Running an optometry practice means that you are classified as a health care professional that is involved in examining the eyes and applicable visual systems for defects or abnormalities as well as the correction of refractive error with glasses or contact lenses and treatment of eye diseases.

Increasing the number of patients you attend to is the only option that you have when it comes to generating more revenue from your business. Irrespective of the location where you have your optometry clinic, there is bound to be some form of competition hence you need to deploy strategies that will help you make sales.

The retail business might be one of the easy-to-run businesses especially if you position the business in a location that is prone to high human and vehicular traffic. But beyond that, if you do not get other indices right, you will sure struggle with your retail business.

So if you run an optometry practice and you are interested in increasing sales, here are some of the sure ways you can achieve it.

How to Get More Patients For Your Optometry Practice

  1. Offer Excellent Customer Service Experience

People like going to places where they are treated with dignity hence it will be easier for patients to go to optometry clinics where they will be treated with dignity. So, if you are looking for sure-fire ways to increase sales in your optometry practice, then you should ensure that you offer excellent customer service to all your patients.

  1. Form Strategic Alliance with Stakeholders

If you run an optometry clinic, then one of the ways you can attract patients is to partner with other players in the healthcare industry who don’t have their own in-house optometrist – this is called strategic alliance. This is how it works, you will go into agreement with doctors most especially those that are specialized in other areas of medicine other to optometry that they should recommend/refer patients that have eyes issues to your clinic and you will give them some commission as agreed.

  1. Get Celebrities in Your Community to Endorse Your Clinic

If your optometry clinic is located in a community where you have a celebrity, you will do your businesses a whole lot of favor if you can get the celebrity to endorse your services. It is a fact that celebrities are social influencers and if people in your community know that a celebrity is making use of your optometry clinic, they would want to go out of their way to also be listed amongst people who are making use of your clinic.

  1. Give Out Freebies Once in a While

Another sure way of attracting more patients in your clinic is to ensure that you give out freebies once in a while to your customers. Everybody likes freebies and people in business know that that is one of the techniques of getting people to buy into your brand. Whatever you are giving out as freebies doesn’t need to be expensive, just ensure that you give out something that people will appreciate and you will be amazed on how they will become loyal customers.

  1. Make Your Clinic Welcoming and Attractive

You might be offering top notch services, but if your clinic is not welcoming and attractive, people will hardly enter to make enquiries or visit for treatment. So, one of the ways of attract patients is to make your clinic welcoming and attractive. You can contact interior designers to help you decorate your clinic in such a way that anyone that enters will feel at home. With that, it will be easier for them to make the decision to use your clinic whenever they have eyes related ailments or issues.

  1. List Your Clinic on Yellow Pages Ads (Local Directories)

Another sure way to attract patients in your optometry clinic is to ensure that you list your practice on yellow paged ads (local directories) in your city or community. Although with the advent of internet, hard copy yellow pages’ ads have been relegated to the background, but it is still one major tool that will help people identify your clinic.

  1. Encourage the Use of Word of Mouth Marketing (Referrals)

Do you know that word of mouth marketing i.e. referral marketing is one of the surest ways to attract patients in your optometry clinic? No doubt, people trust the judgement of people they love or are friends with. So, all you have to do to increase sales in your clinic is to encourage the use of word of mouth marketing.

  1. Make use of Attractive Hand Bills to Create Awareness 

Another sure way to attracting patients in your optometry clinic is to ensure that you make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to your clinic. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most reliable means that a business leverages on to get people to know that they are in the community. Just ensure that you distribute the handbills from door to door and in any gathering where you can find people who reside in and around the location where you have your clinic.

  1. Position Your Signage/Flexi Banners at Strategic Places Around Your Clinic

If you want to attract patients in your optometry clinic, one of the ideas you should adopt is to position your signage or flexi banners at strategic places all around the location where you have your optometry clinic. With that, it will be easier for resident to know that there is an optometry clinic around them.

  1. Position Your Greeters to Welcome and Direct Customers

If you run a standard optometry clinic, one of the ways to attract patients is to position greeters to welcome and direct potential customers/patients. The truth is that when you make your customers feel special, they are likely going to spend more in your clinic as it relates to the purchase of eye wares.

  1. Create a Loyalty Plan That Will Enable You Reward Your Regular Customers

Another sure way of attracting patients in your optometry clinic is to create a loyalty plan that will enable you reward your regular customers/patients. There is hardly anybody that doesn’t like reward; when you reward people they will always want to do more. One of the ways of rewarding loyal customers is to allocate points when people spend certain amount in your clinic. If they get certain points, they can convert the points to money and purchase stuffs (glass frames, lenses, contact lenses and accessories) from your clinic. Another means of rewarding loyal customers is to give them gifts at the end of the year.

  1. Create YouTube Videos

What you may not have realized is that YouTube is considered to be a social media site because users can like, comment, subscribe and even post video responses. This is what makes YouTube “social” and it is also a great place to test different appeals – to see what your audience really wants to watch or to learn about. If potential patients have a view of your optometry clinic and they like what they see, they would want to visit.

  1. Develop a Pricing Structure for Your Services

Developing pricing structure for your services as an optometry practitioner is one of the ways to get patients to make use of your clinic especially if the price favors them. There are a lot of factors to consider when fixing price for your services, but it won’t be a bad idea to step your price a bit lower than what is obtainable in the market for same services. For example, if the market leader in your line of business is offering a similar service for $40, it will be wise to enter the market with $37.5 or even $39; you will be amazed to see the magic this little difference can do to your business.

  1. Adopt Suitable Advertising Platforms for Your Optometry Clinic

As an optometrist, you are supposed to provide eye care services such as treat and manage diseases, injuries and disorders of the eye and prescribe and sell eyeglasses, contact lenses and vision therapy et al and you can do these from your own clinic, shared clinic or operate a franchise where you have your presences in different cities. For example, if you run an optometry clinic just in one location, it will be out of place for you to spend money advertising in a national daily. The most suitable platform to advertised is community newspaper or community radio station et al.

  1. Implement Goal Setting and Reward System for Your Marketing Executives

Another sure way to attract patients in your optometry clinic is to implement goal setting and reward systems for your marketing and sales executives. A sales plan can’t be complete without goal setting and reward system. Implementing goal setting for your marketing and sales team and also a reward system will serve as a motivational force to get your sales people geared up to meet their targets.

  1. Develop Mailing Lists

Develop mailing lists of your target market and stay in contact with monthly email listing midweek special offers and promotions. Remind them of the services you offer and how they are going to benefit if they visit your clinic. So also, you should endeavor to print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.

  1. Make Use of Effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software 

In order to increase the number of patients in your optometry clinic, part of what you need to do is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software. With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).

  1. Diversify your Marketing Methods

Just like how your current customers (patients) do not match up to one particular profile, your methods to find new patients should also be varied. In order for your marketing strategy to be effective and have the furthest outreach, you need to be as digitally friendly and accessible as possible. Most of your target audience will search the internet as their first resource when looking for an optometry clinic.

The first rule is about attribution. If you have a client portal, you can have a custom integration done with Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) and Google Analytics to report on how many leads are coming online. Make sure to use Urchin Tracking Modules (UTMS). UTMs are tags that you can add to your website’s URL that will track where your online traffic is coming from.

When these are combined with your CRM in your facility management software, you can find out which marketing channels (social media, content, paid, etc.) are bringing you the most prospects.

No doubt, you’ll have patients that don’t sign up online, and that’s okay. Be sure to have your sales representative or front desk staff ask each prospect how they heard about your clinic, and attribute the lead manually. Whether they came in manually or online, you’ll need a CRM to monitor the success of attracting more patients to your optometry clinic.

  1. Participate In Local Events

You can grow your visibility by demonstrating your dedication to the local community.  Sponsor charity events in your town, set up a booth at area festivals, and contact local media to get your business known. This can be an effective way to expand your local presence and stay “top of mind” for locals and residents that may be planning to visit an eye clinic will know about your optometry clinic and pay you a visit.

  1. Leverage Instagram

With more than 400 million active users, Instagram is a great way to connect with potential clients and past clients that has visited your optometry clinic. People love to look at pretty photos and videos, which is why Instagram dominates social media platforms. Posting visually stunning photos of your optometry clinic, will get a ton of likes. Also note that just posting pictures will not get it in front of the right people. Therefore, you need to add hashtags. This will help it to reach those who are looking towards visiting an optometry clinic.

Additionally, you can also search for people who have visited your clinic and posted to Instagram. Just perform a search for your optometry clinic or address in the search bar. Instagram will then show you everyone who has posted within that vicinity. You can then go in and thank patrons for visiting and invite them to return. Never forget to add a link where people can make online reservations within your Instagram bio. Then, at the end of every post, type “link in bio” so they know where to go to book an appointment.

  1. Facebook Business Page

Even if you have not created a Business page on Facebook, your optometry clinic has one. Facebook allow users to check into an address or a business even if the business has not set one up. The business can then go in and claim their page. Facebook’s algorithms change frequently so we will address how to get your posts seen after this. So if not to post, then why use Facebook at all? To engage with customers and answer people messaging your business. Because people interact on Facebook so much, when people google search your business, your page might pop up. They then can go to that page to ask questions, read more about you and check out reviews.

Ajaero Tony Martins