By Johnna Dukes, ABOC
Are you suffering from lower capture rates? Are you noticing an uptick in patients calling to request their prescriptions? Are you wondering what you can do to reverse the trend? Ok, here it is… Stop, Drop, and Roll. (I know, it sounds silly, but you’ll see what I mean…)
Stop right now, right this minute and look at how you’re presenting your products. Are you taking the time to talk to your patients about their particular needs and recommending products tailored to those needs? Are you taking the time to educate your patients about the options and telling them why you’ve chosen them? Have you taken the time to make the selection process an experience for your patient? No? Then STOP and re-think how you do business. If you’re running your patients through the mill and allowing them to think that progressive lenses are one style fits all or that all lens materials and designs are the same, then you’re vulnerable to competition because you’ve commoditized the product you’re selling. You subconsciously told your patient that it’s just a product, and that product will be available other places too. This makes your business susceptible to price shopping, and you will lose that battle. There is always someone willing to provide a lesser product at a lower cost. So, if you’re not taking the time to create value around the products you’re offering or at least the education necessary to help a patient make an informed decision, you’re setting yourself up for trouble.
Drop the attitudes. What I mean by this is the elitist attitude that we sometimes have towards our patients who have questions about the eye care process or even how we handle the questions we have from patients who want to know why they’ve seen advertising that shows that they can get glasses for shockingly low prices. We must fight the urge to dismiss these questions and instead take the time to educate patients on the difference between what they’ve seen advertised and what you have to offer. This means you must educate yourself about these differences and make sure you’ve got the ability to have this conversation with your patient in a way that conveys to them that you understand their question and you care about them by selecting a product that works best for their needs.
That’s right. When you take the time to work with your patient, to make their selection process an experience rather than a cattle call, and you do it in a way that shows you care about them, if you provide them education about the products and the reasons you feel they need what you’re recommending, you can be prepared to gain a customer who is loyal and who doesn’t feel the need to shop around. This customer understands that there’s value in what you do, this customer feels that you understand their needs and trusts your recommendations. When you have this kind of customer you can find yourself on a roll!