Article Date: 6/1/2012

My Favorite Four Systems
Strategy & innovation

My Favorite Four Systems

Consumer education technologies can breathe new life into your sales efforts.

Scot Morris, O.D., F.A.A.O.

How are you utilizing technology to change your consumer’s experience? Today, there are so many cool systems that can influence consumers to purchase a service or product — or even better, more than one — from your practice. Since it would take pages to explain all the opportunities, I’ll introduce my four favorite consumer education technologies and demonstrate how they can help breathe new life into your sales and merchandising processes.

1. Patient education and marketing software. No longer “the new kid on the block,” in terms of technology, vendors in this market continue to innovate. Revolutionary options, such as “send home” education and marketing, allow you, the eyecare professional, to not only send consumers an informative e-mail about their condition( s), but to also customize it with an introduction to your practice, a product or service promotion and even a call to action, all easily viewed in the comfort of the consumer’s home.

Even more important, since these virtual packages can be e-mailed, consumers can view them as many times as they want, as well as forward them to friends and family. The result: an increase in your practice’s branding. And yes, you can expect an “app” for that.

2. HD digital online signage solutions. With education and marketing software providing product and service animations, HD digital signage can be customized to market specific services and products. One vendor offers more than 800 video clips in its library, with more coming online regularly.

In my mind, this merchandising approach is a great complement to patient education solutions. It allows you to easily market your product promotions and special events, or educate your patient on why they need to buy that premium anti-glare technology that you’re focused on selling.

Also, this system can be programmed for local weather, news, or special events. This way, your consumers can decide whether they need to purchase that second pair of polarized wrap sunglasses before they hit the slopes or the trail later that afternoon.

3. Patient contact management systems. These systems have become very sophisticated in allowing you to communicate with your consumers on everything from appointment reminders to special event announcements and just about everything in between. These technologies focus on consumers who are not currently in your office. They offer a tremendous way to reach your consumers by text or e-mail. Also, they integrate with many of the major search engine and social media sites, which will save you lots of duplicate posting duties.

4. Social media. Of course, we can’t forget the popular social media sites. With an ever-growing market, social media is here to stay. Social media does not have to be a “chore.” It can be fun and help educate lots of consumers, both yours and soon-to-become yours. There are lots of articles in past issues of Optometric Management that delve into the nuances of social media, so I will save space here.

Even if you are not a “tech” person, you owe it to your consumers, your staff and yourself to look into a few of these technologies, and add a new twist on educating your consumers. OM


Optometric Management, Volume: 47 , Issue: June 2012, page(s): 78