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For eye care professionals

The importance of digital and its place within your independent practice

Is your optical business ready to embrace the digital change?

Did you know, according to The Optical Confederation & The College of Optometrists, over 88% of patients still prefer independent eye care practitioners over chain stores? This is good news for two reasons: consumers perceive independent ECPs as a more trusted source for their eye care needs, and, as a result, an immense scope for business growth. 

Consumer behaviour is fast changing in every conceivable field, and businesses are on their toes trying to adapt to dynamic markets. Just like every other healthcare field, eyecare has witnessed a sea change in the way consumers seek consultation and buy glasses. The world is going digital, and by 2030, it is anticipated that consumer-led evaluations will become a norm. Is your business ready to embrace the change?

As an independent eye care practitioner, with an organic advantage over others, there are several reasons for you to upgrade your practice and step into the digital zone, if you haven’t already. 

Perception of professionalism 

Whether you’re a young practitioner or someone who has been in the business for years, your primary goal would be to build an equation of trust with your patients - providing them with high-quality, personalised services. First-time customers tend to form an impression of your capability based on the first look of your clinic, and with most competitors in your area flaunting the latest in equipment and facilities, you surely don’t want to be left behind, right? A well-furnished eye care centre with modern instruments can really give the impression that you are up-to-date with the advancements in your field, enterprising and willing to make an investment the benefit of your clients.  

Quicker, cost-effective, and more personalised care

Eyecare has transcended into an era where automated measuring instruments are no longer a luxury. While traditional manual methods of assessment are not completely obsolete, digital methods pose certain obvious advantages:

1) Since they are quicker, almost delivering instant results, you, as an ECP, are left with more time to analyse findings and deliver a customised solution to your patients. It also means that you can take on a larger number of patients within the same time frame. 

2) Present-day instruments are so automated and sophisticated that there is hardly any room for error. They are easy to use; which means you can train your staff in operating them and, in turn, free up time for you to grow your business.

3) By augmenting overall patient experience and providing them with highly personalised care, you will make a successful leap towards customer retention and loyalty.

Better management of client records and data

Gone are the days when client records were documented in cumbersome files that took up a big chunk of your office space. Not only does digital record keeping make this process simpler, cleaner, and more compact, it opens up multiple avenues of communication between you and your client. With all the contact information easily accessible, you could send mailers, promotional deals, newsletters, and updates to build and maintain relationships with current as well as prospective patients. 

Right from billing, invoicing, and maintaining sale record and financial management becomes a million times easier, and time-saving too. Moreover, any kind of data is just a few clicks away, should you want to pull out numbers or statistics. 

Increased sales and positive consumer behaviour

Again, according to a survey conducted by The Optical Confederation & The College of Optometrists, 30% of participants said they were more likely to buy a lens when their eye-testing is done digitally. That says a lot about the instant impact digitising your practice can have on consumer behaviour. 

Furthermore, 67% of survey participants believed that being tested on a digital instrument (as opposed to manually) has a significant effect on lens performance, and creates value despite being slightly more expensive. So, in a nutshell, people see digital instruments as extremely worthwhile tools. 

Marketing and business growth 


‘Going digital’ does not stop at digitising your eye care practice with instruments and sophisticated software, however. It also entails employment of online tools and marketing strategies to boost your business goals, such as lead generation and brand awareness. If you want to read a bit more about how digital marketing could help you, just have a perusal through this article. After all, we are fast moving towards times when any business without a strong online presence risks being left behind. 

In an ever-changing optical market, the only way to grow and flourish is to adapt. Do remember, however, that a practice upgrade is a holistic process, which goes far beyond mere purchase of swanky new instruments and equipment. Right from your reception desk, and the training of your staff, to record keeping and deploying online marketing tools, this multifaceted evolution of your business can seem overwhelming and even intimidating at times. It may, therefore, help to employ a service that can offer tailor-made, end-to-end solutions in this regard. If you want to find out about such a service, all you need to do is give us a call. For more information on how you can grow your practice, head over to Optical Industry Advice.

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