Neil Kokemuller October 31st, 2008
The general trend in business and industry continues to emphasize customer relationships and retention as the keys to long-term success and profitability. This is just as true in the healthcare sector as it is in other business arenas. Eye doctors are among the health care providers who rely on building and maintaining relationships with patients. The benefits to successful long-term relationships are many. Most research suggests it costs as much as five times as much to acquire a new client as it is to retain one. Thus, keeping current patients happy and coming for eye care needs is important for eye doctors. A great tool for helping in this relationship maintenance is the appointment phone reminder.
An appointment phone reminder can be used for a couple different purposes in order for the eye doctor’s practice to keep in contact with patients. First, many patients are forgetful or do not keep good calendars. No-shows are costly to any medical provider. A no-call missed appointment creates an empty schedule void that prevents the doctor from earning revenue. An advanced appointment reminder software solution can be programmed to complete routine daily reminder program calls to let patients know that they have a pending appointment. Along with reducing no-shows, this can also help improve call rates for patients who need to cancel and might forget to call otherwise.
Another tremendous benefit of a good phone reminder program is the ability to stay in touch with patients after a visit to help ensure they schedule a follow-up, or a next visit. As with any profit-generating operation, latching on to customers after a visit is crucial to maintaining a connection with them. The automated appointment reminder solution can also be programmed to make telephone reminder calls to patients who need to schedule a follow-up visit. Eye doctors rely on follow-up visits as an important revenue generator as well as for a routine health check after care has been given. Consumers can easily forget the importance of this follow-up visit and may avoid making the call for an appointment without the phone reminder.
Everyone needs eye care at some point in time. Most eye doctors do use some types of ongoing advertising and promotion campaigns to attract new clients. People move, lose touch, or move on to other providers. This attrition requires that providers always seek to bring in new prospects. However, the long-term cost reduction and profit benefits of maintaining good relationships with established patients are hard to argue with. A patient appointment reminder is more than just an economic tool, however. It is also a customer service. Patients do appreciate the phone reminder in today’s fast-paced world. People get busy and it is easy to forget appointments at times. The eye doctor that provides a friendly automated appointment reminder service can appear genuinely concerned and helpful. This not only secures existing patient relationships, but word of mouth spreads as your patients tell others about what a great business practice you operate.