Creating the Ultimate Physical Therapy Experience: Step 5, Work Your Referrals

As I explained in great detail in my previous posts, the overall physical therapy experience is comprised of many smaller experiences. Each one creates value in the mind of your customer. When combined, these experiences give the client confidence in you, your abilities, and your desire to help them.

Building a trusted relationship can also inspire customers to become your brand ambassador. The question is, what are you doing to leverage the relationship you’ve worked so hard to establish?


Studies show that over 90% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing. Conversely, less than half of all customers consider traditional, paid advertising to be credible.

The lesson here is that word-of-mouth referrals from your customers are more powerful and meaningful than any other marketing tactic. Prove to them that you’re their advocate, and they’ll do the same for you.

Most physical therapists are too embarrassed or timid to ask for a referral. You just need to get over that! Ask your customers to share their positive experiences with others in the community who could also benefit from your care. Tell them that the highest compliment you can receive is a referral.


Surveys show that 50 percent of adults suffer a significant musculoskeletal injury every year. That means the majority of customers will probably need your services within two years of a previous injury.

Consider having your customers participate in a wellness program to help keep them in shape. You can also suggest conducting a follow-up visit on a quarterly or biannual basis in order to assess if they need exercise modification or a new course of care.

Such reminders to follow-up with each person can be set in your Client Relationship Management (CRM) system. By staying in touch, you help clients proactively manage their health, while solidifying your position as a primary caregiver for their musculoskeletal issues. This should be a goal for every physical therapist.


Creating the ultimate physical therapy experience is not a single event, but a journey. This journey begins long before the client sets foot in your clinic, and it continues long after their last appointment.

Every touch point along the journey does more than take the client one step closer to recovery. They solidify your position in the minds of your customers as being the “best” physical therapist in your community. You become the physical therapist who commits most to helping them get better and stay healthy. You also become the physical therapist they would recommend first to their family and friends.

When you own this position in the customer’s mind, you know that you’ve delivered value and successfully created the ultimate physical therapy experience.

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Check out my next blog post describing how I grew the business beyond myself.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this article are based on the opinion of the author, unless otherwise noted, and should not be taken as personal medical advice. The information provided is intended to help readers make their own informed health and wellness decisions.

Ian Kornbluth, Co-Founder

CEO | President
Ian's entrepreneurial spirit stems from growing up in Arizona around the family business — a small chain of "New York Style" pizzerias. Early on in life, Ian learned how to treat the customer like a person, rather than a number. He observed how the community came together to support an establishment that offered both quality food and an exceptional customer service experience. He also learned to appreciate how much sacrifice, perseverance and integrity that it took to make a positive change in the world around him.
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