Mike Rothschild, OD, notes the fast pace of change, or disruption, brought about by social media. Practices have a great opportunity to stay connected to patients on a daily basis, but that constant connection requires careful monitoring and fast response. You have a chance to steer patients to new products and services, while getting their prompt feedback to build a better practice.
PACE OF INTERACTION IS FASTER. You don’t have time to wait and think about your response when a patient posts a question or comment about your practice to Facebook or an online review site. You need to respond the same day.
UNIFY TEAM FOR PRACTICE MISSION. Make sure all of your employees understand the big-picture goals of your practice, whether that’s to connect to the highest-end market in your community, or, just the opposite, to serve the neediest.
SURVEY PATIENTS FREQUENTLY. Use social media like Facebook to keep tabs on how your patients feel about your practice and the products and services you offer, and make changes as swiftly as you can in response.
START THE CONVERSATION. When you have a new product, like a new multifocal contact lens, start the conversation by asking patients about how their eyes feel after a long day in front of the computer, or doing other close-up work. Then, steer the conversation toward the new product you now have available in your office. Share success stories of patients who feel the product has improved their life.
STAY IN CONTROL OF THE MESSAGE. Carefully monitor conversations you start on social media, and be ready to steer the discussion in a more positive direction if negative comments arise. For example, if a patient complains about a contact lens you are promoting, express empathy, offer alternatives to that contact lens, and note that not every contact lens is for everybody. Send the message that your office is able to provide each individual with the right products to suit their unique needs.