The reality is that everyone goes online for something, and for optometrists, this doesn’t mean that your practice will not grow or succeed if you are not online. However, having a digital practice plan will improve care, increase revenue and improve customer retention. But where do you start when your core focus and expertise is looking into eyes, sitting in front of a phoropter most of the day?
With so much innovation and the speed at which healthcare technology is evolving, it is easy to become overwhelmed. But at what point do you say I need to jump in and get started? Perhaps more posts on Facebook, a website facelift or more Google Reviews. Whilst these are all important, how do they align with you achieving the specific goals you have set out for your practice?
As your practice evolves, your needs change and keeping that need top of mind will dramatically assist in adapting your approach to achieve tremendous success.
What is a digital practice plan?
A digital practice plan is a simplified approach of how the healthcare practice can remain connected and evolve in the digital world. It goes without saying that an excellent consultation room experience goes a long way to build a practice; similarly, if the digital online experience does not wow others, chances are they will think twice about coming to see you.
84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation."
Whether you are a start-up practice looking to get as many patients in the door as possible, or an established one with a very different growth strategy, identify your current practice need and implement the digital practice plan to help achieve your goals.
1 - Great Patient Data
Creating a digital patient profile enables data insight, more intelligent communication and leads to new business opportunities. Having the power to effectively communicate with patients directly on their own devices regarding their diagnosis, conditions and treatment plan compliance creates deeper loyalty and improves customer retention. Great patient data starts with patients and staff, ensuring that all patient personal information is secure, up-to-date, and accessible.
2 - An Engaging Website
The definition of the word engaging is to attract interest and attention, but it also means for someone to participate or become involved. It can mean making meaningful contact with someone or engaging with them in a conversation or discussion, resulting in an online booking. For maximum impact, your website should be responsive (display well on all devices), showcase up-to-date, relevant content and represent your practice well.
Instead of pitching your products or services, you provide genuinely relevant and valuable content to your prospects and patients to help them solve their issues. Content marketing also provides additional benefits in that it supports other digital marketing channels. It provides additional content for social media marketing whilst contributing to SEO efforts by generating natural inbound links and building up good content on your website that gets found in search engines.
4 - Email Marketing
Email should be a key pillar of your digital marketing strategy. But before jumping in head first, it’s worth taking a minute to think about your goals and what you want to achieve with email, as that will dictate the type of campaigns you send, which patients you target, the content you include, and how you measure success. Whether you’re starting your first email marketing campaign or you’re a seasoned email pro, apps like Ocumail make it even easier, save time and improve campaign effectiveness.
5 - Social Media Marketing
The ultimate goal of social media is to drive traffic to a website, increase visibility, grow social media followers, leading to increased bookings and revenue. As a beginner to social media, you have to choose one or two social media platforms and concentrate on those rather than trying to work on all platforms simultaneously. However, optometrists and other healthcare professionals are subject to a code of ethical guidelines that provide a framework for all social media engagements.
6 - Customer Experience
With 1 in 3 customers reporting they will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, it's no wonder customer experience was the number one brand differentiator in 2020. Give customers a great experience, and they'll buy more, be more loyal and share their experience with friends. Increasing your online Customer Reviews sends a strong signal to search engines that communicates expertise, authority and trust in your practice and offerings.
Need assistance implementing your Digital Practice Plan?
From the creators of the international award-winning, Spectrum Eyecare software, Nevada Cloud assisted hundreds of practices across South Africa to achieve newfound success in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic. As practices continue to face specific challenges at different stages within their growth plan, the need to secure patient bookings remains unchanged. With a patient-centric approach combined with existing practice management software integration, practices can fast track their digital practice plan to achieve rapid growth through patients returning sooner.
The Nevada Cloud Ocumail software integrates with all major practice management software companies throughout Southern Africa including Eminance, OptiMax, Healthbridge, Quickbooks and caters for 3rd party management systems through the CSV import.
Unlocking the power of patient data means your practice has safe, secure and exclusive insight into better managing your patients and when and why they should return. Setting up business logic to automate processes assists your patients to make the right decisions to initiate the right actions at the right time, saving time and resulting in more bookings and improved care.