We focus on a lot during eye exams – from appointment times, to pretesting, to refractions, to selling glasses or contacts. It’s a lot, but we often don’t think about those last 5 minutes a patient is in our office.

Since they are actually pretty important, here are 5 tips to make those last 5 minutes the BEST 5 minutes…

1. Leave on a good note.  Depending on how the visit went, a patient may have put forth a decent investment for new glasses, contacts or even the exam itself. Make the billing as seamless as possible and make sure that there are no surprises by the time they get to checking out. They should know what their expected exam fees are before the exam. Any additional costs should be clearly communicated BEFORE the final check out.

2. Clear communication.  If any follow up is required, your team has the responsibility to put something on the calendar, provide reminder cards or give clear instructions as to when you will follow up. Make it more clear than necessary about when they are to expect a contact shipment or when their custom lenses may arrive so that you don’t have angry patients afterward.

3. Friendly faces. This is the last impression you leave with a patient; make sure it’s a positive one. A smile goes a long way, so make sure your team is focused on providing a pleasant send-off for any and all patients.

4. Little extras.  Those little extras are memorable. Whether it’s stickers for little kiddos or Rollens’ disposable sunglasses for dilated patients, small freebies are extremely beneficial. They make your patients feel like your team really cares for their family.

5. Focus on the next 525540 minutes of the year.  Just because you won’t see them for another year, your patients should know that they are important to you. Birthday postcards and emails, email newsletters, patient appreciation events and social media posts are a few simple ways you can stay in front of your patients and remind them that you care. When they feel loyal to your practice, they WILL refer you to their friends!

The end of an appointment is a vital part of the patient loyalty cycle, and smart practices will take note to make it a good experience. Take a few moments to consider how your practice is doing with the last 5 minutes with each one of your patients today. What could you improve upon?

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