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    How to use surveys to improve service at your practice

    Las Vegas—Surveying potential new patients, existing patients, or employees can help ODs deliver better service by knowing what people want and giving it to them, says Bethany Fishbein, OD, consultant at The Power Practice practice management group and private practice owner in Somerset, NJ.

    Surveying potential patients

    If an OD is looking to open a new office, surveys can help to pick the right location.

    Visit the locations under consideration, and ask people in the area:

    • Do you currently have an eye doctor?

    • If yes, are you happy with that doctor?

    • Do you have vision insurance?

    • What would you change about your current doctors?

    If you ask, people will tell you, says Dr. Fishbein.

    Dr. Fishbein and her husband opened their practice cold and surveyed people before choosing the location. She used the information people shared to market their new practice.

    Related: Top 10 practice management mistakes

    “When we opened, I highlighted what people said to us,” she says. “For example, if people complained about long wait times with their current doctors, we advertised that we’ll see patients within 10 minutes of arrival or their exam was on us. It attracted people in our area to our practice, and it helped us to build a practice."

    While conducting the survey, considering offering a drawing as a participation incentive. The drawing not only increases responses, but collecting email addresses to notify the winner helps a practice to build a mailing list.

    Exhibiting at community fairs is another way to obtain information from people in the area about what they want while also building a list. Offer a giveaway to encourage attendees to complete the survey.

    Says Dr. Fishbein: “Instead of being passive, you are being active by gathering information in a list you can sort by glasses wearers, contact lens wearers, etc. You will have a specific targeted email list you can use to market your practice. “

    Surveying non-patients

    Asking for information from people who are not patients provides valuable insight.

    Dr. Fishbein suggests asking people what they want, then advertise telling people that you offer exactly what they want.

    Her practice was busy on nights and weekends, but weekdays were not. Looking at the patient base showed that the practice was not seeing many senior citizens.

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