Customer Success Story: San Francisco Sport & Spine Physical Therapy

Throughout the month of January we’re sharing all about best ways to utilize the Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) to gather data for your clinic. Today we’re thrilled to bring you some of the unique ways that Jerry Durham and Sturdy McKee, early adopters of StriveHub, are using NPS® data at their practice.

Ann recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jerry and Sturdy to discuss the unique ways that they use StriveHub Reach to collect and measure data, as well as how they use the NPS® at San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy (SFSSPT) as a form of objective measurement of staff performance.

SFSSPT has been using StriveHub for about a year. When asked what initially drew them to partnering with Strive Labs, Sturdy shared, “We were first drawn in by the process automation of maintaining contact with patients while being able to segment the population to provide specific content. We always wanted to do a newsletter; but we were reluctant to spam our customers by giving them irrelevant content. One size doesn’t fit all - the ability to target different audiences and send the right information to the right patient at the right time was very important to us.

"The ability to send ACL prevention information to our active clients, and falls prevention information to our older adults with balance issues was very compelling to us. We saw the value of a platform like StriveHub right away."

Sturdy explained further that “using StriveHub has made everything much easier for us. There is some work upfront to create or curate content and decide on the market segments (dividing up your contact list by age, activity or other category); but, once it’s done, it continues on. We have the content curated, queued, and prepped and it continues to go out in an automated fashion that I don’t have to worry about.”

As far as sharing content, Sturdy says, “We leverage content that we’ve written, as well as content that we’ve curated from other people. There is so much great information already out there. We can share that information with attribution to the original author and our clients appreciate it because it’s relevant to them.”

As someone who focuses on the customer experience, Jerry shared that “the beauty of StriveHub is that it allows us to continue the relationship that we worked so hard to build with our customers in the clinic once they are outside of the clinic. That’s been a huge value to us at SFSSPT.”

NPS® to Identify At-Risk Patients

SFSSPT utilizes the NPS® to identify patients who are at risk of dropping out without completing their plan of care. Sturdy explained that they “send the NPS® out two weeks and six weeks after each patient’s initial evaluation.”

Jerry calls any customer who gives SFSSPT a score lower than a 9 and asks them “What can we do better?”

Through listening to the customer’s answer, Sturdy says, “we’re able to identify why they aren’t completely satisfied and what we can do to improve. Then we share their answer with their therapist so that the therapist can help turn that experience around. We do that at week two because we want the opportunity to correct it before week six.”

NPS® to Train & Mentor Therapists

Jerry and Sturdy are also using the NPS® as a key performance indicator (KPI) and an educational/mentoring tool for their therapists. Sturdy states that, “We use it internally right now, more for management to evaluate which therapists are performing a high level. We are fortunate that before we launched StriveHub in our clinics we had done a fair amount of customer service training and communication training for our staff, and we hire great people from the start. When we collected enough data, we could see that all of our therapists were above a 60, so there wasn’t a whole lot of correction to do; but, we noticed that we had a few therapists who were over 90 and our overall score was 80. That allowed us to talk to the folks in the 60’s and say “This is the feedback from your patients. 60 is a good rating, but we would like to see that improve.”

Sturdy continued with, “We talk with those therapists about how they can improve. Additionally, we’re looking at making it an official KPI on their role scorecard and tying it to compensation in the future. We follow a new hire closely for the first few months to see where their scores are falling. This allows us to see whether our training is effective and what we might need to tweak in our new hire on-boarding process. We haven’t had this situation, but a new hire might come in and really struggle with building customer loyalty. This is another measure for us to look at and see that they might need some additional mentoring early on, rather than waiting and noticing at the three month mark that a new hire isn’t where we want them to be. We can use what the therapist’s OWN patients are saying about them as a springboard for additional mentoring, and then a somewhat more objective measure of whether change in a positive direction is occurring with the mentoring.”

At SFSSPT, everyone meets weekly with their supervisor to review their KPIs such as productivity, units per visit, job duties, and demonstration of the company’s core values. Doing this weekly allows supervisors to take action quickly if they see that the employee is not where SFSSPT expects them to be. That allows course corrections early on. Every four months everyone reports in on KPIs, job accountabilities and core values, (and SFSSPT is considering adding the NPS® scores to the mix). Staff members are eligible for a salary increase every four months based on these reviews. All of the criteria are tied to objective data, except the core values ratings; but, those are evaluated by two co-workers and the staff member’s manager. That rating is evaluated and staff is provided with feedback about how they are perceived by their co-workers and their patients.

NPS® to Share Value

To leverage the NPS® in a way that enables Promoter sharing, SFSSPT asks for reviews on Google+. They are currently developing a strategy to further engage Promoters to share their clinic's value.

When discussing the Triple Aim, Jerry shared that “the part of the Triple Aim that many people forget is a positive customer experience. What we’ve done in the practice is add that component, so we are looking at the staff with the Triple Aim in mind.”

SFSSPT utilizes the NPS® in their marketing efforts as well. They have drafted a letter to send out to their physician referrals to tell them about the NPS®. In it, they detail the scores that the physician’s patients have given them on the NPS®, and what they’re doing to further improve the patient experience when indicated.

NPS® to Identify Trends Early

Finally, SFSSPT uses the NPS® to identify trends. Sturdy explained that “early on we identified issues with our student and volunteer program - the patients gave us the feedback that the therapists were not getting adequate consent from them before allowing physical therapy students and volunteers to be present during the evaluation and treatment sessions, so we addressed that in our processes, and it hasn’t been an issue since then.”

As you can see, asking your customers if they would refer someone to your practice is only the beginning. The gold is found in the follow-up questions you ask them to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement in your practice. Strive Labs makes it easy for you to continually improve on the customer experience in order to create and maintain loyal customers. Huge thank you to Jerry and Sturdy for sharing their experience with us!

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Ann Wendel



Physical Therapist, Writer, Speaker, Consultant, Kettlebell Lover. Director of Brand Marketing for @strive_labs and @APTAtweets Media Spokesperson.