Article Date: 8/1/2013

Talking Tech With Patients, Part 2
merchandising

Talking Tech With Patients, Part 2

How do you best explain the antistatic, anti-reflective lipophilic lens?

images

GINA M. WESLEY O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.

In part one of the discussion on merchandising technology (May 2013), Dr. Wesley summarized the general principles of explaining technology to patients.

It can certainly be nice working with patients who understand and appreciate your office’s eyecare technology. But when it comes to discussing the nuances of how your office’s advancements set you apart (especially with patients who make purchasing decisions), it’s not always that easy. This is true of a vast number of optometric practice areas, but I’d like to focus on the one area of major revenue for most practices: the optical.

Admittedly, it can become fairly complex to explain the technology associated with glasses once you consider lens material, the prescription, frame functionality, surface treatments and the like.

If it appears in a book or a large chart like most of us receive from the lab (featuring tiny print that lays out every single material/ treatment combination like a giant statistical permutation), can you begin to understand why a patient may be confused, much less us?

Here are several steps I recommend to help explain spectacle technology to patients:

Offer tangible props.

Rather than rely on a verbal explanation alone, why not use a prop that allows the patient to “see” the difference, for example, between lenses with and without AR?

Consider touchable/wearable samples that demonstrate specific technologies, such as lens thickness, photochromic availability, lined bifocals vs. PALs and polarized vs. non-polarized lenses.

Ask your lab to create some samples for your optical using discontinued frames. What helps you sell glasses ultimately helps them.

Demonstrate with vignettes.

There are many video clips available from the companies that offer the technologies mentioned above. You can show them on laptops, PCs, tablets or even advanced computerized measuring devices now available in the optical. Many patients learn visually, so vignettes that demonstrate the concept of a progressive lens or polarization may assist in conceptualization that ultimately leads to strong purchase confidence.

MORE MERCHANDISING:

JULY 2013
How to Merchandise to Job
Seekers • page 38

JUNE 2013
Use Touch Points to Become the
Expert • page 52

MAY 2013
Talking Tech • page 50

Don’t count out the “telling.”

Your staff (and you) still require excellent verbal communication skills to educate your patients. Keep in mind that relating specific technology to a patient’s needs is far more effective than simply explaining a technology.

For instance, instead of saying, “This anti-reflective treatment serves to be anti-static and lipophilic, and it blocks most reflections,” you should say, “This anti-reflective treatment keeps your lenses clean by repelling lint and facial oils, and it improves your computer work and nighttime driving vision by reducing glare.” In doing so, you’ve presented benefits that improve the patient’s quality of life, instead of listing jargon he/she doesn’t understand.

Taking on the challenge

It’s a continuing challenge to relay technology to patients, especially when time is short and technology keeps advancing. Just remember there are many effective ways to do so — and it’s imperative to practice success. OM

DR. WESLEY PRACTICES AT COMPLETE EYE CARE OF MEDINA, WHICH SHE OPENED IN 2008. SHE WAS HONORED AS MINNESOTA’S OPTOMETRIST OF THE YEAR IN 2011. E-MAIL DRWESLEY@CECOFMEDINA.COM, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: August 2013, page(s): 46