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    Building trust with patients builds the practice

    It starts with first contact via telephone and continues through patient handoff

     

    Regaining trust

    Trust is never automatic with each new patient—we must cultivate the relationship, and it must be earned. Presenting an air of confidence, but not arrogance, will invoke patient confidence and over time trust. It’s great to show off our skills; patients appreciate our abilities to service them and our products.

    If trust is lost, it becomes almost impossible to regain it. Attempting to do so will require additional effort from every team member. We will need to focus our attention on rebuilding our relationship and changing the negative attitude patients may have about us. It takes many positives to counter a single negative.

    Transparency is an important tool to counter most negative concerns. For instance, if a remake of a patient’s lenses is required, it is important to talk to the patient and avoid the blame game. If responsibility lies with the practice, we must take that ownership. If the liability falls with the patient, our job is to speak with him graciously and with tact. There is always a compromise to be made if we are to sustain our patient’s trust and loyalty.  

    Related: Super optician to the rescue!

    The road to trust

    Positive first impressions are sustained with every patient interaction; consistent monitoring of patient relations through communication becomes our tool to maintain patient confidence. Utilizing social media with announcements of activities, new instruments, or new team members are exciting for our team and is a great way to continue communication between patients’ visits.

    With a reliance on the integrity we demonstrate when providing our patients with improved eye health and vision, our patients understand that our goal is to enrich their lives with better-quality vision resulting in improved eye health. It is through trust that commitment will be built. It is important to remember that trust is ongoing and must never be lost. With trust comes the power to develop and maintain patient loyalty, almost always a guarantee for continued practice growth. 

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    Tami L. Hagemeyer, ABOC, FNAO
    Tami Hagemeyer is the lead optician at Premier Vision Group in Bowling Green, OH. She is responsible for all phases of optometric and ...

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    Optometry Times A/V