It’s nearly Christmas! No doubt you’ve thought about buying a present for your family and friends. You want it to be ‘just right’.
So, you jump online. Maybe you want inspiration or ideas. Or maybe to ask your friends’ recommendations on social media. Or maybe you already know what you want, and are looking for the best price (or a place that can guarantee delivery before Christmas).
Searching for information online is like a badge of honour. We have an infinite number of information sources to choose from. That is, the more information sources that you evaluate, the more respect you have from your partner/spouse, family or friends about a decision. Not only this, but if your purchase turns out to be fantastic, you gain satisfaction.
This is the Thrill of the Search.
Little purchases, like groceries, tend not to take much of our time. The bigger our purchase is, the more we do our research.
As Optometrists, we repeat this process for significant purchases like new Optometry Equipment, hiring an additional staff member, selecting a freeform lens lab, or choosing a new practice location.
Let’s switch to how our patients see us.
Our patients go through the same process, when looking for an Optometrist they can trust. How many times per week do you hear patients say that they’d ‘rather go deaf than blind’?
Moreover, if a patient’s mother or father struggled with low vision, it becomes an order of magnitude greater in priority.
We need to ask:
How easy do we make it for new patients to find our practice online? Or what does our website and social media presence say about us?
According to Cisco’s whitepaper “The Future of Retail Touchpoints” (2010):
A customer’s journey—from first hearing about a product to purchasing it—involves a vast and growing array of encounters with a product or brand. In fact, consumers “touch” your brand (or practice) an average of 56 times between inspiration and transaction. Many of these “touchpoints” involve standard retail channels—walking by the storefront, going online to a branded e-commerce website, viewing a TV ad, or hearing a radio spot promoting a local sale. But more and more, new media touchpoints such as social networking, blogs, communities, video, and location-based services are becoming an integral part of the consumer shopping journey.
Before a patient enters your practice, can they feel confident that you are an optometrist who:
- Is Thorough
- Explains the solution well
- Listens well
- Helps them to feel at ease
- Has a holistic view to problem-solving
Having a patient-centred website and social media presence is critical to building trust. This helps us to give patients the right information at the right time.
And it gives them satisfaction too, when they find you. They enjoy the Thrill of the Search!
Over to you! Tell me your best decisions that you made about a product or service after searching online. And how good you felt when you nailed it!