Designing Patient-Pleasing Eyewear


Designing Patient-Pleasing Eyewear

To most 20/20 and L&T readers, an eyewear designer is a creative person who works for a frame manufacturer designing new shapes, colors and styles. However, Dr. Palmer Cook, the veteran optometrist and frequent L&T contributor who is director of education for Diversified Ophthalmics, offers a different definition.

Dr. Cook defines an eyewear designer as a dispenser who strives to convert the prescription a doctor has written into eyewear that allows the patient to see well, look good, be comfortable and believe that the value of their new eyewear is equal or greater than its cost. He or she lays down guidelines for selecting the right combination of frame, lens and lens treatments to satisfy a patient’s comfort, aesthetic and visual needs, as well as their budget. The end result is something he calls “patient-pleasing eyewear.”

Pleasing the patient is a basic tenet of eyewear dispensing. But it’s sometimes overlooked by some dispensers as they struggle to compete in today’s busy, competitive market. One way to make sure your patients are happy with their eyewear is to find out as much as possible in advance about how each patient uses their eyewear. Savvy dispensers have patients fill out a questionnaire listing their occupational and recreational activities. They also provide patients with sample lenses in demonstration frames or lorgnettes that the patient can “test drive.”

It’s well worth the extra effort to find out what your patients expect from their eyewear, especially when it comes to premium lenses. Knowing their expectations and preparing them for what to expect goes a long way toward making sure they are satisfied with their purchases. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers and will be less likely to migrate to other eyecare or eyewear providers. They are also more likely to recommend your practice or dispensary to friends, family and others.

It’s often said the best offense is a good defense. Making sure your patients are pleased with their eyewear is the best defense you can have in today’s competitive optical marketplace.

Andrew Karp, akarp@jobson.com

—Andrew Karp akarp@jobson.com