You may have hundreds of vision patients – but what good is it if each of them are unhappy or on the search for a new vision doctor? Performing eye exams and other basic procedures effectively doesn’t make an optometrist “great”. In today’s competitive optical world, it’s all about separating yourself from the rest and making your office a place patients look forward to visiting, rather than dreading. So how do you create this atmosphere? Allow us to elaborate.
1. Dedicate adequate time.
There’s nothing worse than feeling you’re just a number and the doctor has to breeze through your appointment to get to the next one. Patients want a thorough examination and their questions answered. So make sure you dedicate enough time to each of them and cover all your basis. If that means you’ll have to see 8 patients instead of 10 each day, it’s worth the investment. The little extra time you spend with each patient will be worth it in the long run for your business.
2. Make it personal.
“Last time you were here you mentioned you got a new puppy – how’s she doing?” Those are the kinds of questions you want to ask your patients as they sit in the examining chair. Not only will you calm their nerves, you’ll show them that you actually listen to them. They’ll come back just because they feel they’ve developed a relationship with you – which really has no price tag.
3. Little gifts leave lasting impressions.
Patients expect to get a trial pair of contacts, or discounts on their new glasses - they love it! Make sure you don’t leave them disappointed. Maybe try making a goodie bag with some essentials: eye drops, contact solution, an eye glass cloth – but throw in a little extra something unique. It could be something as simple as a little guide on best eye care practices or a coupon for vision supplies.
4. Get your team on board.
Great service starts with your staff. Each member of your team should be motivated and passionate about their role in your office. How you choose to get them motivated is entirely up to you, but here’s a few ideas:
- Set up games/contests. Create friendly competition between your employees that inspires them to deliver the best experience to your patients
- Meet outside of the office and really get to know your staff – on a personal level. Developing a relationship with the people that interact with your patients gives you insight as to how they are treating the people that walk through your door.
- Say thank you. Sometimes something as small as a card that says “I appreciate you and what you bring to the team” is all someone needs to feel they are valued. That attitude will transcend to their daily job duties.
5. Ask for feedback.
Let your patients know that their opinion matters. You want to provide the best service? Well, they’re your best resource. Ask them how they feel about their exam (before and after), what could be done better, if they are comfortable in the office – whatever information you think would be helpful for you to deliver the best experience to each of your patients – ask them.
Developing an environment where your patients feel comfortable to visit is an ever-evolving task. You may run into road blocks with certain patients – it’s impossible to please everyone. However, implementing these simple tips will (in most cases) differentiate you as a “great” optometrist as opposed to the average doc on the block.