As the primary care doctors of the eyecare world, optometrists are often the first point of contact for many patients dealing with eye problems. Yet, you don’t automatically receive a constant influx of new patients. Given the competitive nature of healthcare, you also don’t receive any guarantee of patient loyalty.
For these reasons, you must make your optometry office as memorable and valuable as possible to current and potential clients. Affordable prices and great customer service aren’t enough. Your office must also stand out to attract patients. The following top eight methods can help you achieve this goal:
1. Decorate Year-Round
Children and adults alike often love holiday and seasonal decorations on counters, walls, windows, and doors. When they see these changes, they believe that you share a similar background and enjoy decorating and celebrations. You can create a warm, inviting atmosphere that stands out in different ways throughout the year with only a few decorative updates.
2. Celebrate Special Events
Patients also need to feel like you’re interested in their lives and care about more than their eye health. Keep a record of any special events that they share with you, such as birthdays on file or upcoming anniversary, graduation, wedding, or new baby details. If they stop by near one of these events, surprise them with a verbal congratulations, card, or small gift.
3. Invest in Space Planning
Your office should offer visitors more than visual and textual details about your products and services. It should provide them with efficient, organized access to high-quality eyecare. When you invest in custom office space planning, you make the above possible. A space planning design team can assist you in a variety of ways. For example, they can create a more attractive and interactive retail area. They can optimize all available space. They can also add custom furniture and decorative touches that reflect your personal tastes.
4. Utilize Modern Solutions
Patients today often pack their schedules to the point that they need help with remembering upcoming appointments and other important details. Beyond an after-hours service, provide them with options to schedule, review, cancel and reschedule appointments via an online patient portal or app. Also, provide automated reminders about upcoming appointments via voicemail, text, portal or app, and email.
5. Supply Helpful Content
Make your office stand out around the world by creating and distributing industry-related online content so that you become well known for your expertise in the field. By establishing your expertise, you make your office stand out more and increase interest and foot traffic. For example, you might text or email important general eye health and care reminders throughout the year to patients even when they don’t have an upcoming appointment. You might also post reminders and tips on your website and social media pages. Additionally, you might make available a free e-newsletter subscription and videos about eyecare and your office.
6. Use Hashtags Correctly
Hashtags help your social media posts and office stand out when users perform keyword and phrase searches, which is why you must use them in positive appropriate ways. Many healthcare-related accountholders use spam techniques to attract interest in their posts, such as flooding posts with hashtags or using unrelated hashtags to redirect traffic. When posting content to social media, use no more than five, topic-relevant hashtags per post embedded within or below the text.
7. Make Community Donations
Your actions outside of the office can also make it stand out. When you give back to your community, the people in it, your neighbors, see you less as another business owner trying to make money and more like a member of the community who cares about what happens to it. Although you can donate money to a cause or sponsor an event, consider donating old eyeglasses to churches and homeless programs. Perhaps you might also offer your services for free once a month to the poor.
8. Offer Amazing Benefits
Lastly, you’re competing as a retailer with hypermarket stores that typically offer extremely low-cost eye exams and treatment options at a one-stop-shop location and other independent optometrists. As a result, always offer benefits to existing and potential customers so that they realize that your office gives them access to great perks. For example, you might offer a discount if someone buys more than one pair of eyeglasses at a time or give credit to patients who successfully refer others to you. Also, you might give away promotional items, such as branded pens, insulated sleeves, drinkware, or even mini eyeglass repair kits, during holidays and special events.