As an eye doctor, owning your identity will net positive results for your practice. Being ashamed, or shying away from who you are, confuses patients and ultimately hurts revenue. Let me explain.
Whether practices like it or not, their identity is often attached to their location. For simplicity’s sake, there are typically three eye care identities: Corporate, Big Box, and Sole Practitioner. Let’s talk about the characteristics of each, and how owning them can make your practice more profitable.
Corporate – Who are the corporate practices? You know them by name. These are the MyEyeDrs, America’s Best Contacts, LensCrafters, etc. These practices are corporately owned (hence the name), provide good discounts on eyewear, and have streamlined services because their internal systems are centrally configured.
Those very characteristics are their strengths. Tout them. Brag on them. If you are LensCrafters, don’t pretend you are a boutique. Yes, you may have a few high-end frames, but your strength is you can get those glasses done in an hour-ish. Brag on that. No one else in town can. Let your patients know that your insurance services are streamlined. Patients shouldn’t struggle because you have an entire staff of extremely well-trained experts who not only know how to file, they love to do it.
Big Box – Who are the Big Box practices? These are the Costco’s, Wal-mart’s, etc. They are part of some of the largest companies in America. Their prices on eyewear cannot be matched, and patients can accomplish so many other things while they wait. Insurance? No problem. You take every insurance legally possible.
For the Big Box practice, you have got to own the offerings. Don’t apologize for being a Wal-Mart OD or optician. You have the most affordable frames on the planet. You have the back-end to process everything quickly, and you are connected to one of the world’s largest retailers. You are more convenient than any other practice.
Sole Practitioner– Who are the Sole Practitioners? You own your own practice. You might even have 2 or 3, but you are locally managed and can give a measure of care and attention that other practices cannot. You know your patients’ names. If your patients have a follow up appointment, they are going to see the same doctor that they did prior. You don’t have every frame possible, but what you do have is quality.
Key to Sole Practitioner is to avoid confusion. Budgeting your optical like a Big Box only makes patients realize that the Big Box’ers do it better. Impersonal care just tempts patients to get that same care while they are shopping for toilet paper. Own the care and attention that only you can give.
So, who are you? Whatever your identity, own it, brag about it, tout it…just don’t confuse it. Every patient that walks through your door is a privilege. Owning your identity and maximizing your characteristics let’s patients know that you recognize that fact.
Gordon Duncan is the CEO/Consultant of ProSight Success. He has worked in the eye care industry for nearly 20 years. He has consulted in the medical field, manufacturing, accounting, and many other disciplines.
ProSight offers resources to put you back in control of your practice.
P.S. ProSight Success has a 7-volume playbook to put all of these things in place. Typically, this resource costs $199. I have cut its cost 50%. From now until the end of the year, you can purchase the ProSight Success System in paperback for $100.
P.S.S. If you can’t afford these investments, ProSight offers a free e-book to get you started. Just go to www.profitableeyecare.com to get your copy
Gordon Duncan is an award-winning educator, salesman, teacher, manager, and writer. He has taught in the public school system, lobbied for school's accreditation, managed eye clinics, led sales' teams, and also publishes books on theology, church, and culture.