contact lens practice pearls
Promoting Purchases of Annual Lens Supplies
BY THOMAS G. QUINN, OD, MS, FAAO
Most eyecare providers recognize the inherent benefits enjoyed when patients purchase an annual supply of contact lenses at the time of examination. Patients benefit by having a full supply of lenses at their fingertips, promoting compliance with their lens replacement schedule and thus enhancing safety and performance. It also offers them the ease of one-stop shopping: all services and materials are acquired at one location once a year, which is attractive to patients who feel already overwhelmed with too much to do in too little time.
Your practice not only benefits from profits earned through providing patients with their lens materials, but purchase of an annual lens supply also keeps patients from wandering to other sources for lenses and perhaps even for future services.
Patient loyalty is cultivated through quality, efficient care, familiarity with staff and office operations, and clear, comfortable vision. Annual supply purchases contribute in all of these areas.
Communicating With Patients
While we recognize the obvious benefits of annual supply purchases, how can we communicate them to patients in an efficient and compelling way?
We've recently developed "Eight Great Reasons to Purchase an Annual Lens Supply" (Figure 1). This independent card fits in a business size envelope for easy mailing or simply to hand to patients following examination.
Figure 1. This independent card is a perfect size to include in mailings to patients or to hand to patients following their contact lens exam.
For prospective contact lens patients, we itemize this list at the bottom of our contact lens fee sheet, which we use to educate patients about service and material fees associated with lens wear.
Our first bullet simply states "Free Shipping." We follow this immediately by highlighting the health benefits of purchasing an annual supply. I think of this as a one-two punch. It appeals to a patient's desire for a healthy pocketbook and healthy eyes.
The bullets that follow offer patients convenience, security and additional cost savings.
The interest-free financing we provide does cost us a little, but we've found it significantly lowers the financial bar of resistance by allowing patients to spread out their payments over one year. In fact, we've found it has increased purchases of sunglasses and spectacles as well as contact lens supplies. Patients are more likely to get what they need, making for happier, healthier patients. It also helps our bottom line. Now that's a win-win. CLS
Special thanks to Leslie Detamore.
Dr. Quinn is in group practice in Athens, Ohio. He is a diplomate of the Cornea and Contact Lens Section of the American Academy of Optometry, an advisor to the GP Lens Institute and an area manager for Vision Source.