In the fast-evolving landscape of refractive surgery, the ability to adapt and optimize patient experiences is paramount. One crucial aspect often overlooked is the online booking process. A seamless, user-friendly booking system not only saves your team time, but also, enhances patient satisfaction and drives growth. Leaving this opportunity on the able costs loads of income on missed appointment opportunities.
Yet, all too often, practices fall into common pitfalls that hinder their online booking potential. In this article, we’ll dissect the top five mistakes prevalent in (not only) eye surgery practices worldwide. From cumbersome interfaces to availability, we’ll uncover these missteps and offer practical solutions to pave the way for a more efficient, patient-centric booking process.
Refining your online booking system isn’t just about convenience—it’s about elevating your practice to new heights of success.
Don’t let these mistakes hold your practice back. It’s time to unlock the full potential of your online booking system. Discover how many appointment times you should actually offer (and what scientific studies have found out about online booking behaviour!).
Mistake 1: You don’t offer online booking
This one seems obvious, but it’s a real issue. Research from Experian Health found that 76% of patients would like to schedule appointments online or via mobile device. That number increases if your main offer is SMILE or LASIK – you’re serving a market that would rather not see a doctor, than have to pick up the phone and call.
And yet, more than half of the new customers approaching us in 2023 and a big portion of the practices I come across when doing competitive research offer their patients nothing more but a mere contact form to get in touch.
Yes, integrating an online booking solution takes work. But when the payoff is a freed-up team, happier patients and more appointments in your system, it’s a no-brainer. Stop making excuses and make it happen instead.
Mistake 2: Your online booking is too complicated
I see this all the time – and in some practice owners’ defense: it’s usually not their fault. Each country seems to have their own preferred systems – one less user-friendly than the next. Most practices take up what’s already familiar or used by their competitors.
While implementing an online booking system is essential, an overly complex calendar interface can deter potential patients and lead to frustration.
It’s crucial to ensure that the booking process is intuitive, straightforward, and user-friendly. Complicated calendars with unclear navigation can result in abandoned appointments, a loss in revenue, and ultimately, a negative impact on the practice’s reputation.
When a lead gets to your booking page, they should:
- See available days immediately without scrolling or clicking
- See a brief description of the appointment, duration and (potential) cost of the appointment without scrolling or clicking
- Be able to book an appointment in 3 clicks
- Land on a thank-you page confirming what will happen next
When a leads gets to your booking page, they should NOT:
- Have to choose between multiple appointment types – especially when they don’t know the difference between one type and another.
- Have to decide which location or practitioner they want to see (multiple booking pages can solve this problem)
- Have to give unnecessary information pre-booking (instead, send an SMS or E-Mail with a questionnaire AFTER booking is complete)
A great user experience is one where you don’t force your leads to make unnecessary decisions (you’re stressing them out). Instead, keeping it as simple as possible is key.