Optometric Management Tip # 29   -   Wednesday, August 07, 2002
Spectacle Rx Walkouts – Part 2

Last week I discussed tracking the number of patients who take their spectacle Rx out of the office to be filled elsewhere. This week, I’ll address what to say to them, and ways to keep them in your practice.

What to say

When a patient wants to go elsewhere for glasses, the worst thing a doctor or technician can do is to try to talk them out of it. Patients have a right (both legally and ethically) to take a copy of the their eyeglasses script. We all know this – but it’s worth restating.

As the Rx is being provided, I think it is advisable to for you or a technician to convey

a) that you value the patient’s business very highly and that you hope he will return after he shops around. This might seem corny, but patients want to know that your office cares about their business. Feeling appreciated will cause many to come back.
b) that you’re interested in how you can improve your optical services, and in that context I’d ask why the patient is going elsewhere for glasses. This should be asked in a kind, non-defensive and non-condescending manner. Is it price? Is it selection? Does the patient know someone in the optical field?
How to keep 90% of your Rxs Next week, I’ll share my handout: “Six Reasons to Buy Your Glasses at Gailmard Eye Center”.

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management