A majority of offices use more money to attract new patients, when in fact it is easier to sell to your current ones. I will share some tools to help you build a loyal patient base and create rewarding experiences that will not only keep your patients coming back, but bring in their friends and family. Stop spending so much time, money and energy on strangers and give more attention to the wonderful patients you already have.
THE FIRST R: REPETITION
Getting patients into your office multiple times a year creates a solid relationship and a lasting office experience.
One way to do that is to advertise that your office offers patients free repairs, cleanings and adjustments. Put this information in the dispensing area, in emails and quarterly mailers reminding them of this free service.
Another great way, in addition to their annual exam, is to send them birthday gift or discount cards. They can use the card on more contact lenses, a second pair, sunglasses or accessories. Whatever they choose, it will have them returning to your office to spend more money.
THE SECOND R: REFERRALS
Referrals are the best way to gain new patients. Research shows you’re six times more likely to get a new patient from a referral than external marketing. By creating a referral incentive program for your existing patients, in the form of gift cards or discounts, you will spend less money on outside marketing and show your appreciation to your patients. It is as easy as telling your patient, “If you have any family or friends in need of an awesome eye exam, here are a few of my cards.” You can even have your staff do this at dispense.
THE THIRD R: REWARDS
Document and keep track of your most loyal and lucrative patients. Go the extra mile to make these patients feel special. Personally call them on their birthday, give extra goodies at dispense such as cleaner, and consider throwing them all a patient appreciation event (invite their families too). Some light appetizers, giveaways and discounts will make them feel like you really care about them. Your main objective is to spend less money on external marketing and take advantage of the less expensive internal marketing strategies to grow your bottom line.
Dr. Arian Fartash is a graduate of Southern California College of Optometry and a second generation optometrist based in Southern California. In addition to practicing, Fartash created a social media platform to create awareness in topics related to eyes, eyewear and eye fashion called @glamoptometrist.