If we tell you that it’s never been more competitive to operate an optometry practice, you will likely ask us to tell you something you don’t know. Yes, it’s tough out there. To get new patients, you have to spend money. In fact, experts say that it typically costs five times as much to get a new customer than it does to keep the ones you have. What that means is that if you don’t have a patient retention strategy, then you’d better start working on one now. To help you do just that we’re sharing 5 tips to ensure that your customers keep coming back.
TREAT EVERY ENCOUNTER AS IMPORTANT
From the moment anyone walks in the door they should feel valued. Not just patients, everyone you do business with—vendors, suppliers, insurance providers as well has clients. Everything you do should contribute to a culture of respect.
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
From reminders that it’s time for a check up to sending a happy birthday wish, the more you communicate with your patients, the better. The magic word is engagement. W
hen you engage with patients, they’ll keep coming back. Communication keeps you top of mind and builds loyalty.
LISTEN AND LEARN
Actively seek the opinions of your patients. Whether you provide a paper follow-up card asking for input or you use one of the many electronic tools that are available, have a plan to gather regular feedback from your patients. After you’ve gotten it, follow-up to let them know what you did with the information they provided.
CREATE THE PERFECT IN-OFFICE EXPERIENCE
From the look and feel of the office, the greeting supplied by the staff, to the length of time spent waiting to be seen, every experience the patient has should be positive. Sure, things can’t always be perfect, but you can try.
MANAGE YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
By all means, seek out reviews and comments from your patients. Be sure to monitor the comments though, and respond to every one, both positive and negative. Keep your presence frequent, positive, informative, and consistent.
People change optometrists for many reasons. You can’t do anything about people moving away or no longer needing services. You can do something about people leaving because they are unhappy. If you follow the above tips, you’ll be well on your way to holding on to as many patients as possible.