For those who are planning to start an optical practice, or recently started a new practice, congratulations on reaching a new milestone in your career! We know that there’s a lot to think about, but we’re here to provide some tips on how to avoid rookie mistakes, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining patients to your practice.
Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Optical Practice
Mistake #1: Not Utilizing Marketing Tactics
As a newly established practice, marketing is especially important. But for marketing to be effective, it is important to choose who you want to target, and be consistent with it. It is better to really commit to a smaller group, rather than trying to stretch yourself thin.
What are the demographics of your neighborhood? If the demographics lean towards an older age group, you might want to consider mailers as that group is more receptive to print marketing than online marketing. However, if you are located in a family-friendly neighborhood, you might want to focus your marketing towards parents sending their kids back to school and making sure that they get their kids in for an eye exam before the school year starts.
Mistake #2: Not Focusing on Patient Education
Patient education is a huge part of providing quality patient care. Product sales such as frames and add-ons are a great source of revenue for your practice, but being a pushy salesperson will only drive your patients away. Don’t treat your patients as customers! Instead, focus on educating them. Tell them why they need the extra coating on the lenses even though it’s going to cost a little more. When patients understand their prescription, they’ll see the value of paying more.
Mistake #3: Not Using Patient Recall
So you gathered a strong patient base within your first year, but still have trouble keeping your schedule full every day. It might be because you aren’t using patient recall to bring existing patients back.
Patient recall solutions automatically send recalls and reminders to your patients via text, email, phone, or postcard. Your recalls and reminders can be customized specifically for your practice and your patients.