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9 LASIK Patient Retention Strategies

On a patient-to-patient level, your LASIK eye surgery center provides excellent service. You know your patients, their goals and treatment plans, and how to ensure they each have the right post-surgery experience.

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On a patient-to-patient level, your LASIK eye surgery center provides excellent service. You know your patients, their goals and treatment plans, and how to ensure they each have the right post-surgery experience.

But once you zoom out a little, the details start to get fuzzy.

Patients come and go once their surgery is complete, and ophthalmology marketing isn’t your area of focus. What are the best tactics for retaining long-term patients? What changes can you make to your office or workflows to increase patient satisfaction?

If those details are blurry, you may be suffering from marketing myopia. That is negatively impacting your patients’ experiences. In this guide to our top LASIK patient retention strategies, we’ll:

  • Discuss how to treat marketing myopia with targeted retention strategies for pre- and post-surgery patients
  • Walk through how retention strategies can convert patients into long-term patients with high lifetime value

Retention Starts Before the Procedure

Instead of creating marketing initiatives that just get patients into the chair, start building experiences that cultivate long-term relationships. Orient your processes around pleasant interactions, client education, post-surgical customer satisfaction, and referrals. Start with these three steps:

1. Set Success KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics that your LASIK office can measure to affect change over time. For example, suppose you have an office wait time of 45 minutes. Your objective may be to reduce that to 20 minutes. So you might first set a KPI milestone of 35 minutes and begin to measure patient wait times, implement workflow changes that can shorten that window, and identify factors interfering with a short wait time.

As you approach 35 minutes, you might revise your KPI to reflect a milestone of 25 minutes. Tracking metrics associated with your KPI allows you to learn more about your business and make measurable progress.

Some success KPIs you can measure and strive forward with are:

  • Patient Attrition Rate: Your attrition rate highlights the number of patients you’ve lost. By actively focusing on reducing this number, you can create programs and incentives for patients, see related customer service efforts increase, and more. Measuring this KPI can also help you identify when (and why) patients fall away.
  • Office Wait Times: Decreasing wait time can boost patient satisfaction and streamline operational costs. Reducing this metric is good for almost every aspect of your practice.
  • Patient Satisfaction: By using feedback questionnaires, surveys, and NPS systems, your team can start to measure patient satisfaction. Low patient satisfaction scores give you insight into potential problems.

2. Improve the Patient Experience

Patient experiences encapsulate the entire journey of marketing, services, and interactions customers have with your LASIK office. Touchpoints, procedures, calls about appointments, and transactions are all aspects that shape each client’s overall patient experience with your business. According to statistics curated by GetFeedback, “Following a negative customer interaction, 58% of Americans would never use that company again.” A single bad experience can make patients turn to a different medical services provider. Long wait times, a missed call, or even an awkward interaction can increase customer churn.

Two simple steps for improving the patient experience could be:

  • Returning phone calls promptly
  • Providing waiting room entertainment to reduce perceived wait times (add magazines and television or provide refreshments)

3. Create Reception Area Marketing Content

Just because a lead has scheduled an appointment doesn’t mean the selling process is over. You still need to create pleasant waiting experiences before the consultation and subsequent appointments. One of the best ways to boost retention is by investing in your reception area.

Some reception area marketing content you can create to engage and wow patients are:

  • Phone Hold Messages: Before patients make it to your waiting room, they may call with questions. Upgrade with a professional and pleasant phone hold message and directory system.
  • Information Packets: Provide professional-looking, helpful information packets about the major services you offer. This can entertain and educate bored clients, creating a stronger first impression. Opt for color prints and glossy brochures.
  • Posters: Decorate your waiting room with engaging but professional and relevant posters.
  • Counter Cards: Place helpful or entertaining cards along the ledge between your waiting room and the back offices.
  • Photos of Celebrity Patients: Social proof is important to any marketing endeavor. If you have celebrity patients ranging from influencers and local politicians to Hollywood stars, hang photos in your waiting room. This boosts patients’ confidence in the quality of your services.
  • Testimonials: Just like celebrity photos, testimonials are referrals that can establish your quality of services, overall customer satisfaction, and more.

Retaining LASIK Patients During the Post-Op Regimen

Creating a pleasant and restorative post-operation process isn’t just medically necessary — it’s good for patient retention. If you just provide LASIK surgeries and end the interaction after the operation, you’ll see lots of churn. But providing more comprehensive care and services leads to more retention. Patients that have a positive experience will trust you with their future needs (as well as those of their spouse or children).

Try these strategies:

4. Discuss Future Patient Needs

After LASIK surgery, patients will still need ongoing care. For example, they’ll develop presbyopia over time. You can help them by proactively discussing this gradual loss rather than letting them think it’s a defect of the surgery. You can also discuss and create plans for:

  • Cataract Surgery
  • Glaucoma Management
  • Retinal Disorders

Focus on comprehensive eye care, not just one procedure. This builds trust, creates better patient outcomes, and leads to longer patient retention.

5. Inform Through Educational Website Content

Educate your patients so they know what to expect after their procedure and as their eyes continue to age. Providing this information showcases your expertise, boosts customer trust, and prolongs doctor-patient lifecycles through positive interactions. Create online blog posts with general information or helpful post-op tips.

6. Automate Appointment Reminders

Offering convenience is a great way to boost customer experiences and customer retention. You can reduce your attrition rate and offer a smoother experience by reminding patients of their appointments in advance. Automated email reminders and text messages can do the heavy lifting.

Retaining LASIK Patients After the Post-Op Regimen

Ignoring patients after the post-op regimen is short-sighted and can hurt your business. Make the switch to patient retention-focused business models with these marketing approaches:

7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Good SEO practices make your website easier to find online by elevating you in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Approaches like updating your website’s metadata, regularly posting online content through a business blog or newsletter, and linking your website to local business directory pages all help you climb the ranks on Google and other search engines. SEO for ophthalmologists both increases your exposure to new prospects and helps current patients rediscover your business.

8. Use Social Media

Frequently posting on social media platforms like Facebook helps you stay in contact with local audiences. You can post helpful eye health tips, information about LASIK procedures, and details about new promotions in your office. Having a frequently updated social media page also gives you a channel for addressing complaints and eliciting positive feedback.

9. Content Marketing

Earlier, we mentioned creating blogs and newsletters. Content marketing is an inbound marketing approach centered on creating helpful educational and promotional content for your target audience. This content helps you establish a brand identity and build trust with your prospects and existing patients. It further boosts SEO through the proper use of ophthalmology keywords. Some popular types of content include:

  • Blogs
  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • Before and after photos

How to Implement Patient Retention Strategies

You can implement all of these patient retention strategies today in your office. Ophthalmologists can take a DIY approach to marketing and patient retention, and doing so can give you fresh insight into your business.

However, specialized strategies like content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization require technical expertise.

The right marketing specialists can help your office reach and retain patients. At DoctorLogic, we are an agency that specializes in serving ophthalmologists. We help doctors reach new patients, create excellent long-term relationships, and recenter your business efforts around retention. To learn more about our patient acquisition platform with automated appointment reminders, HIPAA-compliant lead management, and A.I.-driven SEO, schedule a demo today.

Published on
Jun 01, 2022

Written by
DoctorLogic Employee