Photographs by Eye Designs.
By Patrisha Zabrycki
Oasis Eye Care
Raleigh, North Carolina
The latest technology
meets the kindest
Ahmed Said, OD, may not have had the eyecare industry in mind as a profession, but it happens to be tailor-made for him. When setting out into the health services world, he established a few guidelines: 1. Become an entrepreneur and business owner. 2. Find a field where there was a genuine need for his services. 3. Work in an industry that had both retail and patient care components, and 4. Create a patient experience unmatched in terms of comfort, quality and customer service. Optometry was the undeniable answer.
As it turns out, Dr. Said made the right choice. The first office of Oasis Eye Care opened in July 2005, and the practice has already grown to encompass two locations and 15 employees. Dr. Said credits his success to the level of service he offers in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. “We believe that there is no one else, no competition within our market,” he says. “We truly feel that no one else offers the combination of state-of-the-art, comprehensive eyecare and incomparable customer service.”
In their efforts to provide excellent customer service to their patients, Dr. Said and his staff have not overlooked details. Stained concrete flooring and rich earth tones create a serene and relaxing atmosphere that is nothing like a typical medical office. Oasis offers patients gourmet coffees, teas and juices upon arrival. Dr. Said recently renovated his latest office with the help of Eye Designs’ popular Milan décor. However, it is the philosophy of the Oasis team that building great relationships with their patients begins with a staff that patients can trust. “Once a patient interacts with an Oasis team member either in our office or in the community, they become a patient for life.”
Dr. Said and his team have made it their mission to bring industry leading technology and unforgettable customer service to their patients, but they haven’t forgotten about style. Their showrooms house a who’s who of luxury designers. Tag Heuer, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Versace, Valentino, Kate Spade, Armani, BCBG, Silhouette, Vera Wang and Costa Del Mar are all available for patients clamoring to look as good as they see. “At Oasis we pride ourselves on offering the best and latest styles on the market. Our displays advertise the fact that we carry brands that no one else in our market can offer.”
In his strategy for bolstering retail sales and ensuring his patients’ vision needs are met completely, Dr. Said and his staff make a point of asking about patients’ lifestyles and the multitude of situations in which they may need to wear eyewear. “We often find that it takes more than one pair of frames to satisfy all of a patient’s vision needs. Sometimes it is as simple as a pair of ophthalmics and a second pair of prescription sunglasses. Other times a patient may need different styles, lens types or prescriptions for work and home leading to a second pair being a necessity.”
The examination room isn’t the only place Dr. Said employs cutting-edge technology. He uses conventional forms of marketing like direct mail and industry events; the team also has a Web 2.0 strategy making it a lot easier for patients to keep up with what’s going on at Oasis. “With more and more patients going online to learn about eyecare and find a provider, we work closely with our technology providers to maximize search engine optimizations. This allows us to place at or near the top of results lists for engines such as Google and Yahoo. Our site also makes available not only information about our practice, but allows patients to ask questions, make appointments and provide feedback. As social networking continues to get bigger, we’ve established a presence on both Facebook and Twitter to allow patients to keep track of all the latest news and events that we’re participating in.”
With an interactive website and social media outlets for continuous news updates, Oasis Eye Care is one step ahead of the competition. Still, they continue to engage the community in more personal ways. They get involved with local groups like the Chamber of Commerce, utilize event sponsorships and community service, and even host open houses at their offices so that curious would-be patients can come in and meet the team without an appointment. “We honestly believe that word-of-mouth is our best marketing tool. If we provide the level of care and service we aim for then new patients will come through our doors.” With such a positive attitude, it’s easy to see why Oasis has grown so much in just five years. “We want to make our patients see better than they ever have before. We accomplish this with compassion, sincerity, genuineness and knowing what our patients need better than anyone else.”
Dr. Said has brought a new kind of eyecare experience to the Raleigh, N.C. area. It started with a clear vision of the experience he wanted to provide for his patients. Oasis delivers incomparable customer service, offers technology and style that no other practice can match and creates an office atmosphere that feels more akin to a spa than a doctor visit. “We like to think of ourselves as the Ferrari or Porche of the eyecare industry in the Raleigh area. Our customers expect to pay more because they know they are getting more. They can literally SEE the difference.” ■