November 30, 2021

The Feel Good Experience: Growing Your PT Practice with 5-Star Customer Service with Steve Line, PT

Unlike other medical practitioners, you will be seeing your physical therapist several times each month or week. Aside from impeccable sessions, you will also be expecting quality - and welcoming - customer service every time. Steve Line, PT, author of The Feel Good Experience and co-founder of Columbus Physical Therapy in Columbus, NE, shares what it takes to improve patient compliance, engagement, and overall results - a 5-star patient experience that is intentionally created and trained. Steve and his team took the time to detail what an optimal patient experience is and what they needed to do to create it. He looks back on when they noticed an improvement in patient retention, cancellation rate, and referrals of family and friends. Steve shares some of the secrets detailed in the book on this episode.

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Listen to the podcast here:

The Feel Good Experience: Growing Your PT Practice with 5-Star Customer Service with Steve Line, PT

I've got a returning guest, Steve Line, Cofounder of Columbus Physical Therapy in Nebraska. He is also a new author, The Feel-Good Experience, which we're going to talk about a little bit. Congratulations. Especially with Steve's background as a successful PT owner, the book is going to be great advice and input for PT owners. Steve, thanks for coming on.

I appreciate it very much, Nathan. It’s great to see you again.

We'll get into your professional background. You're a successful PT owner who has three clinics. I would highly recommend those who are reading that haven't read my episode with Steve in the past, we talked about the four buckets of marketing based on an article that he wrote in the IMPACT Magazine. That was in 2020, wasn't it?

Yes.

You've written two more articles in the September and October 2021 IMPACT Magazines. One was regarding financials.

Both of them were financial. Money Woes was the name of the one in September and then Go on the Offensive was the one in October talking about wealth management.

I highly recommend you guys go back and read not only the podcast episode but read some of his material, as well as the book that you've got up, The Feel-Good Experience. Number one, congratulations on writing a book. That's a huge, monumental task. It’s worthy of appreciation. Maybe tell us a little bit about where it came from. What was the germination for a book on this topic? We can talk a little bit about it.

PTO 168 Steve Line | Customer Service
Customer Service: Good customer service means knowing what the client needs in advance to ensure they don't make any complaints.

Customer service is what the book is about, The Feel-Good Experience, how to grow your practice using five-star customer service. It dates way back to my youth, working in different jobs through high school, experiences I had with those jobs and dealing with the public. I had some good mentors that trained me, honestly, how to deal with the public and customer complaints and make sure that you anticipate what they need and want in advance to make sure that they don't have any complaints. I've taken that model and I've also applied it forward in physical therapy. A lot of what the book is about is a lot of those principles and thoughts.

Was there a time during your PT ownership where you thought, “We need to focus more on the patient?” Was there a particular instance where you thought, “We need to make this shift and start focusing a little bit more on their experience,” and their relationship with you?

About 2006, to be honest with you, it was a specific year, a lot of it was due to the amount of competition that we had and our growth had stagnated. We hadn't been growing like we were. We’re also having some challenges within. I brought all of it back to culture. There's a culture problem we have. We're following a formula that is based on our training as therapists, following these things making sure documentation's good. We give patients what's appropriate and all of those issues. I would still have patients come 1 or 2 visits and then not return, like, “I'm doing what I was taught. Why isn't this working?”

The competitors were putting a lot of pressure on us. We're like, “We're going to have to do something different. We're going to have to stake our own claim and put our own brand out there.” This was an easy one, The Feel-Good Experience, something that we branded within our company. We've used it since about 2006. We have a jingle, all of it, but it isn't enough to have that. We wanted to make sure that it was felt from within. The patient comes in and they feel it with every staff member, their building environment, so on and so forth. That's what the whole design is about.

It seems like you essentially got hyper-focused on policy and procedures regarding how you have the patient to the point where you branded it, you gave it a name and you created a jingle. Essentially, this is an aggressive, well-thought-out policy and procedure manual for handling a patient.

We are making sure that we treat the patient with their physical needs. We want to target their emotional needs, spiritual need, and all those things. It comes down in a nutshell, TLC. Make sure you give them as much attention as possible, but communication is critical. The listening part is more critical than what you're telling them, making sure that we target them not only because it's a transaction.

That's written about in the book too. We want to make sure all of our interactions with the patient are not transactional but more experiential. We ask them, “What are your goals?” and all those things, but it's not just a check-off list. We're trying to flesh out what type of person this is, what's their personality type, what's going to fit for them.

Some people are more the structured, rigid, "Just the facts ma'am," kind of people. Others are more soft-hearted. They want to be led. They want those approaches and a little bit more tenderness and a little more nurturing. You have to be able to read that upfront. We've done a lot of training with the staff. Over the years, it's gotten better to where people within our organization pick it up faster. We look to hire people that are moldable within that, people who desire to give good customer service and make it a great experience overall. It's not just we want to give you results, but give them the whole package if they want to return.

How do you vet for that during the hiring/recruiting process that these people are moldable, that they're willing to come in and be trained on the way you guys do things in The Feel-Good Experience?

The first thing is you pretty much tell the minute they come in. If you think about it, you have a front desk receptionist. Their first test is when they come through the door if they are rude to our receptionist. It's simple things like that or if they're cold or not conversational. We understand everyone's going to be nervous. You're coming in for an interview. That's understood. Our front desk and our personnel are always trained to circle through. We don't refer to it as the waiting room. It's the reception area. Reception is a party. It's a social event.

We want the waiting area to be our social event. If those people never warm up, like you engage them with conversation and they have nothing to come back with, that isn't going to change. It's part of who they are innately. If they struggle with this, “I hope the weather gets better,” and they're like, “That'd be nice.” “That's it? There's nothing else going on?”

Aside from treating their physical needs, a PT must also take care of their patients' emotional and verbal aspects. Click To Tweet

Are they simply willing to smile? Even if they're a little bit introverted, I'm sure you have room for those people. When given a chance to converse, they add to the conversation. What's cool is also you put this way of doing things in place, such that it's generated a culture. Your front desk person can tell if an interviewee is going to fit or not. You don't have to wait.

They're probably better at it than we are. They will come back and say, “This is what we're picking up.” It's like, “We'll take it from here.” We ask for the input, but we also want to make sure that we don't get corrupted. You got back there and you have this branded mindset about this person. More than often, they're spot on. They get a sense about it right up. This is complex. There's no exact science. It’s like a patient. We assume that they all want to get better when they're coming in, but as you know, they don't always. There's a lot of different nuances that come with treating a patient.

Tell me a little bit about maybe how someone would use The Feel-Good Experience during any point of the patient life cycle, say at initial evaluation or when they first call into to a physical therapy clinic that would be different in your clinics than the run of the mill or outpatient orthopedic clinic. How do you guys do things? Can you give us an example of where you guys differ?

This is exactly where we were in 2006, as we knew the competition was good. They were strong therapists, technically sound, well-respected by the medical community. We were constantly getting an influx of patients who were over there at their location and kept coming to us saying they were dissatisfied, they were disinterested, they were too tight collared were some of the phrases we heard. They were very serious. You went into their waiting room and you sat there and they could hear crickets chirping. It wasn't inviting and warm.

We kept hearing this. Their instruction to them was not clear. When you ask more questions, it was more like, “Do it." It was rigid. I've found that to be consistent across our profession of physical therapy. The general tendency is that the individuals who go into physical therapy have a certain personality, let's be honest. If you're drawn to teaching, to PT, to be a fireman or a pastor, I don't care what the job is, you have a certain thing within you that's attracting you that direction or drawing you that direction, whether it's personality or your makeup or what have you. The general tendency of PTs is to be ultra-scientific and evidence-based.

We're focused on that side of it, but then we totally have zero training on communication skills, emotional intelligence, personality types, simple engagement, proper etiquette, body language, how you engage with a patient and how you position them. We talk about it in PT school, how to position, how to drape. I'm seeing therapists with twenty years’ experience totally violate all those rules. It's like, “What we were taught there was good.” Remaining dignity to the patient is critical. How you treat them with respect, not just as, “What is your problem? This is your shoulder problem,” and forget that there's a patient or a person attached to it. All of that is part of it.

Ultimately, when you call into our office, we gear our receptionists. We train them and then we go back and critique and we record phone calls and do all those things. It has to be the smile right away. A smile like you have a mirror, we don't have the mirror there, but we've done it in the past. If someone has a mirror at the front desk, what's your facial expression at that time when you answer the phone?

If you're smiling, it comes out. It comes through when you say hello. No matter what, it does follow that. Asking leading questions. A lot of the book is about leading. The Feel-Good Experience is all about leading, not commanding. Seeking to help whatever that person's looking for and ask the right questions to bring them along and hopefully get those questions answered.

What are a couple of leading questions? A leading question that a front desk person would ask, and what is a leading question that you expect your physical therapist to ask?

Front desk, when someone's calling in and saying, “Do you guys do something?” They read it somewhere in a medical journal or a newspaper article. “Do you guys do dry needling?” We do. Even though we do that, we want our receptions to go, “We do that. However, what is your ailment and what are you seeking to get from that? We want to help you. Can you tell more about it?” It comes down to the opposite of most doctor's offices. “What's your problem? The doctor's busy right now. He can see you next week.” We don't do that. It's like, “We can get you in as soon as possible today.” We make sure same-day appointments are held no matter what.

PTO 168 Steve Line | Customer Service
Customer Service: Make the reception area a place of social events. Warm up with the clients and engage in conversations with them.

 

That makes it a challenge with our staff and you need flexible staff to do that to make sure that they know that they will be serviced right away. We don't want them to sit and think about it. Most of the training involved as a consumer is we have to wait. When you order something, you have to wait. When you call the doctor's office or the dentist’s office, you have to wait. You're told, “You come right over. We'll take care of you. Is there a time today that works better for you?” “You can see us today?” “Yes. We're going to get you doing better.” It's that type of training.

As far as the therapists go, obviously it gets a little more in-depth. They're big around what do you want to get back to. This is what we're trained to do in PT school, to ask those questions. It’s very much documented so that we get it in the notes for payer source, approval of those things that we ask, what their personal goal is, but we don't flesh down, “You want to get back to hiking. Where do you like to hike?” “I like to hike around the lake here in Columbus. It’s pretty flat ground.” It’s like, “Where do you like the hike specifically? Do you like to go fast? Do you like to go with your dog? Do you like to go with your spouse?”

You start fleshing out and one thing leads into another in terms of family and work. We want to find out everything about that person possible. The therapist can get into that. Receptionists don't have nearly the time to get into all those things sometimes. Getting down to what you are into as a person, you'll listen to somebody so long and you can find out what they're about. They're going to keep bringing back similar talking points and concepts.

It's great that you've established a system around this. A typical PT clinic would say, “We do dry needling.” If the front office person isn't well-trained and that expectation isn't held, then they say, “Yes, we do that,” and that's the end of the conversation. You've had front desk people that are like that because they answered the question, they did the job. That's okay. If they took it a step further, they might ask, “What insurance do you take?”

We get to that. We do ask that later on. That better not be your first question.

That was a conversation I typically had with Sturdy McKee on previous episodes. Most doctor's offices are going to ask you your name, your date of birth, your insurance, all that information. What if it was simply more like, “We do dry needling, but tell me, what's your ailment and what are you trying to accomplish here? Do you want to get back to hiking? Tell us about that. Is this for you or are you calling on behalf of your husband, who won't call a doctor's office?”

We engage in those type of situations because we have a lot of families that do that. Men, in general, are terrible at setting up appointments.

We talked about what you're doing with The Feel-Good Experience at the front desk and how that might also change what you typically do during the care that's involved with the physical therapist. Does your Feel-Good Experience extend beyond that, like after a patient gets discharged, whether they have been discharged for months or even during the collections process?

Yes, we have a regular call sequence, checking up on people, how they're doing. Thirty days after they're discharged is making sure that our product is stuck and it's still working. If there are any questions at that time, there's obviously not bringing them back in. I got some questions about the home program or for whatever it is. They can get that advice then in there. We go 30, 60, 90, 120 days out. We send out letters, checking up on you. We also have a couple of events. With COVID, that eliminated a lot of those, but we have a patient appreciation event or two of them.

We always had one in the summertime, summer picnic-themed, if you will. We have one in the holidays, more holiday things. You then send out invites. Everybody comes back and tries to get as many patients returning for that. After they're gone, the financial statements are still out there. We're dealing with EOBs and insurances that are saying they will pay for it now. We try to stay ahead of that. We are a group. We don’t say, “This is your responsibility. You knew that when you signed that form when you came in.” We don't deal with them legally like that. It's more, “This is what your insurance is requesting. This is what we can do. We do need you to handle this part of it.”

“We can either bring it in, they'll be sending you one in the mail, bring that format, and we'll walk you through it. You fill it out.” We give them assistance. They’re discharged at this point. A lot of times, insurance wants to know, was it a work injury or was it an auto accident. They're trying to flesh out what their level of culpability is on the list. We will guide them through all that because it's extremely confusing even to us, how the whole insurance thing works.

Real good customer experience is all about leading and not commanding. Click To Tweet

It's cool that you have a process because most owners haven't thought that far ahead. Some systems like WebPT give some of that automation to it and allow them to now start thinking about it. Some of them haven't even turned on that system and WebPT Reach even though they have it where you could get that patient to be more engaged with you over their lifetime. You want to be known as their physical therapist going forward.

We want to be engaged all the way to the end. If they ever needed to go for therapy again or to send a friend or family member, whatever, we're the only name that pops up. We don't win all the time. If we can win the majority of them, that's where we've seen our growth.

You started implementing this back in 2006. Give me a timeframe. How long did it take for you to implement some of these feel-good experiences? What were some of the results? Did you see them rather quickly?

I wrote it out on a flight. It was a plane at my wife's cousin's wedding in Oregon. I had the brainstorm and I wrote out all the outline and bullet points of it. There are some theoretical. There are some of those related things like this is the background of it, but then you get into the nuts and bolts and it's a paradigm that's covered in the book. First level is to give a high level of perceived care, breaking down what perception is and making sure that we can target perception through the senses, hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing. There is a way to do all these things. When they come in and they hear us, think positive. The environment is cordial.

They hear therapists being polite and professional to one another. There's laughter. They hear all of those things. That is like walking into a sports bar and people are cheering and having a good time. You want that atmosphere to bring energy. You want to also have the patients see cleanliness and order. All of those things attribute. Whether we believe it or not, the psychology of all of us is we like order. You go into a place and tables aren't clean, a restaurant, the bathroom is filthy. It's chaotic and disordered. Their employees are all huddled in a corner, talking. It's not good sense. We don't want any open gaps in their mind to be started to where you have to start thinking, “Is this place professional? Will they be able to help me?”

Those five senses are targeted in that first-level paradigm of perceived care. The second level is what we call stations and zones. Within, there are five stations. The first one is a reception area. The second is hosting. It's like you go into a restaurant, how many, wait to be seated, the host or hostess takes you back. We have that individual that escorts them to one of several areas. The hand patients go to the hand area. Gym patients, they go there. If they need to go back to the private treatment room, they get escorted there. It's done by a PT tech, but we refer to it as a host so that you understand what that job is. There's a lot of body language there and not running too far ahead of the person.

I've seen that a lot where someone comes out, whether it's a nurse at the doctor's office and they yell your name and then they stand there. They don't come out to greet you in your place where you're sitting or call your name and when you say, “It's me,” they come over to greet you and bring you back. Instead, they stand over there at the door and then you have to get up in front of everybody and walk out. Everything is geared toward comfort, security, making that person feel secure. That's the second station of the five. Reception, host, and then we go to therapy, the actual treatment side of it. There's something else that has to happen in there.

It's all covered in the book. It's quite lengthy, but quality assurance. The Final is the reception area again. The reception area has got 2 of the 5. They have to catch them when they're coming in and they got to make sure that they give them the connection before they leave, that people don't just skate out. You go up the next level tier and it's seeking a win-win situation.

Everybody, when they're engaging with a patient, needs to be, “What's the win-win situation here?” The patient calls in and they have a problem with their bill. We talked about that before with the financials and stuff. Maybe there's a way we look at it and it's like, “I got their point of view on it. Everybody that calls him, we can't start dropping things out and cutting the bill.” Let's say they have a legitimate life.

“I don't believe I received that on that day.” “This person was always trustworthy. To be honest with you, ultrasounds have never been listed in their patient charts. I don't know how they ever got charged for it. We got to get that out of there.” That's a win-win. I've called into doctor's offices and hospitals before and it's like, “I don't know that this is right. The charges are correct.” There was no wiggle room. It was, “If you don't want to pay, I will come pick your chart up.” It was harsh. We try to seek that win-win on everything they do. "10:00 doesn't work for me, but 10:15 does. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but at 10:15, therapists are too busy."

We try to make sure that we move some things around. In other words, the 10:15 patient is maybe one day away from being discharged. They go to a PTA. PTA has already been working with them as a group anyway. We start making moves on the schedule and bring that person in at that 10:00 time. That's a win-win for everybody, versus moving a patient that was going to be discharged in a day, another day. It's still a win-win for everybody.

Customer Service: PTs tend to be ultra-scientific and evidence-based. However, they have totally zero training on communication, emotional intelligence, personality types, proper etiquette, and body language.

 

They're asked to get their people that are on their toes. The final thing of the pyramid is to make sure that you're always delivering an experience, not patient care. Your goal ultimately is to do all of these things to get to delivering an experience. Don't deliver patient care. Patient care, “What are you here for?” “I'm here for PT.” You're just given physical therapy. XYZ PT down the street can do that. Anybody can do that, but can you give an experience? It’s something that sticks with the patient.

You have to consider that as a physical therapist. If these people are coming 2 to 3 times a week, for a period of weeks, that's much different than going to a doctor once or twice for an ailment. You might want to go to the best doctor there is for that ailment and maybe look past his bedside manner.

A neurosurgeon or a cardiac surgeon, I don't care if he's nice or not. I just need him to be good at what he's doing or she's doing.

If I found them doing physical therapy three times a week, and I'm going to see you twelve times, I might as well like you, or you might as well make that a good experience and keep them engaged. I remember the story. I hired who would eventually become my business partner, Will, to run a clinic for me. He was coming from the home health side of things. He was a little bit rusty on the outpatient side of things. We hired another physical therapist for that clinic who was McKenzie certified and did great work and was getting good results with these back patients. One of the back patients, we'll refer it over to him and they got great results.

This guy started coming back to Will’s schedule. Will said, “How'd you do with the other therapist?” The guy said, “I did great. Great results.” He's like, “Why are you coming back to see me? Why are you on my schedule?” He said, “I like working with you.” It was that simple. Sometimes the patients know they're going to get good care if you can pass the good care test, which I always do. What's going to set you apart? How are you going to keep them from falling off after three visits?

That's that patient engagement. Give them a reason to want to be there.

I can walk into some PT clinics now and tell which ones are doing well and aren't. The ones that aren't doing well seem a little darker and a little bit colder. It's quiet. You can hear a pin drop. There's not a lot of energy through the clinic. That's not easy for the patients to tolerate, but the therapists don't enjoy it either.

It feeds the whole system. That's talked about also in a book of how it's difficult to get up for every day at work, especially when your job is a therapist and all you deal with his complaints. It's a grind. We have a definite team atmosphere. If the atmosphere is down, pick up foot speed, do one thing, talk more, create more energy. You're doing something to create energy. That spark will take off. We've seen it time and time again. It takes just one person to do it.

We had a whiteboard. One of the things that we thought was super important in our clinics was crosstalk, talking to someone across the room, even though you were with a patient. We had a whiteboard that would put up either a question of the day or a piece of trivia. If things got quiet, everyone could look at the whiteboard and use that piece of information to generate crosstalk.

I wish that I was still writing my book. I would quote you because that was awesome. I talk about that, a lot of environments I was in as a student. I've heard other patients come in, say, “Over there, they put you on the mat. There are other patients in there, but it seems like everybody has their own cubicle, their own little area. We're crosstalking.” One hundred percent we believe in it. We've seen, like you have, the benefits of it.

What did you see after putting this in since 2006? Were you seeing a little bit more engagement? Were you seeing less follow-ups? What happened after that?

Customer service must be geared toward comfort security, making every person feel secure. Click To Tweet

The foundational part is putting in the service, but then we started measuring it out a little bit more specific with our stats in terms of people that fell off, percent of rivals, percent rescheduled. Those are all indicators of compliance engagement. People don't want to come back or they don't want to preschedule. In other words, they're being difficult. They were following our system and now they're bucking it, pushing against it. They don’t want it now. Those are major concerns.

Their personality and mode of operation were this way, now all of a sudden, they've taken a right turn and they're going in a different direction. We've trained our people to pick up on that as well. Once we started measuring it out, we could see the compliance was there. We started gathering more success stories and testimonials. We took all that and used it on the marketing side, but that was the measurable that we could see. We'd bump it to three percentage points from where we were.

I'm assuming back in 2006, was this the foundation that was laid to then start opening other clinics? Did you start seeing some growth that led to other things?

Yes. It's been an ongoing core of what we do. It needs to be corrected at times. It needs to be retrained. It needs to be put in judicially at times. You hear about a patient situation where a patient came to a few visits and then we pushed them off the schedule because they were good enough. It's like, “That isn't how we do things. The world is busy right now. We got workarounds. Let's think a little harder. I know it's harder work, but we got to put that work in.” How we answer the phone, are we doing it? I get it. I understand. It gets difficult when you have had a long day as a receptionist, but you can't lose that engagement part.

Considering you generated some more specific stats related to engagement, now you can tell if the patients are engaged based on the stats. If they start dipping, then you can start asking questions.

First off, are they getting worse? Start with a basic thing. “Are they feeling worse or better?” “They're doing better.” “Why are they dropping off then?” “It's because they're feeling better.” “Are they 100%?” “No.” “What did we promise them?” We have the sprays around there. It's probably not a great one, but we use it privately. We're going to drag them across the finish line because a lot of patients are like us. Sometimes you get to drag us across the finish line.

Some people are like, “I'm 75% of the way there. I'll take care of the rest.” No, you won't.

“You won’t because you're like I am.” You get somebody that if it becomes a real push and shoving match, they don't want to be like, “I get it.” You got to play that one correctly, but some people are compliant. “I work out all the time. I just had surgery. I'll go back to the wire, to my gym and I'll finish the last 10% or whatever.” We want to make sure that the win-win is in. If that's their win and they are certain of it and you sense it, then that's fine. We'll discharge.

It goes back to that initial evaluation once you've established, “What do you want to get back to?” “I want to hike around the lake.” “Are you hiking around the lake?” “I can't go that far.” “It sounds like we're still going.”

Always go back to that thing that motivates them. You'll find out from that even that maybe that wasn't their motivator. You dig further and so on and so forth. If you follow a normal progression of being a PT, it's all going be X plus Y equals Z. It won't be looking at some of these other nuances about the person.

Say for a PT owner that's reading this and they say, “I need to improve the culture or the customer experience that's happening in my clinic,” where would you direct them to first? This is something that has to be worked on. It's going to take some time. It may take a few months to get built. Where would you start them first to have the greatest impact to improve that customer experience?

PTO 168 Steve Line | Customer Service
Customer Service: Make sure you're always delivering an experience, not just patient care.

 

The first place I would direct them would be to my website so they can buy my book. TFGE.net, TheFeelGoodExperience.net, or go to Amazon.

What area? Should they focus on the PT that they're providing? Should they focus on the front desk?

First and foremost, front desk, start there. If your therapy is bad, if you're not getting any results, you're probably not sitting here thinking about, “I need to put her in a customer service program.” I need to clear house and get new therapists or get them trained or something. You need to flesh that out at first. Chances are, the numbers are already dipped so low in those clinics that it doesn't matter anyway.

We're assuming, let's say, all things being equal, but they're getting results. They're maybe losing patients or percent of arrivals have dipped around. They are maybe at 85%, 80%. They lose quite a few early drop-offs. People are discharging themselves, or new patients are never growing. To me, that doesn't follow a natural cycle because the more patients you bring in and discharge, they're now formers.

You should be able to have natural growth, even if it's a few percent every year just because of that. That tells me your front desk probably isn't doing a good job of engaging and pulling them onto the schedule book. Start with the front desk. How are they handling the phone? How are they handling walk-ins? Is it just a job or are they checking the boxes? I asked them if they had insurance, they said they did, but they didn't know what was led in the schedule. I'll try to do a little more. We’ve got all of them. We've got all types. Sometimes thinking beyond the most obvious is the thing that will get you there.

I've had this with some of my coaching clients in that they need to tell the front desk that their job is to fill the schedule.

That's your job.

All this other stuff is good, but understand this point that your statistic is this, it is to fill the schedule book. You do that by doing all the stuff that we're talking about. These are the things that fill the schedule book. Don't let patients cancel and fall off despite their excuses. Be engaging, recognize that physical therapy is in their best interest.

We can go down the list, but it starts with that front desk. If you have a good person there at the front desk, they are worth their weight in gold. If they are not engaging and personable, you're hemorrhaging money. I love that you said it that way because that's the truth. You are losing money. You shared the website. Is there anything else that you want to share with the audience before we sign off?

You mentioned the articles I've written, financials and stuff. Go to TFGE.net. Follow me on LinkedIn. Send me a message. I'd love to hear from you.

Are you going to be a PPS or CSM in the future?

I'm not going to be at those because I'm on a little bit of a sabbatical here.

Enjoy your sabbatical. Congratulations. You deserve it.

Thank you.

Thanks for your time. I appreciate it, Steve.

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About Steve Line

PTO 168 Steve Line | Customer Service

Steve Line, PT, OCS, ATC is President/CEO of Columbus Physical Therapy, P.C. He founded the company in 1999, leasing office space in a strip mall in Columbus, Nebraska. Since that time, he has expanded the company to 3 locations across Northeast Nebraska, going from 1 employee to 25 and boasting a nearly 14x growth in a underpopulated rural area.

Before starting CPT, he worked as a new grad PT for another PT practice that highlighted the importance of production volume, expansion and customer service. Prior to working as a PT, he attended UNMC PT program in Omaha, NE and UNL for undergraduate studies.

Throughout high school and college years, he worked at various customer service - oriented part time occupations to help pay for schooling. It was throughout those formative years of dealing directly with the consumer in grocery and bartending that developed his intuition for “anticipating consumer needs” and eventually developed a proprietary customer service model, “The Feel Good Experience” that is used primarily in all of the company clinics. Although, a physical therapist by training, Steve identifies more with the mindset of an entrepreneur, a leader and a teacher. He has published several articles with Impact magazine, a publication of the APTA PPS, and is currently finishing a book entitled, The Feel Good Experience: Grow Your Physical Therapy Practice With Five Star Customer Service.

Steve, married to Kristine for 21 years have 2 sons Evan and Derek, in highschool and twin daughters Alexis and Brianna in middle school. In Steve’s spare time, he enjoys being outdoors; hunting, fishing and working on his several farms he owns in Kansas and Nebraska. He enjoys reading, and talking about “anything business, real estate or property management related.” Steve is available for questions and consultations regarding business coaching and operations and can be reached at cptsl@columbusphysicaltherapy.com.

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