LEADING OFF: CEO Challenge: Be More Likable

My challenge for you this month: Become more likeable in the eyes of your patients.


Likeability is an easily overlooked factor in business. People prefer to do business with people they like, in part because likeable people are perceived as more trustworthy. Most optometrists are not unlikeable, but are they delivering an experience that makes people want to do business with them? Or, are they just leaving patients feeling “neutral” about them and their practices?

Zocdoc, a platform for medical appointments and patient feedback, culled their database of patient reviews to determine what factors mattered most in positive and negative reviews of health care providers. The most common word used in positive reviews was “friendly.”


Some ways to appear more friendly (and likeable) in our patients’ eyes:

  • Smile often, and make a good first impression.
  • Show positive body language. We should speak with an enthusiastic tone, uncross our arms, maintain eye contact and lean toward the other person.
  • Show a genuine interest in the other person; not just as a patient, but a human being. This can be accomplished by asking about recent vacations, hobbies, etc.
  • Be generous with compliments. We are all suckers for flattery. When an opportunity presents to offer a genuine compliment, take advantage of it: “Mrs. Jones, the frames you chose really compliment your style!”
  • Minimize patient annoyances. We can accomplish this by eliminating long wait times and excessive paperwork.


Our practice is a reflection of us, the eye care provider, so Let’s make an effort to be more likable. OM