Providing a Practice Patients Prefer
With an optical center on virtually every corner, patients coming to our practice may pass three or four of our competitors on the way. So, in order to attract and retain patients, we need to make sure we stand out. Differentiating our practice from the competition ensures patients choose us and stay with us so our business continues to grow.
Hands down, the top differentiator for our practice is the staff. They truly care about providing the best care, and their genuine concern resonates with patients. The relationships we build with our patients keep them coming back and referring us to family and friends.
Another key differentiator for our practice is our broad and diverse frame selection. I work closely with my wife, an optician in the practice (and the boss), to ensure we offer a wide variety of colors, styles, and brands and that we update our selection frequently. Patients are delighted to find styles that they don’t see everywhere else, and many come to us initially for that reason. We also ensure our optical area is welcoming and easy to navigate, for example, displaying Marchon and Altair products separately so VSP patients can easily select frames that qualify for special promotions or additional coverage.
Something else that sets our practice apart is how we embrace technology. Let’s just say, I love toys! We utilize the latest and greatest equipment, and patients often tell us, “I’ve never seen that before” or “I’ve never had that done before.” Patients are in awe every day when I show them the panoramic pictures of their eyes with our Optos. Staying on the cutting edge keeps us relevant, and patients like knowing we are using the most advanced technology to care for them.
Our partnership with VSP and the Premier Program has helped us differentiate our practice by providing numerous resources and partnerships to foster growth--starting with advertising opportunities like the banner on the Find a Doctor directory and the MyMarketingTeam HootSuite tools to help us engage with patients on social media. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Premier Program is all the partnerships we gain with companies that support and enhance our business. We enjoy discounts on several products, including frames from Maui Jim, Kering Eyewear, and others; diagnostic and retinal exam equipment from Optos; Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology from Optovue; office supplies from Staples; automated patient communication via Solutionreach; and, patient financing options through CareCredit. There are so many benefits that come along with the Premier Program, and we take advantage of all that we can to promote our practice’s success. I can honestly say that VSP and the Premier Program help the private practitioner more than just about anyone else in the industry.
I am very optimistic about the future of our practice and the field of optometry. A large elderly population in South Florida and a gradual advancement in the scope of medical optometry present an increased potential patient base and a greater need to further set our practice apart. Differentiating our practice has enabled us to grow—in fact, we are currently expanding our practice into the vacant office space next door. As I see it, when you embrace the opportunities that are available to you and focus on the strengths that set you apart, patients will choose your practice, be loyal to your practice, and recommend your practice to their family and friends.