Doctor Patient Relations

6 Ways We Create Lifelong Patients in Our Practice

A sign in Dr. Voss’s office letting patients know about the many services the practice provides. Dr. Voss says it’s important to let patients know the full breadth of your services, rather than making them search on their own, to find out all you do.

By Ann W. Voss, Therapeutic Optometrist, FCOVD,
Diplomate, ABO

April 20, 2022

Patients want to stick with an eye doctor long-term–if they are provided with a high level of care and a positive experience. Here is how my practice creates patients who stay with us as long as they live in our area.

Make Patients Feel How Much You Care
Patients want to feel important, listened to and respected. That means taking the time and thought to ask open-ended, rather than yes/no questions and repeating back to a patient what you heard them tell you so you can ensure you truly understand what they need. It also means giving patients your undivided attention during the exam.

After the exam, we send each patient a thank-you note for joining our office with a personal note attached from the doctor.

Provide a Consistently High Level of Care & Show Your Expertise Is Growing
Patients want to see that you are consistent with your care, but always growing in knowledge, technology, services and aesthetics. Since starting the office in 1998, patients have seen the office grow from a single-practitioner office to a group practice of five doctors. They’ve seen us teach interns from the University of Houston College of Optometry.

They’ve seen us remodel and expand our space several times during our 24-year history. We’ve added specialties that are quite successful, from growing our Vision Learning Center to branding our specialty contact lens clinic – Contact Lens Institute of Houston – to our dry eye specialty. Our patients know us as a place they can trust and count on for the best in eyecare.

Educate Patients About All You Do
We have professional signage in our office behind the front desk that shows a menu of our services. This helps patients know the myriad services we provide. Additionally, our specialty websites (three of them) are linked to one another, and all are featured on our main practice website.

In addition, our staff is trained and knowledgeable about our services, so they can answer nearly any question a patient might have about the many ways we can provide them with care.

Use Automated Recall
For recalling patients, we use Weave to send recall notices as texts and e-mails. If they don’t respond, we made a personal call the following month.

Editor’s Note: Weave is one of many platforms you can choose from for patient communications. Other options include Solutionreach, Constant Contact and Demandforce.

Celebrate Happenings in Your Practice
We consider our patients part of the Bellaire Family Eye Care family and welcome them to celebrate with us our growth and new services. We have hosted many style shows showcasing new frame lines, and we use these opportunities as a fundraiser for the charity Noah’s House – a home for special-needs adults where my brother lives. Patients seem to love supporting something important to me when they come to celebrate new things in our office.

We’ve hosted open houses when we’ve added a new doctor or want to highlight a cool service area. For example, Brandon Belt, of the San Francisco Giants, joined us at an event in the Xtreme Sports Vision part of our office to talk about the benefits of sports vision training. This was a big hit and drew much enthusiasm from budding athletes of all ages and sports. We’ve had similar open houses to share success stories about post-concussion testing and treatments.

We are always striving to address the visual needs and wishes of our patients, and in doing so, we build trust and loyalty.

Only Add Doctors to Your Practice Whom You Believe In & Are Excited About
The seed of patients I began with grew to love our office, and felt just as well-served seeing an associate as they felt seeing me. I have always encouraged getting patients in to see the most available practitioner rather than have patients wait weeks to see me. It’s good for business and it’s good for patients to be seen sooner rather than later.

Ann W. Voss, Therapeutic Optometrist, FCOVD, Diplomate, ABO is a partner with Bellaire Family Eye Care (BFEC) in Houston, Texas. To contact her:


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