Balancing High Demand with Social Distancing
In order to maintain safe, healthy boundaries for everyone at your practice, you’re likely taking these precautions:
- Decreased capacity from 3 or 4 patients to 1 or 2 patients per doctor hour
- Extra hygiene-focused cleaning procedures in the office
- A potential change of equipment
- Limited services
- Work-from-home for some employees
- Social distance dispensing techniques
Good for you! And ultimately, good for your staff and patients. And yet, it sure doesn’t make it easy to run a business. Right now, even while you practice these safety precautions, you can make the most of this time and available resources. Here’s what you should focus on, and how.
Employee Engagement & Communication
Now that things are reopening, your mission for the business is likely changing, and your employees need to know that. They need guidance and direction so they can contribute to the vitality of the practice. Similar to when your team needed some work-from-home advice, they may need some guidance on what’s expected of them during this reopen. Whether it’s stepping into some marketing roles, screening the major influx of calls, or administering the hygiene standards in place, communicate clearly and positively about this new norm.
Right now, it’s more crucial than ever to show your patients that you’re taking their safety seriously. Everything you’re doing in your practice should ensure they feel comfortable coming to your practice. Here are some added precautions and ways to get that safety message across to your patients, especially during in-person visits:
- Staggering and spacing out appointments
- Having waiting room limits
- Framing and displaying your cleaning process
- Avoiding contact with alternative greetings
- Explain how you’re using technology to maximize social distancing
Make the Most of Your Current Patients
Now that you are dealing with pent-up demand while having to decrease patient capacity in your office, your revenue may be affected. Start focusing on your best customers: the ones you already have. After all, it is easier and more profitable to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.
To maintain that patient connection in the wake of fewer patients (seeing 8 patients instead of the usual 24), you can offer more of your time, provide patient questionnaires to make appropriate updates, and educate your patients on your products and services so they leave impressed.
Keep in mind that your capture rate should be in the 90-95% range, which means you should capitalize upon relevant, current issues to sell helpful products and multiple glasses at a time. For example, during quarantine, Digital Eye Strain is likely increasing due to more screen time, so you could offer blue light solutions. More people are working and playing outdoors, causing an increased demand for sunwear — another selling point for your customer in the office. During this time, you can also offer discounts and opportunities to show that you’re on their side. Hoya can help with that.
Staying Connected with Patients
Lastly, stay in touch with current and potential patients through social media. This direct medium keeps you top-of-mind while your in-office capacity is limited, allowing you to convey your message of support to your patients. At the same time, you can use social media to continue developing brand awareness; although, creating social media content for your practice can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created a 20-minute video and a simple guide to get you started.
Remember: as you begin to reopen your business, know when to pivot away from the COVID-19 message. Ultimately, research is showing that your patients are ready for a new norm. They’re ready to move on, so start being yourself and being true to your brand — as a way to help your patients transition with you into a new world.
Please reach out to your Hoya Territory Sales Manager or Customer Service if we can be of further assistance. Many resources from The Vision Council, various practice development groups, government agencies, and Hoya are all cataloged on www.ecpally.com for your convenience as well.
Businesses will be bouncing back from this pandemic for some time. Our guide will help you do so with confidence.