Do these 3 really important things for your practice wait list

What do you do when you don’t have the capacity to take on all the referrals you receive?  When your diary is full, but the new referrals just keep coming.  One of the ways to manage this is to create a waitlist for your services.  Before launching in, there are a couple of things to think about that will help your future clients who are destined for your waitlist.

Being on a waitlist can be fine, and it can also cause angst.  You know that feeling when you feel forgotten, or are not sure how much longer the wait will be.  This is something you want to avoid.  Here are some things to consider when starting a waiting list in your practice.

  • What language will you use to announce your waitlist? It is important to think about the words you will use to convey to future clients who have been referred to why you have a waitlist, and the way it will work. You may even like to call it something other than a waitlist if that takes your fancy, as long as it is not too ambiguous to understand.  Explaining to your client why you have started a waitlist is a good idea as it helps them to understand they are important – and that if you squished them in, the value is not there and you don’t have the time to do things properly for them.  Write yourself a script on what you would say. Read it out loud to ensure it sounds like you. If you are not the one taking the referrals, make sure you practice your script with those that are so the message is consistent.

  • What will people do on your waitlist? Think about what you would like your client to be doing whilst they are waiting. Is there anything that they can do for themselves during that time, for example, complete a goals sheet for you, complete a questionnaire, write a story about their situation and what they are needing. Are there any resources that can help their situation? An app, and audiobook, handouts that you have prepared for your clients. Can you share any case stories with them, or start to introduce them to your team – a video perhaps on why you started your practice, or what your therapy space looks like. If you do home visits, maybe a video talking them through what they entail. If all they need to do is wait – reassure them that doing just that will not put them behind… they will be able to catch up on their rehab/therapy/outcome once you meet up in person.

  • How will you communicate to your waitlist? Touching base on a frequent basis is a good thing to do because it lets your clients know you have not forgotten them, they are moving up the list, and you are not far away.  Depending on how big your waitlist is, there are options for communicating that will save you time.  If your waitlist is small, you might find calling once a week or once a fortnight is achievable to touch base.  If you have a large waitlist, you may find that emailing is a good idea, and these can be set up automatically to be sent at regular intervals, addressed to the individual, with sincere content that updates them on their journey.

In the instance where you need to create a waitlist, put yourself in your clients' shoes sitting on that waitlist and deliver to them your authentic self in ways that match your practice values and provide a connection for the client.


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