Why is an omnichannel approach important?
People these days expect to do business on their own terms, including when it comes to their eye care. Investing in an omnichannel strategy enables prospective and existing patients to engage with you when it’s convenient for them and via their preferred platform.
Consider these statistics from our research:
- 50% of all client interactions happen outside business hours.
- 20% of patients say their biggest pain point is reaching a clinic after hours.
- 42% of patients prefer to book appointments online instead of in-person or over the phone.
The online aspect is essential for a positive patient experience, but it’s not sufficient to simply offer a solid website or a good in-store experience—you must create a fluid online to in-store journey.
A seamless patient journey benefits all parties
In addition to enhancing the patient experience, a well-designed omnichannel strategy can improve your operations and help you save money. For example, if you don’t have enough chair time to see all your patients, you can provide digital tools to enable them to complete tasks and shop for glasses on their own time.
You can start with a basic testing technology like an acuity check that allows patients to determine whether or not they need an updated prescription. Giving a patient control over this stage in the process helps to build trust, as they won’t need to come to your office for a potentially unnecessary appointment.
And when an appointment is needed, they can effortlessly schedule it online—booking the best available date and time that works for them.
If a new prescription is needed and an appointment is set, you can be proactive in the following days. Connecting the patient with a frame recommendation and virtual try-on tool empowers them to “pre-shop” before the appointment to identify their ideal frame fit and styles. Then when they come to the store, it’s much more efficient for everyone because your associate can present the patient’s favorites, so they don’t get overwhelmed by a vast wall of frames.
An omnichannel approach empowers patients to find the right frame as soon as possible, whether online or in-store. It also gives them the type of “wow” moments that elevate the brand experience and build loyalty.
Establishing a patient-first omnichannel strategy
Many brands in the vision industry have a serious disconnect with the patient experience. They likely have online functions such as appointment scheduling and shopping for glasses, but these are disconnected from in-store functions such as vision testing, prescription services, and trying on glasses.
The two modes often are managed by different people and the data isn’t shared, which hurts the patient experience because they have to provide the same information or complete the same tasks multiple times.
Before looking for ideas outside, start with a thoughtful assessment from the inside using the data you already have.
Here are four questions to guide your patient-first strategies:
- What do my patients want to know before visiting my office or store?
- How can I make their visits faster and more efficient?
- How can my online offerings enhance the in-store experience and vice versa?
- What do my patients need for an overall better experience?
The answers to these questions will guide you in developing your unique vision.
Bringing your omnichannel strategies to life
Becoming a fully omnichannel business can be intimidating, so pick a few strategies that will make the biggest impact with your patients. Popular options include acuity testing, online scheduling tools, SMS messaging and reminders, website chat, and pre- and post-appointment support.
Centralized data should be the foundation for your strategies. With a centralized database, you can track each patient through their journey and build a full picture of their activities, preferences, and needs. Ultimately, this personalization will enable you to offer outstanding patient experiences.
For example, you’ll be able to uniquely communicate with patients where and how they want. Some patients prefer emails or texting, while others are most active on Facebook or Instagram. But you’ll never know until you begin collecting their preferences.
Remember that your efforts will only be effective when data flows both in and out of your centralized database. The more accessible it is, the more accessible your patient insights will become.
The key to success
Because stores usually convert sales better than online shops, it’s easy to focus on the brick-and-mortar side of things. But you’ll increase conversions on both sides when your omnichannel strategies establish a fluid experience between your patients’ online and in-person actions.
Yes, it takes a lot of work to set up a centralized database. But, the longer you wait to correlate your data, the harder it will be. So now is the ideal time to take action.
Luna experts are happy to help
Whether you are implementing your first omnichannel strategies or are a veteran merely looking to refine your approach, our team has the expertise and resources to help.
For example, Luna’s myRx Acuity Check is a simple but effective tool to help patients verify their visual acuity from home. The test lets them know if they need to schedule an appointment to update their prescription or if they can continue using their existing prescription. Luna also offers a Virtual Try-On tool that can help patients find the right frame size and style—increasing their confidence and decreasing product returns after purchase.
Get in touch to set up a time for us to talk about your business goals and how we can best support you.