In the past, contacting patients was pretty easy: if they weren’t in your system, their contact information was listed in a phone book, where you could look them up and get in touch via a single phone number or listed address.
These days, it’s not so simple. Phone books are ancient relics, and more and more people every year opt to use their mobile phone number as their primary means of contact. In fact, as of Q4 2016, over half the nation’s adults had abandoned their landline.
This is a problem for ECPs who want to communicate with patients in between exams via text – to schedule or confirm appointments or to reorder contact lenses, for example.
Having a reliable mobile number for your patients is essential as CLX is designed to automate your patient reorder communications. Here’s how you maximize the impact on your practice:
Why Capturing Patient Contact Information is Crucial
In this information age, patients are all about convenience. They want to store their information on their phones, have instant access to the web, and use a variety of software programs to organize their daily lives. This push to digital devices and communications has also driven a shift in the way your patients want to receive communications from you, their eye doctor.
Decades ago, everything was done via direct mail and phone calls to a patient’s home phone number. While there’s still a place for direct mail in your patient communication strategy, relying on home phone numbers (which patients may no longer even have) is unreliable. Studies have shown that communicating by text and email messaging is the best method for being more engaged with your patients.
The logic is simple: when you’re contacting patients on their terms, they’ll be more likely to take action and engage with you. You’re able to communicate with them in a way that involves them, whether you’re reminding them to schedule an appointment, promoting an event or in-store special, or reminding them to reorder contact lenses.
The Problem: How Do You Get Patient Contact Information?
While these modern communication methods are more conducive to satisfying patients’ need for convenience, they present a new set of problems. Mobile numbers and email addresses are not as public as contact information was in the past. You can’t simply open a book and find someone’s cell number, and unless you’ve communicated with someone via email in the past, you’ll be left guessing about their personal address.
How can you ensure that you can reach patients by way of their preferred communication methods? It’s actually easier than you might think:
The Solution: Just Ask!
Sometimes, the answer to a seemingly difficult question can be right under your nose. You already know that your patients want to be contacted via text and email, so why not just give them the opportunity to provide you with that information?
Depending on your practice preferences, this can be done in a variety of different ways. Including, but not limited to:
- Ask for email and mobile numbers when patients schedule an appointment
- Make email and mobile phone fields prominent on your new patient intake forms
- Ask for existing patient emails when entering a contact lens order
- Offer to text “exam only” patients their contact lens prescription (see below*)
- Incentivize your staff to capture valid email addresses and mobile numbers
- Request an email and mobile phone number on patient billing statements
Make Sure This Information Stays Current
People lose cell phones, change schools or jobs, and have other unexpected situations which leads to information in your database becoming outdated regularly. In order to avoid this, ask patients to confirm their current contact info at every appointment.
Maximize Value with CLX
Now that you have methods of capturing patient contact information as well as ways to ensure that you stay abreast of any changes with this information, it’s time to incorporate these contact methods into your communication strategy, using The CLX System:
- CLX Convenient Reordering tracks patient prescriptions and automatically sends custom text and email reminders when it’s time to reorder.
- CLX Patient Protect reaches out to exam-only patients via text and email to offer them a way to get contact lenses on their doorstep in a few clicks.
Using the CLX System, there’s no extra planning that needs to go into finding the best ways to use patient emails and mobile numbers, at least when it concerns your contact lens business.
Are you looking for guidance in using the full functionality of CLX to optimize your practice? Contact us today to work with a member of our customer success team.