Here’s a new word for your dictionary: Skimpflation.
At first glance you might think it’s something to do with the effect of cheapskates on the economy. It’s not, but that’s an interesting concept. There‘s probably a different word for that already.
Skimpflation was coined on the NPR program “Planet Money” and was the focus of this Forbes article.
The word describes the deterioration of customer service in our society and there are clear implications for the chiropractic industry.
No doubt, you’ve noticed this trend in your own lives. It didn’t start with Covid, but the pandemic caused real labor shortages that have since led many service-based businesses to reduce offerings.
You don’t have to go far to see it. You’ll see Starbuck’s that are drive-up only. A few weeks ago, we wrote about how Starbuck’s is continually innovating, citing the coffee giant’s new mega-store in downtown Chicago.
But today, in some locations, you can’t even sit down to drink your coffee and surf the internet.
Plenty of other businesses have reduced the hours, or even days, they are open. Many have fewer staff when they are open.
What does that mean for your practice?
The patient experience is more important than ever. Skimpflation irritates people because they are getting less than they expected.
They will go elsewhere… eventually.
The writer in Forbes points out that simple inertia keeps people going back to the same companies over and over, even as the quality of the experience slides.
“Companies that routinely engage in skimpflation count on that inertia, because instead of seeking to maximize customer loyalty, they focus on minimizing customer defections,” he wrote. “And when defection-avoidance is your goal, customer inertia is your friend. A good customer experience is no longer necessary; you just need one that isn’t so awful that it eclipses the inertia and motivates a switch to a competitor.”
Be the chiropractic business that gives patients a reason to leave your competitor and come to you. The market is just waiting for you to make the invitation.
How do you do that? There’s an investment, to be sure. But it’s more than money. It’s mindset. It’s leadership.
What’s the patient experience at your practice?
A big part of skimpflation is attitude. How are you and your team approaching the challenges of the day? Are you bemoaning the lack of qualified job candidates and the laziness of the team you have?
That surely isn’t the path to a remarkable experience that develops patient loyalty.
Now’s the time to examine your culture, your systems and procedures, your team development systems and how you will ensure patient success.
Now is a good time to review the latest Fuel Tank with customer experience expert Shep Hyken. You can still watch that here.
We’d love to hear what you think about skimpflation and how you can capitalize on the situation.
Give us a call at 877-727-2705 to book a time.