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For eye care professionals

How to Qualify Your Leads and Avoid No-Shows

30 July 2020

While your main priority as an optician is to look after the health of your patients' eyes, it is also important to find effective ways to attract and retain customers.
While your priority as an optician is to look after the health of your patients’ eyes, it is also important to remember to find effective ways to attract and retain customers. After all, an optician with a steady influx of new and returning customers is a successful one.
 
One of the most prevalent issues in the hospitality industry is no-shows, and it’s a problem that happens in other sectors too. How many times have you had appointments booked in, only for no one to turn up? The good news is that you can take a step closer to avoiding this occurrence, by qualifying your leads and offering a personalised service that encourages your customers, new or returning.
 

What is a lead?

 
A lead is essentially a potential customer; someone who has an interest in the service or product you’re offering. An example of a lead maybe someone who has filled in a form on your website or has signed up to receive a newsletter.

Person booking an appointment online

 
It can help to identify your leads as you are then able to put your efforts into helping that prospective customer with their requirements; whether it’s to book an eye examination or buy new frames.
 
Lead generation is that process of attracting and converting prospective visitors into something more. This can occur naturally, whereby a visitor will come across your website through a Google search and decide to get in touch, or you can actively advertise to try and generate more leads.
 

How to get more leads

 
Generating more leads can have many benefits for your business; the most important being that you are helping more patients and improving your profits. Digital marketing strategies like PPC can be instrumental in lead generation and bringing more people to your website.
 
Through the right PPC campaign, you can advertise on search engines and encourage users to click through to a landing page designed to promote that user to become a customer. You could do this by advertising your recent offers or highlighting your services and products.
 
PPC ads can be targeted to an audience that is most likely to be looking for your services, so you have a better chance of succeeding at lead generation. For example, if you have an offer on varifocal lenses, you can target the right demographic who may require that type of lens.
 

How to avoid a no-show

Crossed out appointment times
 
You must offer a seamless experience from the minute a customer first interacts with your business. There are several things you can do to ensure your customer upholds their appointment or visits your store to take you up on your services or buy a product.
 
Something as simple as sending a follow-up email after they book an appointment can instil confidence in your customer and gives them insightful information on what to expect when they visit. Consider calling the customer nearer to the appointment to confirm their attendance and allow them to ask any questions they might have.
 

Enhancing their experience

 
A customer is likely booking an appointment because they are due an eye examination, or they believe their vision has changed. It can be incredibly helpful to let them know in advance that they should bring their current glasses and an old prescription if possible.
 
You can also take the opportunity to ask what frame styles they like and if they also require sunglasses. This allows you to prepare yourself accordingly for the appointment, with the right styles and colours waiting for them. It can also create anticipation as your customer will want to see the frames you have prepared for them.
 
To further improve your relationship with your customers, and encourage a returning visit, consider what post-appointment service you can offer. Even something like a thank you email, or a reminder when their next appointment is due can make a world of difference. Be sure to get your patient to opt-in to your communications and find out the best way they would like to be contacted; text, email, post or phone call, allowing you to tailor your future communication with this customer.

I accept tick box

 
These small but effective gestures can keep communication open between you and your patients, offering a personalised service and making it clear just how stress-free and straightforward their appointment will be. Check out our recall hub to find a range of communication templates that you can use when emailing or writing to your customers throughout their buying cycle.

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