Article

CLINICAL: OPTICAL

DETER BUYER’S REMORSE

USE THREE TIPS TO SHOW VALUE

WE’VE ALL had buyer’s remorse. Following the initial rush of excitement, it creeps in to our minds if we think we’ve wasted money on a purchase — from the last-minute ones at the checkout counter to the big-ticket items we’ve been researching for weeks. Guilt stems from fear of making the wrong choice, extravagance or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller.

It is likely that many of our patients feel buyer’s remorse when their glasses are being dispensed to them. The key to avoiding this is to inform patients on the value of their purchases. The best way to provide value is through patient education.

Here’s how to close the information loop to ensure that our patients appreciate what they bought.

1 PROVIDE SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS

We, as the doctors, should make specific product recommendations in the exam room to solve the particular vision problem(s) of the patient. By knowing how patients use their vision at work and at home, we could prescribe up to three different types of lenses, such as all-purpose PALs, computer PALs and polarizing sunglasses.

Courtesy of Dave Ziegler, O.D.

At my office, we write these recommendations on a brochure titled “Why We Should Make Your Next Glasses.” (See photo above.)

2 REINFORCE THE RECOMMENDATIONS

When we handoff patients to optical staff members, we should reinforce the lens recommendations by reiterating them to the staff member with the patient present. This repetition demonstrates the importance of what has been prescribed.

For example, “Mary, this is Mrs. Smith, and we have talked about how her vision affecting her progressive lenses. I’ve also recommended that she try computer glasses at work to relieve eyestrain. Lastly, she has not had prescription polarizing sunglasses before. Would you demonstrate to her how those work?”

3 PRINT PRODUCT INFORMATION

Before dispensing, print a short handout that explains the features of the prescribed lenses for the patient to take home.

To do this, create a template that lists the spectacle brands, coatings, lens materials and lens treatments your practice uses, along with relevant information. When the glasses are checked in from the lab, one staff member can copy and paste the respective items for the patient’s optical purchase to a new document. Print this on letterhead or cardstock.

Hand the card to the patient with his or her purchase. This step confirms why each item was chosen and bought. It also gives the patient access to the information, perhaps to use when explaining the purchase to a family member.

PROVIDE VALUE

Eliminating buyer’s remorse builds trust in our practices’ brands and encourages future purchases. OM