have. And then, we obviously [inaudible 00:12:34] them as far as what we’re doing to help them and for their body.
And so, the other thing that I thought out because, again, going through myself, I saw my wife, she just started consuming a bunch of content. She’s not a big reader, typically. She does some like typically fiction reading, if anything, but she started to just diving into books and looking on the internet, downloading apps. It was just like mom brains are like, “I got to be prepared,” and she’s just consuming all this stuff. And I was like, “Man, what a great opportunity to create some content and value for these moms to help them understand what they’re already looking for, and so what if we can come up with some really creative ways to give them some things they’re already looking for and just really enhance their experience just way beyond what they expected?” They came in expecting me to adjust their low back to help with their sciatica, and they had no idea that we’re going to deliver 10X that. So, that was really the catalyst behind that conversation and thinking about what we could do.
Okay, cool. So, what do they get when they come in, and what kind of educational materials do they get their first visit? And then, what’s the first thing that you mail to them, and what’s the concept behind actually mailing them something?
Yeah. So, when I first opened, we’d give them a pregnancy packet, so it included information about the techniques we use. We use torque release technique primarily, and then also all of our doctors are Webster certified. And so, then we talked about those techniques, we talked a little bit about us, our bios, and then we had a bunch of information about doulas in the area, midwives in the area, and just that type of stuff, some of the natural birthing options. And a lot of times and we’d give them that, and we’d also before we would give them a thing of raspberry tea, and then there’s just some information about raspberry tea. And we sometimes give him a book. And I just felt like, “Man, upfront, like this is good, but it just seems like it’s a lot,” and I wanted to rethink what we were doing.
So, now what we do… So, we actually reformatted our pregnancy packet. It was good before, but it wasn’t great. And so, we paid a professional to make it look prettier with professional photos that we had… Actually, it might be photos of like Erik and my wife when they were pregnant, and we have a couple of other patients photos in there. And then, just laid it out better and branded it a little bit nicer. So, we give that to them at their first visit. So, the same type of information, a little bit more in depth, but just looks a lot more professional.
And then, the whole idea of mailing was, who doesn’t love mail? Like specifically like a gift. Like Joey Coleman who wrote Never Lose a Customer Again, has a quote in the book saying, “If you’re wondering how important mailing a gift to someone can be, think about if you’ve ever received a thank you note, how long did you keep it?” And I would bet it’s more than a day. It’s probably something that you maybe stapled up somewhere, put it on your fridge, and you may have kept for months. And that’s just a little thank you card, so I thought like, “What if we could send them some gifts that are pertinent to where they’re at in their pregnancy,” and then, again, just going above and beyond.
So, the first trimester gift, what we do, we send them ginger pops, which helped with nausea, obviously, and then red raspberry tea like we were before. But then, one of my staff members did an amazing job of creating some flyers that are like little trifolds, they really do a good job with some of the photos encapsulated the emotions from each trimester. And then, in the trifold, it talks a little bit about why we’re sending them raspberry tea and ginger pops in this case, and then there’s also some information about changes that are happening in mom’s body and changes that are happening in baby. Because, again, it goes back to you, moms are already looking for this stuff, most of time they’re downloading apps, they’re in it weekly. So, we’re just sending that to them.
And then, some action steps that mom can take right now to, again, just put herself in the best position. And then, we also send them a little business card that has some QR codes saying, “Are you loving this gift? Share the love.” And they can send it to our social media or whatnot. It can encourage them if they want to take a photo and share. And then, on the back, there’s a little birth affirmation. So, that was what we did for the first tri, and yeah, I’m really happy with the way it looks.
So, we’ll get into the other ones here in a sec. There’s a question that was asked. And you guys can always ask questions on these. How can we let our community know we are the experts, and how can we attract multitudinous numbers of pregnant women for care in our offices?
Get your wife pregnant, and then everybody sees her as your wife in the office.
A couple of things that we do, they’re super simple. That’s a great question. It was a part of my marketing, hopefully, was to create like a, to be an expert in [inaudible 00:18:03] and families. So, I partner with a local doula company. It’s one of the largest doula organizations in our area, and we allow them to use our space for hypnobirthing classes that they give. And so, then, normally, the couples will come, usually it’s once a quarter, they host the classes, and so. These couples have come in for their classes for five weeks on Monday nights in my office.
And then, we’ve also done some events with the doulas. We did a mom’s brunch type thing at a coffee shop locally where we invited the doulas also. We also invited a midwife, we invited an essential oils person, we invited a little natural baby family store, and we just held like a little panel and made it a conversation with moms. We catered it and whatnot. And then, right now, the other thing, I have an employee who’s been getting me in touch and setting on meetings with local OBs and [inaudible 00:19:18], so I have some meetings this summer that I’m doing one-on-one with some providers, just letting them know what we do and whatnot. So, there’s a lot of things you can unpack there, but I would just say, I’m trying to create spaces for moms to come and learn and also to try to reach out to providers is the two easy ways.
Cool. So, that takes us into… Let’s say we’re moving into them having the baby and then coming back and bringing their kid. The only way to do that is if they really trust you and you have a true, authentic relationship with them. So, any feedback for all the docs watching on how can they improve their ability to create trusting, authentic relationships with the moms and/or their other kids and/or their husband, that process?
Yeah. I’ve had a lot of moms tell me that by the time they get in my office, they’ve been researching like chiropractic and chiropractors in our area for like months sometimes. And sometimes they’ll tell me like, “Yeah, I’m coming in right now, and I’m testing you to see if you’re legit. And then, if you are, then I’ll bring my family.” They’re giving themselves like a litmus test. So, we just are really intentional with our daily table talk with former [inaudible 00:20:45] moms when they’re pregnant or even on postpartum, and just talking to them about the benefits of care. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be like pediatric care, like we’re just talking to them every day about bringing their kids in, but just focusing more like sharing testimonials, like, “Oh my gosh, earlier I had this little girl come in with colic, and we adjusted her and it was just amazing,” and share a testimonial.
Or talking to mom in like the second or third trimester about like our baby’s [inaudible 00:21:15] is starting to change positions. She’s engaging in your pelvis. So, we’re doing these adjustments and the Webster’s technique to help with that. But even in a perfect birth, there’s going to be a lot of pressure and tension on baby’s neck, and so we really encourage you to bring in your daughter in for a complimentary assessment when she’s first form. We can use that technology to see the inflammation, and we can use HRV to measure stress. And we’re going to be able to see if there’s any issue this baby can communicate with us and just give her the best ability to just function well.
And usually we’re having those conversations, ideally, again, if a mom started early in pregnancy, having that conversation throughout. By the time we get near the end of pregnancy and we’re talking about bringing baby in, we built up so much relationship capital [inaudible 00:22:03] adjustments and just sharing about the benefits of care, that it becomes a very easy thing. And the mom’s like, “Yeah, totally. I’m totally bringing my daughter in. This makes a ton of sense,” type thing.
Yeah, totally. And those true, authentic relationships give you so much grace in other areas. If you screw something up with insurance, or there’s something else that you forget, or they have to wait a long time, or their points get messed up somehow, if they really trust you and they know your heart and your mission behind what you’re doing, they’ll have a little bit more grace for you in those scenarios if you screw something up, because it becomes like a big family office. One of the questions somebody had is do you guys use open adjusting rooms? We use semi-open adjusting rooms, so there’s no doors, there’s eight foot walls, and then there’s pass throughs that we can walk behind the tables. And if you’re in Michigan, come check it out. The waiting room’s behind me, COVID-approved, six foot distancing. So, one family comes in, and they sit in every single chair in my whole waiting room.
Cool. Well, we’re about up on time. Any last thoughts? Anything else that you could think of that they could take back and implement right away if they want to see more pregnant moms or do a better job with pregnant moms and kids?
I think one of the biggest things, again, would be, one, sharing with patients, like from the normal adjustments that you do see pregnant moms or having photos or videos up on your website about it, because it really just… Some people have no idea that that’s even possible. And then, again, just trying to build relationships with… Look for your local doulas, midwives, and even OBs and try to build that relationship, and then trying to host events that are conducive to having moms come. I mean, it’s just an easy way to, again, just build relationships with these women and providers that, hopefully, will, again, once you build some trust, can build some referral networks. And again, they’ll just continue to see you as an authority on this topic or even creating content. Like online right now, if you can’t do the events, an easy thing to do would be to start creating content on your social media platforms talking about the techniques you do and the testimonies you’ve had with moms, all that stuff.
I mean, it’s really simple stuff that people are still getting pregnant. In fact, I would argue people get pregnant more right now than they ever been because they’re home. So, we’ve already had like, gosh, we’ve had probably seven or eight current practice members come in in the last few weeks, they’re like, “We’re pregnant,” so we’re joking about it. So, yeah, I mean, [inaudible 00:24:53] they started talking about it.
So, I wanted to mention this, too. If you use Facebook Marketing and you release like a [inaudible 00:25:04] education video, you should be capturing the audience that watches like 50% or more of that, and then you re-target ads to that audience when you do events because you already know those are people that watched our interest in a pregnancy related video. And then, you can really target your ad spend so you’re not spending more than you should to target the people that you want to target. How do you guys use [Sked 00:25:28] to send messages to patients and get text messages to them? And do you guys use that for education as well for pregnancy?
Oh, yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to really dive deep in this. I means, it’s a big topic. But one thing that we do is we created patient ed videos because, again, I went back to the idea of moms are already using apps and things to look for this stuff, so why don’t you just curate some content and get it to them before they’re even asking for it. So, we created, gosh, I think it broke down to like 21, 22 videos, and it starts from like basically the first part of pregnancy and then go all the way through week 41 plus. And so, we just created some content around what’s the changes that are happening in baby and mom right now?
And then, where originally we filmed it not professionally, and then we can use Sked to send it out automatically with coding it in the back end, in Platinum, in our HR system. But right now, we’re working on actually getting them re-filmed and professionally, and then we’re going to be able to leverage that [inaudible 00:26:46] through Sked, automating those content out but then, also, on social media and YouTube and lots of other ways we can use it.
Cool. Well, I appreciate you being on with us, Dr. Andrew, sharing all this stuff. I’m sure people got a lot out of it. Thank you guys for joining Look to the Children sponsored by ChiroSecure and Dr. Stu Hoffman and all that he does for the profession. We’re taking July off because it comes during the 4th of July holiday, so we will be back the first Thursday in August, and we’ll see you guys then. Have a great summer.
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