Happy Patients Are Significantly More Likely To Refer New Patients, Drive Practice Growth Than Satisfied Patients, New Survey Shows

VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 14, 2012) – Happy and enthusiastic patients are three times more likely than satisfied patients to refer new patients to their eye care professional, new research reveals.

A total of 605 optometrists participated in an online survey, conducted on behalf of VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., providing critical insight into the facets of an eye-care visit that impact patients’ happiness. Respondents identified the vision correction product experience as the most important driver of patient happiness, followed by receiving a superior eye care experience, and a comprehensive eye exam.

“It’s no longer good enough for patients to simply be satisfied,” says W. Lee Ball, OD, FAAO, Associate Director, Professional Affairs, VISTAKON®. “As practitioners, we need to go the extra step to ensure patients are happy. Enthusiastic and happy patients lead to more referrals and a successful practice.”

Nine-in-ten doctors believe that their contact lens patients associate their contact lens wear experience with their opinion of them as a doctor (88 percent) and that patients’ product experience is either “extremely” or “very important” to the likelihood of them returning to the office for their next eye exam (91 percent). When queried about what factors influence the happiness of their contact lens patients, optometrists ranked comfort (84 percent) and vision (63 percent) as being far more important than cost (29 percent).

Nearly all (99 percent) optometrists believe that keeping patients happy leads to practice growth through referrals. In addition to product performance, optometrists ranked the following as important contributors to help them grow their practices in the next 12 months -- suggesting new contact lens innovations (98 percent); communicating the value of their services (96 percent); keeping in touch with patients through follow up communications and reminders (95 percent); adding medical services (79 percent); advertising and using social media tools (59 percent); and offering contact lenses to every spectacle lens patient (56 percent).

“Patient happiness is not just linked to their experience in your chair,” notes Dr. Ball. ”Patients lead busy and dynamic lives. A happy patient experience factors in everything from the convenience of your office hours, to the friendliness and helpfulness of your staff, to the contact lenses you prescribe to meet your patients’ visual needs.”

For more on the survey and how happy patients affect referrals and practice growth, send an e-mail request for information to [email protected]

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