Blog
Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blog
IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Steve Vargo | 1/28/2020
A QUICK WAY TO CONNECT WITH PATIENTS

The longer I study what makes some doctors more influential with patients than others, the more I appreciate the ability of some to build strong connections with the patients they serve.

In a fast-paced healthcare environment where some doctors and their staff are seeing patients at a rapid pace, it might feel like there’s not enough time to connect with patients on a personal level. A quick case history, some pretesting, some diagnostic testing, communicate findings, and send the patient to the optical.

I might be “old school” in my thinking here, but I still think the adage applies – people like doing business with people they like and trust. Not computers or Internet sites or kiosks, but real people! I’m going to give you a tip here that will help you quickly connect with people, and in the process establish more likability and trust.

Typically, we ask about the patient’s occupation, because it’s relevant to how they use their vision. Instead of just asking “what” the patient does, ask “why” they chose that profession. This opens up a conversation that’s more likely to establish a personal connection, because the patient is likely to share something personal with you. You could also inquire about hobbies or other pursuits, like involvement in a charitable organization. This provides an opportunity for you to respond by telling the patient why you became an optometrist, which likely involves your desire to help others. Sharing that with the patient positively alters their perception of you.

Isn’t that a better way to start an exam than, “Are you having any problems with your vision?”

Even in a busy practice, this conversation might only last a couple minutes, but it can have a lasting impact on how the patient perceives you, whether or not they continue to return to you, and what their response will be when asked to purchase a product or service from your practice.

It’s relatively easy to walk away from a business that we have no real connection with. It’s less easy to walk away from someone we like and trust.

Don’t lose your patient to a website or an app. Make a personal connection!

Steve Vargo
Practice Management Consultant
Steve Vargo, OD, MBA is a 1998 graduate of Illinois College of Optometry. After working in a clinical optometric practice for several years, Dr. Vargo pursued his passion for practice management by earning his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Phoenix in 2008. A published author and speaker with 15 years of clinical experience, he serves as IDOC’s Optometric Practice Management Consultant and advises members in all areas of practice management and optometric office operations. Steve and his wife Melanie have two sons, Lucas and Ryan. In his spare time, he enjoys running, cycling, sports and music. A native Chicagoan, he is an avid fan of the Cubs, live music and deep-dish pizza.
 LinkedIn
Trending Blogs
 
 

11/20/2019 | Author: Steve Vargo

In many practices, the percentage of patients who return every twelve months for an eye exam can be disappointing. Even with practices that pre-appoint, many offices struggle with getting those patents to return for their prescheduled exam. To further exasperate the problem, many of these... Read more


10/18/2019 | Author: Steve Vargo

Why do I have to do what you’re asking me to do?

If an employee of yours asked that, your response would likely be harsh.

What do you mean why do you have to do it? You’re an employee here. I sign your paycheck. You have to do it because I told you to do it!

In... Read more


9/10/2019 | Author: Steve Vargo

A well-trained staff is the hallmark of a high producing office that consistently exceeds patient expectations. A highly trained staff makes fewer mistakes, operates more efficiently, and relies less on you for constant management.

The most common excuse I hear for an undertrained... Read more


8/5/2019 | Author: Steve Vargo

This article assumes you’ve done your part in establishing value for the products and services you offer. If you fail to do this, then price inevitably becomes a factor as people will wonder if they can get what they need less expensively from another source. But let’s assume you’ve made a... Read more


6/6/2019 | Author: Steve Vargo

Several years ago, I met with a financial advisor. I had been out of school a few years, and a friend suggested I speak with his father over lunch about debt management and financial planning. I thought I already had this under control, but why turn down a free lunch?

After some... Read more


5/17/2019 | Author: Steve Vargo

 

Can you complete that sentence?

In one of my presentations titled “The Science of Selling: The Psychology Behind Why People Buy” I ask the audience this very question. This usually gets a mixed reaction of affirmative heads nods and looks of uncertainty.

My... Read more


3/1/2019 | Author: Steve Vargo

Establish guardrails. Employees should be permitted to make some of their own decisions, but there needs to be clarity on the boundaries. Micromanagement restricts employees. Boundaries empower them. A good example would be allowing your employees to use up to $200 to resolve... Read more


2/12/2019 | Author: Steve Vargo

I recently recorded a podcast titled “5 Things Successful Practice Owners Do Differently.” I won’t go into all five here, but for this article I will focus on one of the key differentiators – Execution.

Most practice owners have given thought to business strategies and how these... Read more


9/19/2018 | Author: Steve Vargo

Doctor, I see floaters in my vision. I think I have a retinal detachment!

I don’t need an exam because I did a screening online.

I put a moist teabag on my eye so it would heal faster.

I know I can’t have glaucoma because I smoke pot every... Read more


7/11/2018 | Author: Steve Vargo

Warby Parker, big box, shopping malls, oh my! While some private practice ODs respond to local commercial competitors with (typically irrational) fears of a mass exodus of patients leaving their practice for the cheap prices and convenience of a low-cost retailer, other respond with a... Read more

Contact Us
© 2020 IDOC. All Rights Reserved