The Dos and Don'ts of Partnering With a Subleasing Optometrist
How do you best partner with your subleasing optometrist?
In this video, I review the top dos and don’ts of partnering with your subleasing optometrist based on experiences I’ve had working with various optical store managers.
Let’s start with what good looks like.
DO - Get to know them and their team
Relationships matter! Take the time to get to know your subleasing optometrist and their associate doctors. This can easily be done over lunch, coffee, or a team outing.
Build strong relationships and continue to develop those relationships throughout the partnership.
DO - Ask how you can best support them and their practice
Whether it's a first-time subleasing doctor or a seasoned veteran, every subleasing optometrist can benefit from your support.
Make sure you ask how can you best support them and follow up on those efforts.
DO - Listen when they provide you with constructive feedback
We all have room for improvement. When you're subleasing optometrist provides you with constructive feedback, make sure you actively listen.
Take the time to hear them out so you can strengthen the partnership.
DO - Check in with the subleasing OD routinely
Find out what works and how you can best check in with your subleasing optometrist. It could be a phone call, a text message, or an in-person visit.
Try to check in routinely to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that partnership is strong.
DO - Proactively look at the schedule to see where holes can be filled
Work with your subleasing optometrist to learn how you can best help them manage the schedule and fill the books.
Doing so helps us serve more patients. This is a win for both the practice and the optical.
DO - Work with them to ensure their equipment is functional and office supplies are up to date
When office supplies run out or equipment breaks down, it impacts our ability to provide high-quality patient care.
Make sure you're working with your subleasing optometrists and their team to stay on top of these items.
DO - Partner with them on local marketing
Every single subleasing optometrist can benefit from your help in driving more patients into the practice.
Whatever ideas and resources you have, partner with your subleasing optometrist on local marketing.
Now let's take a look at what to avoid.
DON'T - Make assumptions
Clear communication is critical for a successful partnership between the subleasing optometrists and the retail store manager.
Never make assumptions about anything the subleasing optometrist or their team are doing or how you can best partner.
DON'T - Pressure the subleasing OD’s employees
Staffing has always been tough and the pandemic only amplified this challenge.
If the subleasing optometrist hired their own employees to work in the practice, treat them with kindness and respect.
Remember, those employees work for them, not you!
DON'T - Cause drama between the doctor and the retail side
Serving the general public is already challenging enough.
Lead by example with positivity and optimism so we can cultivate a strong practice environment and patient experience.
RELATED: 9 Tips To Maximize the Patient
DON'T - Undermine the doctor’s authority
As optometrists, we've gone to school for a long period of time to become experts on the patient's eye health and visual needs.
However, mistakes do happen. Be mindful of this when you're communicating about the optometrist to your fellow team members and customers.
DON'T - Ignore the challenges they’re facing
Providing high-quality patient care doesn't come without its challenges.
Your doctors are human beings. They deal with disgruntled patience, staffing imbalances, and equipment issues all the time.
Don't ignore this. Be as positive, optimistic, and resourceful as you can be to support the subleasing optometrists and their efforts.
DON'T - Expect them to accommodate every walk-in request
Walk-in eye exams are a huge part of our practice and our business model. They help offset same-day cancellations and appointment no-shows.
To be clear, I'm a huge advocate of walk-in eye exams.
With this in mind, there are particular scenarios where walk-in eye exam requests occur and the doctor physically is unable to accommodate the request at that time.
For example, the doctor could be way behind schedule or have an exam flow that makes it difficult to add to their schedule.
Be mindful of this. Yes, we want to serve every single exam request at the moment it comes in. Unfortunately, this is not always possible.
It never hurts to have walk-in patients wait around to see if they can be worked in OR schedule the patient a physical appointment time.
DON'T - Put off until tomorrow what you can do today
Tackle your partnership to-do list as soon as possible.
Procrastination is a terrible way to overlook and forget some of the fine details that really strengthen the partnership and our ability to provide high-quality patient care.
Whether you’re new to the role or have been a manager for years, it’s never too late to strengthen the partnership between you and your subleasing OD!
What tips do you have to best partner with a subleasing optometrist? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for my next video where we can reflect and grow stronger together.
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