Peer-to-Peer on Patient Retention

Getting new patients through the door is one challenge. Continuously enticing them to come back is another. Here’s what some of your peers have told us about getting patients to return.

• LETTERS. In Syracuse, NY, Stacy Daniel, owner of Frameology Optical, sends a handwritten note. She both thanks patients and lets them know if they have any questions or concerns to please contact her.

• EMAILS. Eric White, O.D., owner of Complete Family Vision Care in San Diego, CA, sends every patient a thank you email. “It is the cornerstone of creating a connection that makes them feel appreciated and special, and in turn creates loyalty. I add something personal we talked about, so they know it’s really me, not a third party. I end by asking them to leave a Google or Yelp review.”

• IN-OFFICE. Lisa Frye, director of optical at InVision Ophthalmology in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, AL, stresses that consistency is key. “Make saying thank you part of your process and let the message resonate throughout the office…from pretest to time with the doctor and/or optician and again at checkout.”

• COMMUNITY. “We don’t make far-reaching attempts to bring in more patients,” explains David Holler, O.D., a founding partner in Clarity Vision, with locations in North Carolina and Virginia. “Instead, our focus is local. For example, we market our business digitally, in local magazines, and we sponsor local schools.

• POSITIONING. “In all our messaging, internal or external,” adds Dr. Holler, “we present ourselves as a place that caters to all ages. Our combination of utilizing marketing resources that will be read by the mom, along with conversations in the exam room, will often bring in the rest of the family.”

The bottom line? Your practice is your brand, every bit as much as your products are. According to Cap Gemini, more than three-quarters of shoppers surveyed (76%) say customer service is the true test of how much a business, which is viewed by them as a brand, values them. Simply put, you can’t expect retention if you don’t put service first.

What do you do to retain patients in your practice? Tell us about it and share in the conversation on Facebook here.

Erinn Morgan

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