Your Top 50
Patients, that is. Do you know who
they are and what they need?
From the Executive Editor, Larisa Hubbs
Wouldn't it be great to know which
of your services your top 50 patients appreciate most?" Bob
Levoy frequently asks his audience members.
A lecturer to Fortune 500
companies and numerous healthcare providers of all kinds, Bob has
been around the block quite a few times when it comes to helping
others serve their customers' and patients' needs.
And what he's discovered from
decades of consulting and market research is that the first step
in attaining success is getting to know your patients' needs and
Not such a daunting task
Sounds simple enough, but it can
be a daunting task with no clear starting point. If you're like
the average optometrist who completes about 3,229 exams a year,
that's a lot of faces to remember.
So start small, Bob suggests.
Create this list by having yourself and your staff do a little
exercise. Write down your top 50 patients.
You know who they are: They're the
ones who've been with your practice for years. They bring their
entire families to you. They buy their eyeglasses and contact
lenses from you.
Compare your list to those your
staffers have completed and pare the names to the elite final 50.
This list will provide a good base
of influential opinions to tap.
(Of course, if you have a large
practice, go for the top 100. If you have a small one, target
your top 20.)
These are your practice's movers
and shakers. Their opinions are gold.
Have your staff get to know them.
Just knowing their names alone could avoid embarrassment.
"For example," Bob
explains, "can you imagine how one of these patients would
feel if he called for an appointment and the receptionist asked 'Are
you a patient here?'"
Use this list to conduct short (two-
to four-question), targeted practice surveys to find out what
services these patients value most, how they perceive your staff,
what they would change about your office, etc.
Always cater to their needs.
"If one of them calls for an appointment and you don't have
one open, make one," Bob explains. "Just reschedule the
The bottom line is: You can't
afford to lose these patients.
Our own elite list
Great advice from someone who
knows. Bob Levoy is but one of the fine people who joins the
elite doctors and practice management consultants this month on
our revamped editorial board.
We'll tap into this list of top
talent ourselves to provide you with cutting-edge advice that you
can put to the test to help your practices become better than
(Bob Levoy's new book, 101
Secrets of a High-Performance Optometric Practice, will be
available soon from Butterworth-Heinemann.)
Optometric Management, Issue: February 2001