Like every other industry, the healthcare arena is fast moving from being simply service-driven, to being increasingly ‘experience-driven’. Which means, it’s becoming no longer enough to be simply qualified and skilled in your chosen field. In order for any business to flourish in a competitive space, it must promise a wholesome customer experience — starting from the time a client starts looking for a specific service, to the actual visit to the store/clinic, and even post-consultation, aftercare, and communication.
If you are an independent eye care practitioner looking to grow and expand, here are a few reasons to consider developing a bespoke experience for your existing and prospective clients.
Online presence and searchability
Considering the impact of the Internet on businesses both large and small, ambitious practitioners are no longer shying away from employing aggressive online marketing strategies to enhance visibility and lure in more clients. It doesn’t take a lot of math to figure out that for people to choose you over your competitors, you have to be visible and accessible. A great first step to think about is investing in a professionally designed website. A website that engages with customers on a personal and relatable level can build trust, providing them with an encouraging first interaction with your practice.
Offline marketing tools such as advertisements, pamphlets, and business cards are of course still relevant, but the sheer reach of online marketing, which can deliver manifold results at a fraction of the cost and effort, is something that should not be shied away from anymore. Moreover, businesses with a strong online presence come across as more credible and reliable to prospective clients. To put it simply, a modern website shows the customer you’re keeping up with the times, and that might just extend to their in-store experience as well.
Professional outlook and first impressions
It’s rightly said that first impressions last forever. What your client sees and feels the moment they walk into your practice pace will should be an extension of what they might come across online. Is your reception area clean, comfortable, and welcoming for instance? Are your staff trained to be professional, educational, and polite? Is your help desk resourceful? These factors — however insignificant they may seem right now — have a strong role to play in building a patient's perception about you. A strategic upgrade of your practice is perhaps the most effective step towards accomplishing these goals.
Updated methods of evaluation and management
From in-store display units to sophisticated measuring devices, walking shoulder-to-shoulder with the latest trends and advancements in the eye care field can not only have a positive impact on your reputation as a modern ECP, but on your sales as well.
For example, according to The Optical Confederation & The College of Optometrists, 67% of eyecare patients seem to believe that being tested digitally enhances the quality and performance of their lens. Clearly, a modern consumer experience can have a direct — and rather sizeable — impact on client trust and buying behaviour. Furthermore, when your clients are assured that they are being offered the best in terms of services and products, there is less likelihood of complaints and cases of dissatisfaction.
Improving the quality of care and services
A good thing to remember is that patients these days don’t always mind paying a premium if it promises them value and seamless services. In other words, this is not only a great opportunity to expand your business avenues, but build stronger relationships with your patients; ensuring they return time and time again.
Better patient communication and relationships
Consumer experience does not end at your doorstep, however. After-care, communication, and follow-ups play an equally significant role in shaping a client’s impression of your business. This could include the following:
Efficient maintenance of patient records
A Practice Management System (PMS) can make follow-ups more accurate, easier, and time-efficient. It can also streamline the invoicing process, which is convenient for both the practitioner and the patient. Moreover, when an existing client walks in for a follow-up, they don’t have to spend time waiting in the lounge while the staff fishes out their record files. Having everything to hand in one, seamless digital instrument is not only impressive to the patient, it can just save you a whole heap of time.
Regular and relevant business communication
An easy and effective way to build long-lasting relationships with your clients is to keep in touch with them, without spamming them with unnecessary messages or mails. A multi-faceted digital upgrade of your practice could allow you to create targeted mailing lists, which in turn can be used to share useful information and resources with your existing clients. You could also customise the database to send out mailers and promotions about new products, services, and deals relevant to your clients. Essentially, you are not only building credibility for yourself, you’re also providing a bespoke experience for your patients.
At Essilor, creating a bespoke service offering is what we’re all about. As such, if you’re keen on offering the best to your clients in terms of experience, but are not sure how to go about it, all you need to do is get in touch with us. Our, aptly named, Bespoke service will not only assist you in earmarking the areas of improvement in your existing business setup, but also provide end-to-end-solutions covering every aspect of eye care.