SIX Good (MAYBE) Reasons to Offer Shorter Appointment Times

Excerpts from
Session/treatment length tends to be a legacy issue, not some-thing we’re giving lot of conscious thought to. You open your doors and do what you did in school, or copy another practice, and it pretty much stays that way. Most practices have 2-3 different menu options, based on time. And they never change.

Could some of the sessions be too long – or could a shorter option be put on the table?


1. Maybe Your Clients Don’t WANT Longer


Many of us are working from a simple premise that more time is better. Could it be possible that your clients don’t want what you think they do? Do your clients really need more time, or is it just better time they’re after?


2. Every Client is Different


Just because one talkative client can never get out of your of-fice in under 60 minutes doesn’t mean everyone should have to stay that long. Why treat everyone the same? Are you building your visits around the slowest common denominator?


3. You Can Earn More


When we started offering a 15-minute acute care visit, we did-n’t price it at half the price of a 30-minute visit–nor should you. It’s priced about 55-60% of the price of a half hour. That means that an hour made up of four 15-minute visits is worth more than a single hour treatment. Over time, the difference stacks up.


4. You Can Help More


Shorter visits simply mean you can see more clients in the same time period. It’s that simple.


5. More Flexible Scheduling


There’s nothing more frustrating that a week full of small gaps that add up to a lot of time in total, but that can’t be properly used because individually they aren’t long enough to fit some-one into. Shorter visits give you more flexibility for filling those inevitable gaps.


6. You’re Better Than You Were


Let’s face it: when you started practice you were just begin-ning to master your craft. You simply didn’t have the…well, the practice. It makes sense that for many types of care, you can simply do more in less time once you’ve got some experi-ence under your belt. You teach, explain, set up, clean up, treat and process faster than you once could. Why not take advantage of that expertise?

Are your visits too long? Maybe, maybe not. Certainly, more time can be a selling feature, and some modalities simply re-quire some minimum amount of time. But it might be worth asking yourself the following questions:

1. Why are my appointments the length they are?

2. What would be gained and/or lost if I shortened them?

3. What would happen if I added a new, shorter option?

In the end, clients are like Goldilocks. They need a visit length that’s just right. How close are you?

January 4, 2014