When you decided to go into the field of vision care, you probably weren’t thinking of the many challenges you would face running the business side of the practice. You most likely had dreams of educating families about the importance of healthy eyes and helping patients see clearly.
Did anyone ever teach you about boosting your online reputation in your local community? Or how to keep patients coming back? What do you know about reducing no-shows?
You’re probably thinking, “When does anyone have time to focus on anything but managing the day-to-day operations of a busy eye care practice?”
That’s a valid point. If you’re not staying on top of the daily tasks and endless efforts of reminding patients of upcoming appointments, scheduling new patients, and collecting payments, then your patients are going to get their glasses and contacts elsewhere. And too many times, “elsewhere” means “online” where patients certainly aren’t going to get the kind of personalized service your practice can provide.
Below are some of the most common reasons people are seeking online vision care and solutions to help you beat the competition. With the right technology, you’ll not only keep the patients you have, but you’ll reduce no-shows and consistently attract new patients.
Some of the biggest challenges facing vision practices today
Since the pandemic hit, and many eye care practices had to temporarily shut their doors to the general public, people turned to ordering glasses and contacts online. In fact, some of the biggest online vision retailers reported anywhere from 100-700 percent increase in business! This means they not only had returning customers, but a slew of new ones as well.
Here’s the thing – these online vision customers aren’t just buying their prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contacts online because of the pandemic. They’re also ordering online because of the “perceived inconvenience” of scheduling an in-person eye exam.
People simply don’t like the complicated process that often goes something like:
- Call the office and listen to a recorded message because staff is too busy to answer the phone.
- Press a number to be connected with the right person.
- Ask about scheduling an eye exam or contact lens checkup.
- Wait on hold while office staff assists in-person patients.
- Talk to the receptionist about available appointment times that work with the patient’s busy schedule.
- Locate their insurance card so they can provide information to the staff.
- Update phone, email, address, and any other necessary information.
- Get verbal confirmation of scheduled appointment time and instructions about what to do when they arrive for the future appointment.
Sound familiar? If that’s how it goes at your practice, you’re not alone. Scheduling appointments is one of the biggest time-sappers at any healthcare office for patients and staff alike!
But, scheduling patients is really important if you want to grow your practice and keep doctors busy. So, unless you rely on today’s technology to simplify and streamline this process, you’re going to be stuck in a vicious cycle of not only perceived inconvenience, but actual inconvenience – for everyone involved.
Other challenges you’re probably dealing with include:
- Patient temperature checks and COVID screening questions
- New sanitizing protocol
- Fewer staff members
- More no-shows and cancellations than ever
- Patient recall
- Intake forms
And with all that, who even has time for boosting your online reputation by asking for more patient reviews?
The solution to all of it is the right technology
When you automate the most time-consuming tasks in your practice, it’s amazing how the whole system runs more efficiently. Today’s technology can take care of all this busywork and more with:
Send automatic appointment reminders via text or email and reduce the number of phone calls you have to make to reduce no-shows and last-minute cancellations.
The right technology – a patient relationship management system – can also recall patients who are due (or overdue) for eye exams.
With the right platform, you can also offer your patients two-way texting. This is a time-saver for both your patients and your team, because when someone has a question, they can simply text your office line and get a quick reply. No need to call in and navigate through the phone system.
And since more than 70 percent of vision patients want to be able to text their provider, you’re making it much more convenient for them simply by offering this option.
Why should you request and receive funds from patients via text? Studies show that people are more likely to respond to a text than to answer their phones, these days, so why not send an updated balance due notice right to a patient’s phone? In the spirit of convenience, a link in the text allows people to submit payment right from their phone and voila! You just increased practice revenue.
The right technology can also allow you to get intake information digitally, have patients request appointments online, and boost the number of reviews for your eye care practice. Combine all of this with a friendly, knowledgeable team and watch patients refer their friends and family so they, too, can have an exceptional in-person vision care experience.
Get more helpful ideas and learn about Solutionreach’s patient relationship management tools.
Download our free guide, now!
The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Get More Vision Patients