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Tips for improving patient satisfaction in your optical practice


No matter how long you’ve been in the eye care industry, there’s always something new to learn when it comes to making your business as successful as possible. You don’t just want your optical office to survive; you want it to thrive.


In order for this to happen, independent eye care business owners and managers should be aware of their mindsets and constantly be practicing ways to remain in a successful headspace. Keep reading to learn or remind yourself of some practical yet crucial ways to maintain a successful mindset on a daily basis.

Practice self-awareness

Whether we realize it or not, our internal energy and mindset affect our outward actions and demeanor. If you’ve had a stressful morning and had to rush just to get to the office on time, chances are that this anxious energy is going to have an effect on how you interact with your colleagues and patients. Practicing mindfulness and self-awareness is an important part of being the best possible version of yourself for your patients and employees. 


Even taking just five minutes at the beginning of every day to reorient your attitude and focus on the present moment can have a massive impact on how the rest of your day unfolds. Having a clear mindset allows you to devote your full attention to the task at hand and helps you develop deeper connections with your patients, resulting in better patient satisfaction.

Approach with empathy

When interacting with patients, empathy is one of the most important factors in gaining their trust and providing them with a solution that they can feel confident about. Treat every person who walks into your office with the same level of empathy you would afford a family member or close friend. Try to put yourself in their shoes and think about what they want to get from their visit. 


Remember that in the end, patients just want someone to truly hear their needs and concerns and then develop a plan that addresses these needs. They don’t need someone to bombard them with technical jargon and talk over them; they need to know that the person they’re consulting truly cares about them and wants the best for their eye health.

Ask questions

As we mentioned previously, patients want a doctor who truly listens to them and is sympathetic to their needs. One of the best ways to ensure that your patients feel taken care of is by asking plenty of questions. The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has stated that patient satisfaction is higher among those who feel their doctor is taking their needs seriously and is actively listening to their concerns.


While you may be used to asking something like “Do you have any questions?” this phrasing is less than ideal for gleaning information from your patients. Rephrasing the question as “What questions do you have?” insinuates the expectation of questions, making patients more likely to speak up about any points where they feel confused or unclear. 


Taking an interest in their personal lives and asking questions about their hobbies is another great way to build a stronger connection with your patients and can be beneficial for retail sales as well. For example, a conversation with a patient about the softball league they play in could naturally evolve into a conversation about their need for polarized sunglasses that are made for sports.

Pay attention to non-verbal cues

Even if you take the time to ask questions, sometimes not everything is actually verbalized by the patient. Being attentive to non-verbal cues is an important part of aligning with your patient’s emotions and increasing their overall satisfaction. When a patient asks a question or raises an objection, pay attention to how they’re speaking and what body language they’re exhibiting. They may ask a question or raise an objection, but they may actually be seeking answers to a deeper-rooted question or concern. By being in tune with these subtle signals, you can better advise your patients and provide them the peace of mind they may not even know they’re looking for.

Speak plainly

Just like any other service setting, clear communication is crucial when it comes to providing productive and informative eye care service. More likely than not, your patients aren’t going to be well-versed in the plethora of medical and technical jargon that you are used to hearing and using on a daily basis. Because of this, it’s important to remember to speak using terms and vocabulary that can be easily understood by your patients. 


Oftentimes, patients can feel intimidated by a doctor’s expertise. This intimidation can lead to them not asking the questions they may have or voicing the concerns they are harboring. Speaking in layman’s terms can make a patient feel more at ease and comfortable with having an open discussion and asking questions about their treatment.

Be their guide

Part of your job as an eye care provider is to provide guidance to patients when they are seeking treatment. Oftentimes, patients may not know what the best move is in preserving their eye health. This is why it’s so important to communicate the benefits and potential consequences of pursuing (or not pursuing) preventative eye care. This does not mean instilling a sense of fear and panic in your patients; in fact, it means easing their fears of the unknown. Making patients aware of potential problems down the road helps prevent surprise diagnoses and can make them feel more comfortable with undergoing different treatments. 


Of course, you may run into a patient from time to time with an opinion that conflicts with your advice. In these situations, it’s important not to come across as too candid or rude. Instead, acknowledge the patient’s freedom to choose the path they feel most comfortable with but tactfully remind them of the potential consequences of not following professional advice. In these types of situations, it is especially important to instill trust within the patient and remind them that your job is to help them be their healthiest selves.

Improve patient eye care experiences with A&A Optical

Looking for another way to enhance your patient’s eye care experience? Stocking your practice with premium eyeglass frames is one more way to help patients feel like they are getting the best quality care possible. Since 1971, A&A Optical has been providing optometrists, ophthalmologists, and eye care retailers with high-quality frames for every type of patient. From classic and sleek to colorful and unique, A&A Optical has frames to match every style and special fit need. Visit our website to learn more about how to become a buyer with us and join the A&A Family.

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