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BUSINESS: BUSINESS STRATEGIES

TAKE A TEAM APPROACH

Meet practice goals by involving your entire team. Here’s how

If you want to increase optical sales, stop talking to whoever sells eyeglasses, and start talking to everyone else on your team.

This scenario is common: You return from a motivating presentation and meet with your staff to recap it. “I attended this great lecture about how we can increase second pair sales. All the opticians have to do is . . .”

Within seconds, your technician, receptionist and insurance biller are texting and checking social media sites on their phones. That’s because the earth-shattering idea was presented from the wrong perspective.

A better way to present it would have been, “I attended this great lecture about how we can all work together so our patients have an even better experience, quality of life and enjoy working with our office even more.” A key point is that the goal is to improve the patient’s life, not sell more glasses. Of course, this approach assumes that your practice is laser focused on the patient experience. Expecting that’s the case, let’s continue.

START WITH THE EXPERIENCE

Start by presenting a previous example of how two pairs of glasses unequivocally lead to a patient having a better experience. You might say, “Remember last week, when Mr. Engineer picked up his computer glasses, took out his notebook computer and said, ‘This is going to be life changing for me!’ We now have the opportunity to do that with even more patients.”

Next, discuss what a patient journey looks like and where each staff member can contribute to augment that journey. For example, ask your receptionist, “While booking an appointment, is there a time that makes sense to discuss the second pair of glasses? For example, if you asked the patient’s occupation and found he was a carpenter, would it make sense to ask him whether his safety glasses prescription is up-to-date?”

For your technicians you might ask, “During the pre-test sequence, where would be the best place to have a similar discussion with the carpenter? For example, after you have taken retinal photographs and are waiting for the flash in the second eye to dissipate, might that be an opportunity to say, ‘Our receptionist asked you to bring in your safety glasses. Can I take a look at them, so I can check the prescription?’”

We are not ignoring your eyeglass selling team with this approach. Rather, we are trying to create a team atmosphere that supports the needs of the patient and has all staff members paddling in the same direction. Done properly, the process of selling eyeglasses moves toward taking orders for eyeglasses because patients ask for them.

FOR ANY PRODUCT OR TASK

This approach can be used with any product or task. For example, ask everybody but your receptionist, “How can we decrease no-shows?” Ask everybody but the person responsible for insurance billing, “What can we do to decrease rejected claims and to increase the frequency of getting paid correctly?”

There are two benefits to this approach: It allows those not doing the task to appreciate what other staff members go through every day. Those who do not do the tasks every day are in a unique position to contribute ideas. In this case, “Not knowing what they don’t know” is a benefit to the process. OM