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We Have the Number 1 Easiest Way to Grow Your Practice

Hint: It has to do with those holes in your schedule.

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GROWING YOUR EYECARE practice is easy in principle — just fill your daily schedule. The patients you see will have an incredible experience and tell everyone they know, and soon you’ll be booking weeks in advance. Okay, but how do you actually fill the schedule in the first place?

There is plenty of competition in the healthcare space, so if you want to help patients see, you need to be seen. A new-patient acquisition strategy, good social media exposure, using patient recall to your advantage, and making sure it’s quick and easy to book an appointment go a long way toward filling your schedule.

GET ON GOOGLE: People near you are searching the web for eyecare services right now — are they finding your practice? If not, it’s time to think seriously about how to best leverage this giant search engine to your advantage.

On Google, there are three places your practice can be seen: ad slots, the map, and organic search results. Done right, your name can be front and center.

Guess how many users never scroll to the second page of search results? 75%! It’s not only nice to be on the first page, it’s necessary. You can get there yourself, but a digital marketing agency can help you navigate the Google process — from making sure your ads are in front of the right patients at the right time to using the proper keywords on your website to increase your organic search results.

MESSAGE THOSE MILLENNIALS: The vast majority of people prefer to interact with a business through messaging, rather than calling, but only 48% of businesses are equipped to connect in this way. Millennials and anyone younger are particularly disinterested in calls.

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Meeting your patients where they’re at will keep your schedule busy, so designate a staff member to answer Facebook messages, get set up for text messaging, and monitor your email regularly. Patient recall is important, but the traditional appointment reminder method isn’t working as well anymore. If you want your schedule filled, text or use email marketing.

ONLINE SCHEDULING: It takes a lot of time to book someone an appointment. A typical interaction might go like this: “How does Tuesday at 4 p.m. sound?” “Do you have anything earlier in the day?” “Next Friday at 11 a.m. is available.” “Hmm, I can only do Thursdays before noon and Fridays, late afternoon.” The conversation goes back and forth until the patient either hangs up to “check their schedule” and never calls back or until you’ve wasted more time than necessary. Having a list of dates to look at and choose from is much easier for the patient.

Shift workers, busy moms, or the college student who at midnight suddenly remembers they need contacts will want to book outside regular hours. You don’t want to be available 24/7 but online scheduling is always on the clock. Plus, the ability to reschedule and cancel online minimizes no-shows.

PROVIDE A PREMIUM EXPERIENCE: It goes without saying that a friendly face and an incredible patient experience is the best way to keep patients coming back. It’s also the best way to get them to tell everyone they know about your practice. Good marketing gets people in the door; superior service keeps them.

Kristy Koehler is a senior copywriter at Marketing4ECPs, where she crafts creative content for eyecare practices all over North America including social media posts, website pages, newsletters or marketing materials. Kristy is an em dash aficionado and when she’s not writing, she teaches wine appreciation courses, tests out vintage recipes, and dabbles in needle felting. You can reach her at marketing4ecps.com.

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