Growth is important for any company. For many ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians, though, creating growth goals for their business hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.
While it’s great to focus on the quality of service you’re providing patients, it’s also critical to reflect upon what is working, what isn’t, and why. In order to survive as a company, growth is not just healthy, it’s necessary.
With that in mind, here are eight strategies proven to help grow just about any optometry business:
1. Loop in Your Fellow Physicians.
The best patients are the ones that are referred by colleagues you respect. The easiest way to get more referrals is to keep the primary care physicians who refer patients to you in the loop. Write to them after you see their patient, updating them about their patients’ conditions. Clear and succinct results of your examination can provide much-needed clarity on the overall health of their patient. They’ll keep that in mind when debating where to send the next patient with eye problems.
2. Practice More Holistically.
Many patients come to their optometrist with concerns about their vision, their allergies or with an infection. Rather than focus solely on their reason for visiting, practice to the fullest scope of your license. It’s important to address their reason for coming in, but while you’ve got them there, check in to make sure there isn’t anything else with which you can help. You’ll turn the appointment from routine into pleasant with just a few extra minutes with the patient.
3. Make Efficiency Your Goal.
The world is riddled with inefficient procedures, policies and workers. While downsizing is never ideal, inefficient employees could be holding you back from growing as quickly as you’d like. Take, for instance, an employee whose job it is to greet patients, answer phones and schedule appointments. An eye doctor answering service can do much of that for far cheaper and offer round-the-clock hours. A 24 hour call center for optometry practices can schedule appointments, collect insurance information and take medical history notes from a patient on your behalf. With administrative duties shifted to a call center, your employees can focus on efficiency in the office, rather than running to answer the phone.
4. Collect Feedback.
Self-awareness is an undervalued trait that’s absolutely necessary for growth. Discover your professional blind spots by asking patients about their experience with your practice. A patient survey can be short, sweet and to the point, allowing you to quickly target the problem areas. Offer it in the waiting room, where patients are most likely to have time to kill, or as they check out after their appointment. You may even want to consider emailing it to them or offering the survey on your website for 24 hour access.
5. Grow Your Optometry Practice With A Referral Program.
Referrals don’t just need to come from your fellow physicians. Your current patients may be an untapped resource to other people in need. By creating a referral rewards program, you can ensure a win/win for everyone involved. Consider offering free glasses for every three patients they refer or give discounts and store credit to both the referrer and referring patients.
6. Increase Your Web Presence.
In this day and age, having a less-than-stellar website as the face of your business just doesn’t cut it. Even if you have a professional looking site, there’s a good chance that it’s not optimized for search engines to find it. Though search engine optimization and pay per click advertising may sound like industry mumbo jumbo, there’s a reason companies invest so much money into maintaining their web presence. If you’re not capable of managing your website yourself, connect with an SEO expert for help. It can also pay dividends to collect positive reviews on popular platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
7. Think Outside of the Eyes.
While you may assume your company’s interests lie solely with the health of your patients’ eyes, partnering with other local companies can be mutually beneficial. Collaborate with a local stylist who can hold free workshops on matching frames to your personal taste, or invite a makeup artist to do tutorials about eye makeup under glasses.
8. Give Back (and get your name out).
Meet new people, make friends and give back to your community by getting involved in local volunteer organizations. Perhaps you’ll help build homes for families in need, or sponsor and coach a Little League team. However you choose to give back, you’ll form a whole new network of people who may need your services!
If you’re looking to grow your optometry business but are feeling overwhelmed, MAP Communications can help. For nearly three decades, we have been dedicating ourselves to assisting ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians by serving their patients, and helping grow their businesses by professionally handling calls, scheduling appointments and answering patients’ questions. As one of the leading virtual receptionist companies in the world, MAP is located here in the United States. Whether you require overflow call coverage for the busy times in your office, after hours answering services for emergencies, or anything in between, MAP can help. Request your free, week-long trial of our virtual receptionist service right here!
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