Close your eyes and think about the things you love most at your favorite restaurant, hotel, or vacation spot. What was it about those experiences that make you want to keep coming back? When Dr. Bimal Patel first decided to open cold in Houston, Texas three years ago, he leaned heavily on his love for travel and experiences in crafting a unique vision for his office. Focus Refined Eyecare is the expression of this vision, and he’s dedicated to continually reinventing the patient experience to make his private practice a destination for eyecare in his community.
One of the driving forces that most influences his practice mentality is a true shop-local lifestyle. “My life motto is to live your life within 2 miles,” says Patel. He lives just down the street from his practice, and his patients are fellow members of the community who he sees when shopping or at restaurants. In the competitive Houston market, which is extremely saturated with eyecare providers, this local lifestyle and focus helps his practice stand apart.
Another major differentiating tactic Patel uses to make his practice stand out from online and big box retailers is to focus on the patient experience. Where many practices view the patient relationship as transactional, he focuses on what he makes the patient feel. One such touch: instead of the played-out coffee bar, he has a luxury snack bar and a daily drink menu.
He also draws inspiration from other businesses. What businesses do you like to go to? What about that experience could you replicate? For inspiration he goes to Vision Expo East and West every year. He watches CNBC and business reality shows, and reads tons of books on successful businesses.
Focus Refined Eyecare has an extremely curated frame selection, with only 200 total frames. Only carrying 6-7 framelines at a time, he uses Vision Expo as a way to discover what’s trending and refine the collections he offers each season. “I shop the Galleria section at Vision Expo with a focus on unique, less well-known designers,” Patel shares. He tries not to carry any brands his competitors offer to showcase to his patients that they will always find something unique and special at his office.
This year Dr. Patel is upping his Vision Expo experience by bringing his entire staff. He views it as an investment in his practice to get staff engaged and excited about their career. Vision Expo has entire course tracks for staff education with bundle pricing available, and you can learn more by visiting here: http://west.visionexpo.com/Continuing-Education/Pricing/.
In addition to being a regular Vision Expo attendee, Dr. Patel is also a member of Vision Expo’s Young Professional Advisory Group. Serving in this role, he provides feedback to shape the experience of Vision Expo each year for young eyecare providers. He also helps the event focus on millennial patients and the experiences that ECPs need to curate to stay relevant for this generation.
For young optometrists planning to attend Vision Expo West, there are many events and opportunities to help you network, learn and create valuable mentor relationships. One of his favorite events every year is the ODs on Facebook Party – it’s a can’t miss event in his book!
If you will be joining us at Vision Expo West September 26-29th in Las Vegas, be on the look for Dr. Patel, Dr. Glover, and Dr. Lyerly because we are always happy to connect and network! You can connect with Dr. Patel ahead of the show by following him on Instagram @bpatelOD. Register for free today by using this exclusive link for Defocus listeners: VisionExpoLV.com/DefocusMedia