As an independent eye care professional, you get to be the friendly store that your patients trust, that brings value, and isn’t just a giant corporation. That’s only true if you take advantage of the opportunities in lens and examination technology in front of you. If you don’t your customers will leave you for someone who does.
These days patients can also easily go online and purchase lenses without ever learning why they are wasting all $12 they just spent, and large optical chains are changing customer expectations by throwing money at advertising. Your customers didn’t go to school to be an optometrist; they don’t know the value in what you sell, YOU DO. So to combat market trends and show your customers value you need to:
Invest in quality technology
Leverage your expertise
Tell, then show
Focus on Quality
You can’t offer your patients value if you don’t invest in quality technology. If you don’t invest, they’ll find someone who does. Have you ever thought about why buying glasses online is appealing? It is because the experience feels high tech. How does it feel to buy glasses at your practice? It’s not just lenses, but examination aids and applications as well. You might even have to raise your prices, but if you can justify it, then your customers won’t care. It doesn’t mean you can’t offer inexpensive value lenses depending on budget, you are giving patients a choice!
Investing in premium products can be a little scary, the costs grow, and you wonder if they will even sell. However, this is an investment in your brand that will help position you as the premium eye care provider. You become the hero, not the curmudgeon clinging to outdated technology.
As a matter of fact, premium product is a boost to your bottom line as the margins are higher, especially for your patients with the better vision plans. For example, featureless lenses that are far more likely to lose a customer may cost you $5 at wholesale and retail for $250, making a profit of $245. A premium lens might cost you as much as $150 but sells for maybe $500, offering a much higher profit margin. Not to mention if the patient with the cheap lens finds out they could have gone online and spent $12 on the same lenses won’t be coming back, ever.
Focus on Expertise and Experience
Your value doesn’t just come from products; it comes from the entire patient experience. Do you feel more taken care of walking into a big retail store, or a mom and pop shop? The answer is pretty darn easy here. You can create the premium experience for your patients by building personal relationships and wowing them with great technology.
Utilize technology to make an eye exam and the eyewear selection process:
Your patients love to see advancements in technology and when it comes to your practice it should reflect a high tech feel.
Education is Key
Look, you went to medical school, and our guess is most of your patients didn’t. If they did, our sympathies. Most won’t know what technology is in their lenses. It’s ironic in a way that the best eyewear lens technology is invisible. They can’t see it, so you need to educate and prove the value in your lens technology. Tell them the value, and show them the difference.
Also, if you pull out a PD ruler and Sharpie as part of the exam, they aren’t going to believe you actually offer great technology, so you need to show them and not just tell them that you are invested in the best technology as part of your examination process.
A PD ruler looks out of date, in fact it kind of looks like a coffee stir stick:
When you educate and show your value, you increase your worth and become a premium practice, but only if you offer premium products. That’s the rub here, if you don’t provide great products and technology, then all of this is moot.
Spectangle PRO Shows and Tells
Our goal at Hoya Vision is to be a partner that you can trust and enables you to become more successful year after year.
Spectangle PRO is a new technology solution to capture measurements more easily, as well as educating and proving the value of different features. It replaces outdated and outmoded measurement tools and brings value to your eyewear selection process. The application allows for accurate measurements to be captured with just one image and the help of the EY-Stick. You can also showcase how different lenses function and compare the features of different lenses easily and readily. If your patients want further proof, they can take lenses for a test run through augmented reality and see the difference in your office before they have to make a decision.