The nice thing about working in an optometry practice is that it is both healthcare and retail. As an optometrist, you have the science part to satisfy the nerd in you and the business part to satisfy the business person in you. Of course, since it is a business, you need to turn a profit, and one way to do that is to have patients continue to return to YOUR practice.
There are many optometry practices, however, and some patients are turning to online suppliers. So, how do you make patients remember and return to you? Here are some tips.
Listing the Insurance Plans that Your Practice Accepts
Sounds like a no brainer, still if you want people to return to you, you need to make it easy for them. One way to do that is the list all the insurance that your practice accepts on your website, post the list on social media, and have a printed list to include in mailings. Granted, you can’t include all the insurance plans available where you live, still it helps to let people know what plans you accept. When patients know that your practice accepts their insurance plan, they will be more likely to return for their eye care needs.
Dentists do it. Insurance agents do it. Real estate agents do it. What is “it”? They giveaway promotional items. You can do it, too. Pens, small compacts, magnets and even eyeglass cases are obvious choices. In addition, there are note pads, mints/candies and credit card holders for smart phones that you can giveaway. What makes promotional items so valuable in your marketing mix is that they are items that people take home and use. That means they will see your company name early and often. Seeing your company name will remind them of your practice and they will be more likely to return if they remember you. So, order those pens and eyeglass cases with your business name, address, website url, email and phone number – pronto!
Encourage staff to go out of their way for patients
This can mean standing outside with an elderly patient while he or she waits for transportation to arrive or taking the time to explain why a certain frame would better fit a patient’s face. Yes, doing these things take time out of a staff member’s day. Yet, it is these things that patients remember about the practice, not your degrees or cool looking equipment. They will remember how well they were treated. Give your patients good memories about your practice.
Use an Analogy
If your practice has a lot of high tech tools, state that your practice is the “Apple” of eye care centers (pun intended). Whatever you can use to identify your practice in a way that is positive and memorable, do it. Of course, don’t go overboard and state that patients will be irresistible to guys or gals, if they get their glasses from you. Glasses improve vision; they can’t guarantee more dates!
Patients are the life blood of any practice. If they don’t come back, then business dries up. Don’t let that happen. Make your practice memorable (for the right reasons), and patients will return again and again.