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5 Tips to Ethically Upsell Ophthalmology Patients

By: DoctorLogic Employee

"Upsell" is typically regarded as a dirty word in healthcare, as it gives the impression that the practitioner is primarily out to make money as opposed to helping patients. However, there's nothing inherently wrong with offering premium as long as you are doing so with the patient's best interest in mind.

5 Tips to Ethically Upsell Ophthalmology Patients

“Upsell” is typically regarded as a dirty word in healthcare, as it gives the impression that the practitioner is primarily out to make money as opposed to helping patients. However, there’s nothing inherently wrong with offering premium as long as you are doing so with the patient’s best interest in mind.

If you’re wondering how to ethically upsell your patients, the following guide will get you started with some helpful tips.

5 Tips to Ethically Upsell

There are several ways you can upsell ophthalmology patients while remaining ethical. These methods include:

1. Plant the Seed During the Initial Phone Call

You can start by gathering patients’ individual goals and details about their medical history. This will illuminate candidacy for appropriate potential treatments or upgrades.

Consider having a patient coordinator over the phone help direct patients toward elective procedures. The patient coordinator will serve as the main source of information for patients to optimize their experience. They’ll essentially act as a salesperson to represent your practice and help lead people toward an upsell.

For instance, you might have a patient who qualifies for a cataract procedure. In this case, your patient coordinator could educate the patient on the procedure, including preparation, anesthesia, follow-up, and results.

Be sure to outline the features and benefits of each level of procedure, including their price ranges. Ask your patients which level of improvement they are leaning toward; what is it they would like to improve?

When the patient enters the practice, your patient coordinator can then repeat relevant steps. These could include reconfirming the patient’s desires, re-educating the patient on the specific practice and procedure, and regaining commitment to a specific course of action. Taking these steps will help reassure the patient and make them feel heard.

2. Outline a Plan Using the Patient Chart

You should never consider upselling if it won’t benefit the patient. The patient’s well-being is always a top priority, but certain additional procedures may contribute to it and be worth the upsell.

You can use treatment and product history to predict what other procedures or products would be useful. When questioning patients about their needs and desired outcomes, you can also use the patient chart to supplement those questions.

3. Nurture Patients Digitally

Keep in mind that patients may want more in-depth knowledge about certain elective procedures. They’ll want to learn as much as they can to secure their decision when determining whether a procedure is right for them. This is especially the case when a lot of money is at stake. This is where content marketing can come into play.

Great content marketing will not only attract ophthalmology leads through search engine optimization (SEO), but it will also retain and upsell existing patients. There’s no limit to the types of content you can create and share to help upsell patients. For example, you can create informative blogs, videos, case studies, social media posts, and other forms of content. As a result, patients will feel more confident in additional procedures and be more inclined to commit to them.

4. Be Direct, Not Aggressive

Following the digital nurturing process and the initial phone call, it’s up to the doctor to make the final recommendation. This will entail striking the right balance of communication. It shouldn’t be passive in the sense of “choose either option, it’s up to you,” nor should it be aggressive in the sense of “you have to choose the upgrade.”

Instead, be direct with your patients. You should communicate that “you’re a great candidate for this procedure, which is why I’d recommend it.” Be open in your discussion with patients about the benefits of the procedure.

Also, be prepared to answer any questions the patient is likely to have about the procedure. Oftentimes, ophthalmic procedures such as cataract surgery and LASIK come with certain preparation steps and risks that might concern patients. Alleviate these concerns by further discussing them and reassuring your patients in the process.

5. Waiting Room Collateral

Education about additional procedures doesn’t stop once the patient is in the office and waiting to see you—it can also continue in the waiting room.

From posters to brochures and videos, you can use all four walls of the waiting room to further educate and inform patients about the various options available.

You could have a section of the waiting room stocked with brochures that provide more information about certain procedures. These brochures could outline the advantages of the procedure, along with other details. Meanwhile, a video playing on the room’s TV can grab patients’ attention regarding elective procedures, with a friendly representative advertising them.

While you should make your patient aware of the many options available to them, don’t overdo it. If you give your patients too many options, they may experience choice overload. This would make it harder for patients to make a decision.

Instead, stick to a few key options that you want to focus on, including procedures that most of your patients could benefit from undergoing. Based on each patient’s unique needs, you can then make more personalized recommendations to them with other options.

Making your waiting room an in-depth resource for additional information will also make your practice feel more accommodating and generally comforting. This is crucial in helping your patients relax when visiting your office, which will make them more comfortable with the idea of returning for future procedures.

Upselling Ophthalmology Procedures Through Content Marketing

As mentioned, healthcare content marketing is critical in upselling patients and establishing a strong connection with them. When used the right way, content of all types can be invaluable in maximizing profitability while reassuring patients.

Content marketing serves two primary purposes:

  • Attract new leads
  • Retain existing patients

Creating content that serves both needs requires professional expertise. While ophthalmologists may want to create content themselves based on their expertise, this is highly inefficient. If ophthalmologists spend too much time generating content on their own, they’ll have less time to spend on revenue-generating activities such as cataract procedures.

In addition, you can’t depend on prospects finding your content by browsing your website; you must ensure that people can find you via search engines like Google. This requires good SEO practices that supplement rich, well-written content on your website.

The most efficient way to upsell existing patients through content marketing is to work with a healthcare digital marketing agency like DoctorLogic. We understand what ophthalmologists specifically require to achieve optimal results.

At DoctorLogic, we provide our clients with a comprehensive patient acquisition platform. Using this platform, you can attract new patients, grow your practice, and retain existing patients through a combination of content marketing, SEO, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and HIPAA-compliant lead management. As a result, you’ll be able to use DoctorLogic to dominate your local market and stay ahead of competing practices.

Discover our platform’s capabilities by trying DoctorLogic’s free demo today.