What kind of impression does your practice make? Is it really as good as you think it is? As important as your focus is to your patients’ vision needs, you can’t ignore the look and feel of your practice. Whether you bought an existing practice or you started your own from the ground up, your practice needs to convey professionalism.
How do you do that? There are a bunch of little things you can do to make this happen:
When patients come to your practice, what do they see? Is the signage large enough to be seen from the street? What if the practice is located in a shopping center or mall? Can patients find your practice among all the other stores? What are the hours of operation? How do you announce times when you have to close the practice due inclement weather or other emergency? Do you have protocols in place to announce a closing? All these things need to be considered, so that your practice makes the best impression to your patients.
Inside the Practice
If you have a front window, do you display frames and seasonal items there? How often do you change them and clean them? How about the waiting areas and exam rooms? Are they comfortable? Also, be careful not to go too cheap or too expensive with your furniture or displays. If they are too cheap they may break or wear out too quickly. If they are too expensive, patients might think they will have to pay higher prices because of the high-end furniture. If anything breaks, gets dirty, or isn’t working properly, how long does it take to make the necessary repairs or cleaning? If the broken item in question isn’t something that the patient would see or notice, you can schedule the repair or cleaning at a time that is convenient for you. Of course, if the item is something that a patient would notice, then you need to be able to have it fixed right away.
Do you have the right number of people to help you run your practice? For staff members who are in patient facing positions, how do they get along with patients? Do they have a customer service orientation? Do you have staff members who have been with you for five years or more? Longevity can be both a good and bad thing. It can be good that there is someone who is a part of the institutional memory and can show a new person the ropes. It can be bad in that the person can be too stuck in the “we’ve always done it ‘this’ way” mentality. So, be sure to meet with your staff often about ways to improve customer service. In addition, be sure to acknowledge what staff members are doing right. A little compliment goes a long way.
There are a lot of moving parts in a practice. By making sure that every small part works as it should, your practice will be successful overall.