Getting patients to keep coming back for their annual exams and check-ups can be a difficult part of being an eye health professional. People get busy, forget, or most commonly, people don’t realize the importance of keeping up with their eye health. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reactivate patients and get them to return to your practice.
Reactivating patients is important for not only their safety and eye health, but it also benefits your business tremendously. By seeing an increased number of patients or returning patients, studies show that your revenue could increase by 25%. The more patients you see, the more revenue growth your business will receive.
The best way to go about this difficult task is by being proactive. The first step is to prevent the patient from becoming inactive in the first place. There are steps to take to do so which include making sure you give them a clear reason to come back. If doctors focus on educating the patient and have the rest of their staff focus on reinforcing this information, then patients are more likely to engage with future appointments.
Another important aspect of being proactive is diagnosing an eye health issue before it becomes a symptom. This will keep patients healthy but at the same time, it reinforces the idea that they need to return to get checked. Make sure to reiterate why they are there and why it is important that they need to keep up with their diagnosis.
Try not to jump to conclusions and classify patients as “inactive” just because they haven’t visited in over a year. Sometimes they just forget to reschedule. The only time you should remove them from your list is when you get confirmation from them that they are no longer a patient or if they have passed. Until then, continue to send reminders.
The most important way to be proactive is to pre-book future appointments before the patient leaves the office. This almost guarantees a return visit. Have each patient stop by the check-out desk on the way out so you can re-book them that day. All of the information from their visit is fresh in their minds which leads them to likely want to claim a return date that day. After the initial reschedule into the system, you can begin to send them reminders as the new date gets closer.
Communication is key
To avoid losing returning patients, be sure to keep up regular communication. In the health field in particular, it is of the utmost importance to inform patients about processes, symptoms, treatments, concerns, reminders and what steps they should take next.
Avoid conversation lulls in the exam room by making sure the patient is comfortable and informed. Along with consistent conversation during appointments, there should also be regular communication outside of the office. This means there should be reminders being sent to patients letting them know it is time to reschedule, informing them when they miss an appointment, or even reminding them that they have an appointment 24 hours beforehand. This will keep everyone in the loop and keep them coming back.
Adding value to the patients’ visit is what will ultimately bring them back. It is all about customer service and providing patients with the best possible experience in your office. By using tactics such as providing positive reinforcement, an easy check in process, and educating them rather than simply testing them, you are guaranteed to see an increase in returning patients. All of these different elements will increase the respect and trust that people have for your business.
The goal is for you to see patients return. In order to do this, it is extremely important to remind everyone of the importance of regular eye care. Along with providing patients with the best customer service, you can also provide them with the best quality optical products, available through Allentown Optical. Visit our website to see all that we have to offer.