Marketing

The Resource Helping Our Practice Manage Our Online Reputation & Stand Out from the Crowd

The optical at Logan Eye Care. Dr. Logan says that My Marketing Team has been instrumental in helping promote the practice online while protecting its reputation.

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By Carol Logan, OD

May 4, 2022

Your online presence is just as important as ensuring your optical has a variety of frames and your clinic has the latest technology. In a way, how your practice shows up digitally is the modern storefront of how consumers “window shop” on their computer or phone. Investing in your practice’s online reputation can make a difference in retaining existing patients and attracting new ones. Managing an online presence can feel intimidating, and sometimes we need a little help.

Here is what we do to promote our practice and manage our online reputation, including the practice resource that has made a huge difference for us.

Respond to Online Feedback
Should you have a negative review or social post online, respond in a way that mitigates the problem and seeks a resolution. For example, “Please contact our practice administrator so that we can further address your concerns.” Or, “We regret that your needs were not met and hope to have another opportunity to meet or exceed your expectations.” This approach is not only to make amends with the reviewer, but also to show the public that you truly care about delivering great customer service.

Conversely, for positive feedback, it is important to thank the patient and make them feel special. If the post is from a new patient, personalize your comment with something like, “It is always a pleasure seeing you in the practice.” Additionally, be sure to re-post positive reviews on your social media channels and website, as applicable.

Tools for Independent Practice Success

Independent practices have more challenges than ever. With competition from online retailers and other sellers increasing, practice owners need every available advantage. The VSP Global Premier Program provides many much-needed advantages that give independent practices an edge over competitors.

The VSP Global Premier Program invests in private practices, offering cost-saving benefits and business-building tools, resources and training to empower and support the long-term success of VSP network doctors. Designed with providers in mind, the VSP Premier Program continuously rolls out new resources and benefits focused on enhancing patient flow, profitability and practice support.

In nearly every facet of your practice, whether it’s staff management, marketing, OD recruitment, or beyond, VSP Global Premier Program can offer you support:

Click HERE to explore the VSP Provider Hub, where you’ll find offers that will help you add more patients to your practice and grow profitability.

Click HERE to access VSP’s many educational resources for your practice’s staff.

Click HERE for resources to help you better market your practice to your community

Click HERE for help recruiting new ODs for your practice.

Address Unhappy Patients Before They Vent Online
As eyecare providers, our nature is to help people. Otherwise, we would have taken different career paths! So, what do you do when a patient is dissatisfied or unhappy? Wisdom over the years encourages us to ALWAYS apologize and offer a full refund if necessary. While none of us want to forgo the value of the time we spent, in the long run, this provides the best outcome. Ideally, we acknowledge the concern and come to a mutually agreeable solution with the patient prior to them expressing their dissatisfaction on a social platform.

Engage Followers with Lively Content
What should your practice include in your social media or other online presence? Here are some tips based on our experience:
• Adding photos and/or videos of the staff, doctors, and even patients, boosts authenticity and complements the “practice vibe.”

• Post video testimonials from happy patients who sign a basic release. Some patients love being in front of the camera and will speak from the heart or are excited to share a photo of their new eyewear.

• Posting about your involvement in community events adds cohesiveness to the team, offers great exposure to existing patients and attracts new patients.

And the secret sauce for keeping organized and staying on top of these important marketing efforts? Create a marketing calendar for the year that lays out events or community happenings where you can show up and shine! The calendar will help you plan ahead and can aid in developing a content strategy.

Keep Your Content Fresh
Creating content should be an ongoing exercise to keep things fresh. We have found it helpful to take advantage of seasonal campaigns offered through My Marketing Team, a service of the VSP VisionTM Premier Program. Their service features professionally designed posts that you can use on your social media platforms to create marketing campaigns for events, such as Healthy Vision Month, HSA spending and Back to School. Several tools are available through My Marketing Team, including a social media management program to schedule your social posts in advance.

Short on Time? Ask for Help
How do we make this happen when we are buried in the trenches as eyecare professionals? Recruit your staff to get involved and utilize available marketing tools and resources. As a VSP Premier Program practice, we have been able to take advantage of the resources offered by the program’s My Marketing Team, including ready-made marketing materials and content which can easily be personalized with my practice’s information. These resources are a huge time saver and are valuable in marketing to current and potential patients.

Identify a tech-savvy team member and assign marketing tasks to their job description. This employee could serve as a supplement to your marketing strategy and resources, lending that personal feel to your online presence.

Remember the Basics
Marketing has changed exponentially over the years and will continue to evolve. Stay engaged with your patients so they can help your online reputation. When patients compliment your practice, ask them to write a review for you! Meanwhile, go back to basics with your customer service and exceptional care. Fundamentally, the patient experience will speak for itself, and patients will gladly endorse you on their favorite social media platform! After all, we are eyecare professionals and want to provide the very best care possible.
Best Practices:
• Ask patients to follow you on social media

• Engage patients and staff in the online reputation process

• Consider investing in an online review management tool

• Humbly acknowledge and resolve patient conflicts

• Identify an enthusiastic tech-savvy employee to manage social media channels

• Create a marketing calendar

• Utilize tools that are available, such as My Marketing Team

• Know your competition’s online presence

• Get involved in community events and post, post, post (but not too much)

About My Marketing Team
A service of the VSP Vision™ Premier Program, My Marketing Team helps providers reach, connect and engage with current and potential patients through ready-made marketing materials, social media content and tips to help market your practice effectively.

To sign up for a complimentary marketing playbook, visit playbook.mymarketingteam.com.

Carol Logan, OD, is the owner of Logan Eye Care in Lake Mary, Fla. To contact her: info@loganeyecare.com

 

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