Marketing will always play a vital role in your practice but know that it is not the “only” key in attracting new patients. Quality service and customer care take your patients from interested to loyal patrons, and from happy customers to willing brand ambassadors. Nothing can be more delightful for your dear patients but to receive the best service and care each time they visit your practice and each time they interact with you or with any of your staff there or online.

Just like in marketing, going full on and committed to customer service and care require a lot of hard work, patience, testing, learning, and sometimes spending. There is no “one size, fits all” when it comes to implementing this in your business. You will need to design a strategy that will bring forth a win-win solution for you and your patients. Your strategy is going to be based on what your marketing and business goals are but please be guided by the following reminders to better ensure that you are on the right path towards maintaining an outstanding customer service program.

Make sure that your front liners have ample knowledge about your products and services.

Train your staff to answer basic questions about your products and services. This is necessary for times when you are away, is attending to another patient, or is busy with other work at your optical store. Some customers especially walk-ins want quick answers to their enquiries and it would be helpful if your front liners are able to accommodate them. These questions might be about pricing, product model or brand, product care and warranty, your return and exchange policy, booking and scheduling, or a few questions about your practice. Never about a diagnosis, recommended treatment for a vision-related issue or interpreting the results of an eye exam as these should all be addressed by optometrists only.

Provide easy and hassle-free options for patients to reach you.

Make it easy for your patients to lodge in their messages, queries, and concerns. Phone is the
traditional method but know that most of your patients have access to the internet so be sure to
meet them there as well. Here are a few ways by which you can leverage the power of the internet
so as to provide assistance to your patients:

  • Your website’s contact form
  • A chat service on your website
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Instagram Direct Messaging
  • Twitter Direct Messaging
  • Email

Choose a method that is right for your market. Make sure too that you are comfortable in managing your chosen channel or channels as you and your staff need to be on top of monitoring, answering, and documenting every customer query that may come in from there. Also, regardless of where a message is received, your team should be able to get back to your patient within a fixed response time say, no longer than 24 hours.


Do you need help in activating any of the channels mentioned above? Let us know. We might be able to help.


Identify your response time and resolution time.

Making your patients wait for an answer or a solution isn’t going to create a good impression.
Patients who are made to wait too long will consider going to the next optical store. Worse, other customers will contemplate on posting a bad review or complaint on social media.

To avoid these, make sure to set response time and resolution time limits. Response time is the window hours that you give yourself and your team to get back to your patients for their messages. It is at this period that you acknowledge the receipt of their questions or messages. If an answer is available then fire away. If you are yet to determine a solution then set their expectations by mentioning the resolution time say in the next three to five business days.

Offer relevant, delightful, and helpful information.

Caring for your patients involves providing more information about various ways on how to care for their eyes and how to prevent them from developing any eye disorders and other vision-related problems. You can do this through a blog, your social media posts, podcasts, webinars, even answering questions in patient forums online and in events.

This also lets them know that you are knowledgeable as you are able to provide helpful insights. This will further enhance your credibility as a go-to eye care professional. All of these will make your patients feel that they are in good hands.


Yes, boost your customers’ confidence in your practice by providing content that they will find relevant and helpful. Let us help you start a blog now.


Learn how to explain medical terms using basic and easy-to- understand words.

Most of your customers are not familiar with the terms that you use in your profession so please have the patience to explain them in layman’s terms. Old customers might have picked up a few terms already or are somehow used to these terms that you use but be more accommodating to new ones who visit your optical store, website, or company page on social media. Remember, the aim is to increase their awareness about eye care and for them to understand your recommendations. Using jargons might just be a little bit confusing and overwhelming.

Be very willing to listen to your patients all the time.

Any business owner who does not have the patience to listen to their customers will find a difficult time growing their company. Most business decisions are derived from how customers react to their products and services and so if you don’t know how to listen and gather feedback then you are missing on very important customer data. How is this done?

  • Spending ample time with your patients when they visit your store
  • Not hesitating to talk to them when they call
  • Attending to complaints posted on social media or messages sent via direct messaging
  • Checking how your content is fairing online via Google Analytics
  • Checking social media data reports


Be friendly and professional.

Your patients need to see you as someone who is trustworthy and dependable. Health is a personal matter and it usually takes a while before patients open up about their concerns and health issues. Take on a friendly approach and show that their questions and concerns will always be accommodated. At the same time, never leave out professionalism. Don’t go overly casual and easy. Instead, project yourself as an experienced and knowledgeable eye care specialist. This is quality service.



Were you able to catch all of our 5 tips for promoting your practice? View our Marketing Tips 1 to 4 here. If you think you need help in implementing any of them then email us at We’ll be publishing more helpful marketing blogs for optometrists like you so stay tuned.


You may also like...

Many small business owners attest to the benefits of networking as a …

  August 16, 2017   by Michael Nasser

It’s easy to fall into the assumption that small businesses like local …

  August 4, 2017   by Michael Nasser

Many small business owners attest to the benefits of networking as a means to introduce their services to the market, attract new clients, and build connections with potential partners – all of these to bring forth growth and stability to their company. Networking is being done in the form of events, workshops, business coffee meet ups, meetings, and talks.

Independent optometrists are no stranger to networking. The simple chance to strike a conversation with a patient during an eye exam is networking. Being an active member of an association about our profession is also called networking. But of course, networking isn’t all that a busy business owner like us do and some of us sometimes put it at bay or even forego it totally. If you are on the brink of giving up on networking then hold it right there. Here are more reasons why you should continue pursuing this helpful marketing tactic plus tips on how to approach networking better for our field.

Networking will give you the chance to promote your own professional brand.

You are the face of your own business for optometrists represent the optical store that they own or work for. The more that patients trust you, the more it is that they will stay loyal and go back to your store for their regular eye checkups and eye care needs. This means that you also have to promote yourself as a reliable eye care professional.

You don’t need to be over the top with this. Excellent service speaks for itself and your patients will most likely spread the word about their experience to their families and friends. Word-of-mouth can do wonders and so before your patient steps out of your optical store, make sure to plant some points about yourself and your practice through a friendly and professional chat. Below are some examples of what to mention to your patient:

  1. “I am attending a conference on macular degeneration this coming December so please feel free to check with our reception if you are planning to book a schedule on that month or if you need anything else.” This gives your patient an idea that you are continuously innovating as conferences are events where you get to learn more about your practice. At the same time, you are advising them to plan their visit ahead which is good customer service.
  2. “I’ve had a similar case with a patient before.” This is hinting on experience and will give them more peace of mind as you have already dealt with the same eye health issue with a previous patient of yours.
  3. “I recommend that you follow this blog for more about eye care.” Patients these days are smart and well informed. They are always on the internet, researching and knowing more about a certain topic including health and eye care. Your patients will appreciate it if you will be able to point them to a good resource. Much better if this resource is yourself. Do you maintain a blog? Better start one now!

Networking connects you to more people who can be valuable to your practice.

“No man is an island.” This quote is also true in business. You will have a better chance of successfully promoting your practice if you have the right connections by your side. These connections can potentially be your:

  • suppliers
  • mentors
  • employees
  • business partners
  • investors
  • patients

Remember, networking doesn’t stop at when you’re able to tap one person. You can maximise that connection by getting to know other people who are in your contact’s network. One way to do this is through social media.

Capitalising on the power of social media to network is called social networking. It is a network of 2.79 billion people right at your fingertips and they are all spread in different social platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google+,  Pinterest, and many more.

Optometrists should leverage on these social media platforms to find out who are in their expanded network or those who might be connected to their direct contacts. Luckily this can be done in Facebook and LinkedIn where you can view basic details about the persons whom your contacts are friends with. You can ask to be introduced by your contact. You can also announce promos in your social media company page where contacts get discounts through referrals.

There are a lot of ways by which you can tap on social media to widen your network. You can also join groups with members who are interested in optometry or who are in the business as you do. You need to be creative and relevant. You need to be willing to interact and assist those who are seeking advice from you.

Networking opens you to a world of opportunities.

What are the opportunities that you can get from networking? These are:

  • Leads
  • Referrals
  • Invitations to talks and other speaking engagements
  • Opportunity to advertise your business
  • Partnerships
  • And many more!

The opportunities that you can bump into an event or trade show or while on social media or by just reconnecting to an old colleague are limitless. Though you need to able to filter the opportunities that are worth your time and effort. Some opportunities might be best for a later time, some might be too expensive, and some are a little far from what you are aiming to achieve. You need to make sure that each opportunity that you will choose to grab and pursue is aligned to your overall marketing and business goals.

Sharing this blog will definitely show your friends on social media that you are actively seeking to expand your network. Click any of the links below to share this article with them.

You may also like...

Marketing will always play a vital role in your practice but know …

  August 30, 2017   by Michael Nasser

It’s easy to fall into the assumption that small businesses like local …

  August 4, 2017   by Michael Nasser

It’s easy to fall into the assumption that small businesses like local optical stores can survive without proper branding. It’s time-consuming, it’s difficult, and it can be expensive most especially if you will need to hire someone who will do it for you. But identifying your brand can be a whole lot easier if you understand what items will you need to formulate. Consider branding as part of your overall marketing plan. Or even part of your business plan which you cannot opt not to have.

Branding is an investment. If done correctly, you will have a concrete and consistent way of introducing yourself to the market. Your patients will be able to remember you often and will thus influence their decision when choosing where to go for their eye care service needs.

So how do you start with branding? What are the steps in making sure that you will be able to formulate a clear definition of your business? Here they are:

1. Ask yourself these questions and answer in no more than five sentences.

Make your answer brief but clear. All the answers that you will be coming up with from the questions below will form part of your branding statement.

  • What is your business and what do you offer?
  • What is your unique selling proposition? What makes you unique from those who offer the same products and services?
  • What are your goals and vision?
  • Three words why customers should go to your store.
  • What can you promise your customers? What are the customer needs that you target to solve?
  • Is your promise backed by a testimonial, survey, study, or a certification? Your claim should be credible.
  • What tone will you need to use when talking to your customer?

*Reminder: The aim is not to create fancy statements. Avoid using words that will just make your branding statement long and too formal. Help your patients remember your business so go simple when creating your branding statement.

2. Have an effective logo.

Yes, not just a good-looking logo, but one that is effective in representing your brand. A logo is going to be the face of your business so, at first look, it should already convey the messages formulated in tip #1 above. What are the qualities of an effective logo:

  • Memorable – Make sure that your logo design will leave a lasting impact on your patient’s mind.
  • Timeless – Our logo should be able to keep up with our vision of being able to survive many, many years and to grow in a much bigger business.
  • Simple – Notice how big brands are able to manage with very simple logos. Check out the logos of ANZ, Jetstar, and WWF.
  • Versatile – when conceptualising your logo, visualise it in different media and in different forms. Your logo should look good in all of its representations.
  • Scalable – your logo should be adjustable to any sizes, colour background, and space available. Make sure to create your logo in PNG format.

*Reminder: There are several logo creators online but to ensure that your entire brand statement will be captured in it, you may consider hiring an experienced graphic designer or a marketing agency who understands your industry. Be sure to check out their sample works first.

3. Develop a guideline on how the logo will be used.

Graphic designers call this the “style guide”. A style guide is a visual reminder of how all of your branded or marketing materials should look like given that your logo will be present in them. Colours, font, and images that will be used should be clearly identified in this document.

*Reminder: If you will not be working with a graphic artist, you can just simply list down the do’s and don’ts in designing your materials.

4. Create a tagline.

A one-liner message that summarises your entire brand statement just might be the ticket for patients to remember you. It should be catchy and should sound nice together with your business name. Have it under the tone that you would like to use when speaking to your customers.

*Reminder: Choose taglines that are professional and meaningful. Stay away from terms that are offensive and vulgar.

Lastly, make sure to enforce the proper and consistent use of your branding guidelines. None of the exercises mentioned above will work if you go by your marketing activities without taking them into consideration.

You may also like...

Marketing will always play a vital role in your practice but know …

  August 30, 2017   by Michael Nasser

Many small business owners attest to the benefits of networking as a …

  August 16, 2017   by Michael Nasser

Sensis in their e-Business Report last year stated that the proportion of small businesses with a website was 60%, while 4% intend to get one this year.

If you think you are part of the remaining 36% because you are still undecided whether a website will be good for your business, worry no more. A website is crucial for your business to grow and it is vital for it to thrive and compete against others who are providing the same product or service. And although some business owners in our sector hesitate in investing into a well-designed website, know that the highest rate of website penetration includes the health industry which is at 71%. This only means that more and more Australian health-related businesses like ours are able to reach their customers through the use of a website.

If we have not convinced you yet, then these are just some of the benefits that independent optometrists can gain out of a professional-looking website for their practice:

A website is an interactive and dynamic source of information about your optical store.

A website can be a one-stop- shop for everything that is related to your practice. If structured and designed properly, visitors will never tire of browsing through pages and pages of information which may include the following:

  • Company history and information
  • Product and service descriptions
  • Pricing and request quotation form
  • Photo gallery
  • Company news and blog
  • Client testimonials and reviews
  • Special Promos

Having a website is giving your potential patients a channel where they can get to know you better. The more they know about you, the better recall will they have of your business which is ultimately helpful when it is finally time for them to avail a product or service that you offer. Patients in general conduct research first before heading out to a store so make sure to give them enough resources through your website.

A well-designed website sets a good initial impression hence, credibility.

How many times have you already felt turned off and disappointed after visiting a website that looks unprofessional and sloppy? Did you continue browsing? Did you get lost? Were you able to find what you are seeking?

Launching a website just for the sake of having one isn’t a sure ticket towards your patients’ hearts. A website design needs to be well thought of, its structure well planned, and its special features meticulously developed. Remember that a website is like an actual optical store. It is an online representation of your business and whatever your patients see there is going to be a direct reflection of the quality and type of business that you manage. Patients now build their judgment over what they see and read about you online so always aim for your website to be the best online channel possible for your business.

A website is your number one tool in generating leads that could turn into potential clients.

Leads are one of the top things that we value whether coming from referrals, walk-ins, and what is being used most often now, websites.

Websites can be accessed anytime and anywhere using desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets and so the opportunity to generate leads from there is very high. Capture precious details about the people that visit your site by offering them something that can be helpful to them. Think of this as a give and take relationship – you offer something of value like an eBook, an infographic, a report, or a blog, even a discount or a freebie then they share with you their personal details.

A website is a cost-effective marketing tool.

Businesses before spend a huge amount of money on traditional advertising media. The results from these channels are usually hard to measure and track. Nowadays, business use digital marketing tools like social media and email marketing as they are easy to launch, manage, and monitor. Besides, they also show you the results as they happen. Same as a website.

A website is called a business’ main online marketing tool. All online traffic must lead there as a website, just like your optical store, should offer all information there is to help patients find what they are looking for whether helpful information, products, services, pricing, discount, or advice.

You may also like...

Marketing will always play a vital role in your practice but know …

  August 30, 2017   by Michael Nasser

Many small business owners attest to the benefits of networking as a …

  August 16, 2017   by Michael Nasser

Many small business owners think of marketing as an add-on. You do it to launch a product or service and you also do it whenever you think that sales need a little push. But what do you do in between? Wait. Social media seems to be what every shop is doing these days so let’s do it! And oh, someone offered to design a brochure so let’s do it too!

Pause. Don’t do these things on a whim. Marketing is a vital area of your business and it needs to be managed seriously and carefully. Regardless of the size of your business, your marketing activities still need to be formulated strategically. And this applies well to our sector. Independent optometrists are losing money on uncoordinated marketing programs and are losing their precious customers too due to the lack of a consistent effort to attract and hold them in.

A marketing plan is the by-product of careful planning and strategising. There are 12 key items that you need to include in your marketing plan. No need to rush in identifying them as again, you need to dedicate time and effort to studying your entire business and then planning what you can do to promote it to your patients.

What to include in your Marketing Plan?

1. Target Market.

Dig out as much information about your patients – age, gender, income, job, buying behaviour, social media habits, and much more.

2. Competitors.

Don’t be just one of the many optometrists in your city. Expect competition and push yourself to stand out. The only way to do that? Get to know your competitors first.

3. SMART Marketing and Sales Goals.

Repeat customers. Increase in sales. Referrals. Identify your goals but make sure that they are SMART. S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Achievable, R – Realistic, and T – Time bound.

4. Know your product more.

No one else should be an expert on the products and services that you offer in your store. Having sufficient knowledge sets the path to becoming an influencer which is a great marketing strategy that is being done by successful business owners.

5. Pricing.

Is your pricing competitive? What value-added offers can your patients get out of the money they spend inside your store? Will you be able to offer discounts? Studying your pricing scheme lets you decide these things.

6. Marketing channels.

Is your target market on social media? Do they read newspapers and magazines? Are they into reading blogs? Be where your patients are. Studying the channels where you can meet, talk, and interact with them will let you identify the marketing tools that you will need to use.

7. Sales forecast.

Marketing if done right will greatly influence your sales but you need to know the figures that you are aiming to hit within a period. Your marketing goals will usually be what is on top of your sales funnel so make sure to have those figures in mind when you think of promotion.

8. Budget.

How much are you willing to spend for your entire marketing program? Are you willing to DIY and try out free online tools? Is it more cost-effective to work with a marketing agency that knows your business type very well? These are just some points to consider.

9. Strategies.

Email marketing. Social media marketing. SEO. Content and blogging. Networking. Events. Sales promos. These are just some of the strategies that you can employ. The secret is in how to carefully mix, match, and implement these strategies.

10. Timeline.

You need to work within a timeline. Is your marketing campaign going to run for 6 months? Are you planning to repeat it after or launch a new one? Also, a timeline will help you stay focused.

11. Monitor and evaluate.

Know that marketing isn’t a one-time project. It should be a business mainstay. You have to monitor your marketing campaigns, document the results, evaluate, and then improve or redesign.

12. Network and support.

You are obviously an expert of your own practice. But some would say that they are not when it comes to marketing. This is totally alright that is why you also need to look at your network and see if you can find support from individuals or groups (Hey! Hello! We’re ReFocus Marketing 🙂 ) who have the expertise and experience in promoting a business like yours.

You may also like...

Marketing will always play a vital role in your practice but know …

  August 30, 2017   by Michael Nasser

Many small business owners attest to the benefits of networking as a …

  August 16, 2017   by Michael Nasser

(02) 8310 4133