Article Date: 12/1/2013

Contact Lenses
Vision Care & Wear
contact lenses

Contact Lens Resolutions

Grow your CL business in three areas.

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JASON R. MILLER, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.

By setting specific goals and resolutions with regard to your contact lens (CL) business, you will help make CLs a renewed focus in your practice.

Here are three key areas of success to target for next year.

1 Daily disposable percentage

Growing your percentage of CL patients who wear daily disposables requires staff to be on board. Write your goals for growth, and discuss how to relay pricing information to patients. Also, fit your staff members with these lenses so they can describe personal experiences. Make this a focus for your office meetings, and choose a point person to report on the growth monthly.

Additionally, develop a short presentation to show patients that outlines the advantages of daily disposable CLs. It should stress the benefits of having a fresh lens every day while eliminating the hassle of cleaning and keeping track of a replacement schedule.

Also, offer a trial run, so patients can experience the convenience first-hand. Target patients who are looking for part-time CL wear (those who participate in sports, want freedom from glasses on weekends or while traveling, etc.) and patients who have a history of non-compliance, solution or material sensitivity or toxicity.

Although you won't have 100% conversion, a focus on this modality will create growth.

2 Annual supply sales

Not only does increasing your annual supply sales per CL order benefit your patients, it also frees your staff, due to fewer visits from patients, which allows them to focus their time elsewhere while increasing efficiency.

To grow your annual supply sales per CL order, consider offering free direct shipping and an in-office rebate on top of manufacturer rebates to encourage the patient to make the purchase. This will help address any cost issues they may have.

Also, present the cost in a way that doesn't sound like a financial burden. For example, “Your annual supply of daily disposable CLs will be directly shipped to you. This normally costs $460, but after your insurance benefits, our instant rebate and the manufacturer rebate that will be mailed to you, your net cost will be $225.”

3 Contact lens capture rate

Look into your practice management software, and compare the number of patients who purchased contact lenses from your practice vs. the total number of CL wearers. Now, focus on growing that purchase number throughout the year.

First, find out why patients are taking their CL prescriptions elsewhere. Next, ask “why?” You can give patients a survey, or simply ask some of the patients who already order online. For example, “If you don't mind me asking, why do you prefer to purchase your CLs online? We are trying to improve our systems and would like to know what we should be offering our patients.”

After determining possible causes, make appropriate adjustments. This may include lowering your prices or providing an option to purchase through your practice website.

A happy New Year

While I have read 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year's resolutions, you have a better chance than those who don't set any goals. Shoot for strong growth, and be more deliberate with your contact lens business in 2014. OM

DR. MILLER IS A PARTNER IN A PRIVATE PRACTICE IN POWELL, OHIO, AND IS AN ADJUNCT FACULTY MEMBER FOR THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY. SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: December 2013, page(s): 50