With competition around every corner in the optometry field, getting patients’ attention may be very difficult because other practices are attracting the same patients you are. One effective way to defeat your competitors and maximize your patient intake is by utilizing marketing tactics to increase your chances of being noticed by anyone searching for an eye-care professional in your area.
Here are a few tips to better market your practice that will get patients coming through your doors:
1. Here are a few tips to better market your practice that will get patients coming through your doors:
Unfortunately, patients compare eye-care professionals based on how much money a visit will cost them. But what if there was a way to take their focus off the price and towards the value of their care? This requires being different than your competitors by providing what larger practices cannot, a more patient-focused visit. Larger facilities prioritize getting patients in and out to maximize their patients. This is actually an advantage for smaller practices as the staff is able to get to know the patients to adequately serve them instead of worrying about clearing out packed waiting rooms and rushing patients through tests.
Another great way to beat those low-priced attractions is to offer your patients seasonal discounts on consultations. Even if you are decreasing your prices, these sales will bring more patients to your office which offers a great opportunity to impress them with your services. Most patients are seeking a long-term healthcare provider, and this is also true for optometrists. Once a patient steps foot into your facility, make their happiness a priority by committing to specialized care and they will undoubtedly become regulars who will recommend your office to their family and friends!
2. Provide an innovative patient-first approach
The best way to apply a patient-first approach is by being adaptable and innovative. That basically means to provide an individualized space that constantly strives to be better suitable to patient feedback. Ask your patients to provide feedback on the quality of their visit and adapt to their needs to ensure you are getting better as a practice. Ask the patient about their experience and offer them the opportunity to provide any feedback (anonymously) on the quality of their visit and adapt to their responses to ensure you are improving. This will undeniably enhance family and friend recommendations and even boost online reviews.
Nowadays, patients seeking an eye-care professional turn to the internet to find the best, affordable practice near them. Online reviews can really improve your reputation as it allows patients to share their personal experiences at your office with the entire world. If you search any place in any field on the internet, you can instantly see a star rating. Maximizing your online appearance really makes a difference, but it first starts with providing satisfactory experiences.
Along with online ratings, improving your website function and appearance will also encourage people to visit your office. It is a way for your facility to engage with prospective patients by providing up-to-date service information and an “About” page that reveals your story as an optometrist which allows patients to trust you before even booking their first appointment. Your online appearance (website, blog, reviews, etc.) is usually the patients’ first introduction to your office. Make sure your website is attractive and easily navigable to demonstrate that you are a functioning eye-care facility. If your website lacks information or hasn’t been updated since 2016 that may give off a sign of negligence in your efforts of inviting new patients to your office.
3. Take advantage of the size of your practice
Larger facilities with more employees are the ideal business most people think of when they think of a successful company. However, a smaller facility isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Working within a smaller office is an opportunity to enrich your relationships with patients, maintain regular patients, and enhance those personal recommendations by your visitors. The fewer employees the patient is in contact during each visit the less space between the optometrist and patient there is, which offers a great opportunity for building relationships with your patients.
Beyond the expert advice that doctors can provide patients, the comfortability and trust are how they will judge your facility. Any optometrist can tell a patient they have astigmatism after doing a few tests, but how they are treated is what will decide the happiness of their experience. Take advantage of the ability to really get to know your patients by providing a safe, dynamic environment that offers patients a voice in the services they are receiving.
Understanding patients’ needs – both medical and emotional – is critically important when facing competition to be the best practicing optometrist in the area. The way to differentiate your practice from your competitors is by engaging in personalized relationships with your patients and using regular visitors to your advantage as a marketing and outreach tool.
Maintaining a patient-focused approach simultaneously with your online appearance and reputation is the best way to beat competitors. Nowadays, people will try to dig up as much information on a location before visiting so make sure you are using this to your advantage by creating a professional website or blog that engages with your patients.
Lastly, remember that society is progressive. The approach that made the majority of patients happy last year may not be the case in years to come. It is crucial to understand and adapt to their needs in order to maintain your status of the best optometric practice on the block.