July 13, 2016
Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO, owner of Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park, Texas, emphasizes that new patients are the lifeblood of practice growth, and tracking them is an essential task. Assign an employee to track and report on the numbers and sources of new patients. Set an ambitious new patient target, and engage staff in using creative marketing to achieve goals. Then celebrate goals met.
USE NUMBERS, NOT PERCENTAGES. Track and discuss new patient growth in actual numbers, rather than as a percentage of growth. Using numbers instead of percentages makes it easy for staff to envision the new patients coming into the practice, and to think of ways of making that number grow.
SHARE METRICS WITH STAFF. Assign each employee to track a different practice metric, and then to share the progress of that metric at weekly staff meetings.
TRACK WHERE NEW PATIENTS FIND YOU. Track whether patients find you through insurance lists, through friends or family, on social media, or through other sources.
MARKET CREATIVELY. Capture new patients with creative advertising, such as through supplements in your local newspapers that remind patients both of your modern, cutting-edge office, and of how long your practice has been part of the community.
CONSIDER ROLE OF LOCATION. Your location plays a central role in gaining new patients. Sometimes a move around the corner, with a new neighborhood designation, can attract new patients, who are more familiar with the name of your new neighborhood than they were with your old.