THE UNIQUE SIDE OF OPTOMETRY
I dispense a large amount of premium products.
RAJEEV RAGHU, O.D. JACKSON, N.J.
Since opening my practice, The Eye Center at Jackson, in 2007, I have focused on dispensing premium frames and ophthalmic lenses and one-day contact lenses (CL). Although these items are costly, I've sold them to a large percentage of my patients. For example, 25% of my practice's revenue comes from high-end frame and ophthalmic lens sales.
Here are the five steps that have enabled me to be successful.
1. Unparalleled customer service
When patients present for CLs or eyewear, we go out of our way to make the patient feel comfortable and special. For example, every annual supply CL patient receives a $50 sunglasses gift certificate. Patients are so impressed with our service, they factor it into the price of the product they desire and become willing to pay more than they initially planned.
Providing lens packages has enabled Dr. Raghu to dispense premium ophthalmic lens products.
2. Offering everyone the best
We present premium products to all patients first, so they can see what is deemed the nicest and/or the best for their vision and eye health. For patients who decide against purchasing premium products, seeing the nicest and/or the best makes them amenable to spending more on their eyes than they planned. For example, once a patient sees a $600 frame, a $300 frame doesn't seem that expensive.
3. Providing patient education
My staff and I educate patients on the specific benefits of premium products as they relate to the individual patient. This starts in the exam chair. When a patient is interested in CLs, I immediately describe how one-day CLs decrease the likelihood of redness, ocular allergies and infections. If a patient's history form reveals they drive a UPS truck, I explain how polarized sunglasses can facilitate driving, as they decrease glare. When a presbyope is in my chair, I educate them about how a certain premium progressive lens I provide gives a very wide field of vision. Once the exam ends, my staff takes the reigns, be it with the insertion/removal and purchase of CLs or actually showing patients why one frame or ophthalmic lens is better than another.
4. Providing lens packages
We package all our premium ophthalmic lenses. Doing so enables patients to see the value in bundling. In addition, we provide an information sheet that illustrates “Good,” “Better” and “Best” and a price comparison sheet vs. the major retailers.
5. A plan for tough times
In realizing the recent down economy started to affect sales, I began offering patients an “easy pay plan” a year ago. Specifically, the plan enables patients to pay their bill on a premium product through a three-month period. So patients uneasy about $1,200 for their complete pair of glasses, for example, are now more likely to purchase them at $400 through three months.
The aforementioned five steps have not only enabled me to dispense a great deal of premium products, they've also allowed me to create patient loyalty to my practice and patient referrals. The reason: Patients view my practice as cutting edge and, therefore, unique. OM
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Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: November 2013, page(s): 49