Administrators and managing physicians often think that marketing is designed for attracting new patients only. However, this is not the case because attracting new patients is just a tip of the purpose for hiring a marketing consultant. The truth is any activity that will move your practice in a desired direction falls under marketing.
Optometry practices are highly competitive. That means you need to stay unique and hold a compelling position in the marketplace. You have to go beyond what other optometrists can offer. Patients must associate you with excellent service with a touch of emotional satisfaction. You should be able to engage with them so that whenever they need an eye care, you are the first to come into their mind.
How to Market Successfully?
As an optometrist, you must understand that an eye exam matters not just on its results but how it was performed. You have to ensure that your patients knew what you are doing and you thoroughly hear their concerns. You must create an effective plan for strategic branding and public relations that will boost your practice:
- You must hold a competitive advantage over the rest of other optometrists.
- You must be able to understand the needs, desires and sensibilities of your patients
- You or your clinic must be recognizable.
- You can provide the highest standard of service
- You perform your practice ethically and responsibly.
- Offer a ref feral incentive.
On the other hand, some optometrists neglect that the long term relationship with patients is the most powerful marketing strategy you can have. Patients will keep on looking for physicians who can attend to their needs. Though you have captured their attention, if they were not satisfied with your service, they will search for other optometrists. Customer loyalty is hard to achieve. You have to continually prove that you are worthy of being the family or personal optometrist.
The best way is to communicate and check with their eye status even if the exams were done. People are naturally attached to other people who show care and concern for them. With emails, social media and other form of communication you can always keep in touch with your patients. They will feel your sincerity in helping them improve their vision. You can also give some heads up regarding their next eye exams or treatments they have to undergo. You will create an impression of being a “friend” more than just an attending optometrist.
If you have a lot of patients, you can’t email them one by one. It will also be inefficient to contact each of them. You must implement a Patient Relationship Management System to ensure that each of your patients are being well taken care of even if they are far from your sight. It will also strengthen your reputation and doctor-patient relationship to ensure a long term service with your current patients.
On a business note, you have to remember that it is costlier to attract new patients than to retain the existing ones.