In healthcare, the way you and your staff treat and interact with patients is a big determining factor of whether or not someone will keep coming back to your office again and again - making customer service such a critical part of your practice. And many things that your patients are looking for when it comes to customer service have evolved from what people were expecting 20 years ago. Has your optometric practice taken the proper steps to make the customer experience more modern for your patients? Let's take a look.
4 Ways to Make Customer Service in Your Optometric Practice More Modern
Customer Facing Technology Needs to Work
It used to be that too much technology could actually scare patients or customers away, but that's not the case today. Anyone under the age of 30 has grown up in the digital world, and they expect businesses to have "grown up" too. In your eyecare practice it can be the little things like having a mobile friendly website so that when a patient visits your website on their phone they can easily navigate to find the information they are seeking.
Not only should your website be mobile friendly, but so should the communications, like emails, that you send out. Can patients schedule appointments online through your website or are they required to pick up the phone to make an appointment? When sending appointment reminders do you give patients the option of how they'd like to be messaged? All of this customer facing interaction reflects on the patient experience with your practice.
A Personalized Experience
Today, many consumers like to do business with companies that share their same values and can provide them with a personalized and unique shopping experience. It's becoming more and more common for consumers to seek out businesses that support the same causes and beliefs that they care about. If your practice supports any local charities or organizations make that known to your patients and community. Or, perhaps throughout certain times of the year your practice can donate a percentage of frame purchases to a specific cause, or offer patients the option to "round up" on their bill to donate an amount to a local charity.
How can you make the dispensary experience a unique one for your patients? In many stores today it's about creating an experiential retail environment and the joy of being in the store is more than just the products taken home. Take a moment to think about the stores that you enjoy spending time in. What makes them special and how can you apply those ideas to your practice?
Play The Social Game
The average person has five social media accounts and spends 1.5 hours browsing these networks every day. A social experience has become very important to consumers. When it comes to the social experience in your practice, patients are expecting to get quick and timely responses to questions and comments they post on social media. Online reviews also play a big part in a patient's social experience. Generating word-of-mouth online content is a great way to build your practice. And, knowing that more and more patients fit the bill of people who are active on review sites is something you should be aware of when it comes to customer service.
Spend Some Money On Customer Service
This one can be a little tricky for your practice that is already working with a limited budget. Historically some of this extra cash has been put towards marketing your practice. Don't get us wrong, you definitely still need a marketing budget, but what if you could take 1-2% of your marketing budget and focus it on something customer service related?
If you had the money, what are some things you could add to your practice to improve the customer service experience? Perhaps your website isn't mobile responsive yet and you want to hire a web designer to make that happen for you. Or, maybe you want to be able to offer more in your dispensary to make it a better experience like food, beverage, or goodie bags for purchases. Whatever it is, providing some type of budget for customer service needs will help take your practice to that next level.
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