Capture rate is an issue for most eye care practices these days. Patients are sharp and retailers smarter, so you have to be smarter on how to keep patients from purchasing lenses and frames elsewhere. Gone are the days when an eye care practice was the only solution in town. People have more options for lenses and frames than ever before — especially online — so improving capture rate is vital for maintaining business growth and stability.
Here are three ways you can start improving your eye care practice’s capture rate:
1. Empower Your Team
Your team is the backbone of your practice. If they aren’t engaged and empowered, it will impact the way they deal with your patients. You want each team member to treat your practice like they’re an owner. If you can create that environment and develop that mindset, it will inevitably lead to happier patients, an improved capture rate and increased profitability.
Open-book management is a good way to start. By opening most of your financials to team members, they’ll begin to see ways they can have a real impact on your practice’s success. An empowered team member is a more productive, efficient and happy team member.
2. Target Smart Referrals
Another way to improve capture rate is to pursue word-of-mouth advertising. Referrals are a great example of this and help keep your patients from purchasing somewhere else. But you need to be smart about it. Don’t try to coerce a patient into giving you a referral in exchange for something on your end. Why? These referrals can seem “fake” and make your practice appear biased or insincere. Popular review sites like Yelp even have policies against these types of solicitations based on the fact they don’t connect customers with ideal businesses.
Instead, pursue referrals organically. Go out of your way to thank a patient for their business and let them know referrals are always appreciated. If you want to throw in a small gift card, go for it. Then your patients will be more inclined to promote your practice on their own. But it’s not the end of the world if they don’t.
3. Educate Your Patients
This goes back to the first way you can improve capture rate. You can obviously educate the patient whenever possible, but if your people are knowledgeable and invested in the practice, they can better pass on educational information to your patients. Give your team the educational resources they need to pass on the to the patient. Also, get to know each patient so you can customize information. This will ensure they won’t find it anywhere else. In the end, you want the right people who are good at what they do and leave a positive impression on your patients.
In the end, improving capture rate starts with empowering your team. It leads to a better patient experience and, ultimately, a better capture rate.