A customer service industry
The eye care field is also a customer service industry. Eyecare patient and provider relationships are based on the quality and uniqueness of interactions between staff members, doctors, and patients. Creating a great patient experience starts by treating patients as if they are a part of the family and not as a customer.
The entire eye care staff: doctors, opticians, technicians, and front desk are customer service representatives. The experience and knowledge they give to patients will directly impact the sustainability of the practice for years to come.
Great customer experience starts when patients first reach out to eye care providers. At this time, everything the staff does will set the quality of eye care services. If patients experience poor customer service before seeing the doctors this will set the patient up in a negative frame of mind regardless of the quality of care that was provided by the doctor. The goal of an eye care practice is to provide high—quality patient experience to patients at every step of the eye care process. Eye care practitioners should go above and beyond patients’ expectations to set their practices up for long-term success.
Happy patients, happy doctors
Happy patients who experience a seamless eye care process and high-quality services are more likely to return to the same eye doctor. They are also likely to recommend the practice to friends and family. Great patient experience also leads to good online reviews. According to surveys, 70% of potential patients will choose a healthcare practitioner over another depending on their online reviews. The reputation of an eye care practice will be critical in determining whether potential patients reach out or not.
How a practice collects and uses data also directly impacts patient experiences. If data is not accurately collected and used, mistakes are made and it can become a hurdle to achieving a high-quality patient experience. For example, if patients leave with the wrong eyeglass prescriptions because of errors in the process, they will not see well with the glasses, they can experience headaches, and they will return unhappy to change their glasses. The thoroughness of staff and doctors is key to achieving excellence in patient experiences.
Customer service and patients
Customer service is highly important to patients. Patients seek eye care services because it is a necessity. Yes, the process can be taxing. Imagine a patient who does not have glasses and comes to get an eye exam. After the eye exam, the doctor tells him that he needs to wear glasses or contact lenses every day because he has high myopia. He informs him that it is important to follow his recommendations because high myopia can lead to severe eye conditions such as retinal tears and holes. This patient’s life just changed. If he has a great customer experience he will digest the pill better than if a poor customer experience adds up to the bad news. Patients want their eye care providers to show they care about them. They want them to empathize with their problems.
By providing high-quality customer service to patients, eye care practitioners ensure the stability and longevity of their practice. It creates a solid foundation to build up long-term relationships with patients, which leads to practice profitability and sustainability.