Article Date: 3/1/2013

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We All Like a Good Story. Tell Us Yours.

Or, patients will draw their own conclusions about your practice.

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FROM THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jim Thomas

Optometric Management recognizes that your practice has stories to tell. From presenting the latest progressive lenses to explaining the virtues of a contact lens technology to convincing a patient to be compliant with an IOP-lowering medication, it’s often easier to engage patients when you tell a story rather than recite instructions. “Take two of these, and call me in the morning” doesn’t cut it with most patients anymore if, in fact, it ever did.

We have stories

In response, OM offers several tools to help optimize the impact of your stories. The most literal example is our new “Scriptopedia” section, which tackles the subject of anti-reflective lenses this month. Our “Marketing & Merchandising” section regularly capitalizes on stories that have fostered excellence, from the perspectives of both practice management and patient care. Good stories effectively communicate the benefits of your recommendations and your practice. They foster patient referrals and loyalty. When the stories are bad… well, let’s just say no one likes a bad story teller.

While stories can improve sales efforts, they are also an integral part of the patient-education process. For example, in her “Nutrition” column on page 41, Dr. Kimberly K. Reed offers a script that introduces patients to the macular pigments.

Telling a different story

Much like any other solution, one story or script does not necessarily fit all. As record producer Pete Welding once observed, “Every generation has its own story to tell, and its own way of telling it.” The same adage applies to different cultures and interests. So you may not reach the 40-year-old contact lens wearer with the same message that resonated so well with the 18-year-old. While your practice can’t tell infinite stories, you can align specific messages with the patients you are trying to reach.

Also, don’t underestimate the number of story-telling opportunities available to your practice. For example, what do old magazines left in reception or sporadic postings on your practice website say to patients?

Your story is always told

If you don’t take time to “author” your practice’s many stories, be aware that your practice still tells stories through a host of qualities, including your actions, staff demeanor, office technology, reception, décor and facility cleanliness, maintenance, etc. And of course, your patients also tell a version of your story, whether they are delighted or dissatisfied. OM



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: March 2013, page(s): 4