October is a busy month for our patients. They have many activities that involve costumes such as Halloween parties, Homecoming, Fright Nights, Pumpkin Festivals, Oktoberfest, Haunted Houses and more. Many of our patients will be interested in cosmetic contact lenses and often at the last minute. As we close in on these events, what strategy should we consider to best meet the needs of our patients?
Take advantage of the opportunity to advertise and market cosmetic lenses in your practice. Very few of your patients will buy the specialty decorative lenses, however advertising or showcasing them helps to start a conversation. The companies that make decorative contact lenses have point-of-purchase materials prepared specifically for the months of October, November, and December. Take advantage of these materials to have at the front desk, at check out, in the contact lens room and even in the exam room. It gives your patients something to talk about and can help you start the conversation regarding safe contact lens wear for everyone.
Advertise these lenses on social media, but make certain your message educates your patients on the risk of purchasing contact lenses illegally and the importance of an in person, comprehensive eye exam. Our patients are being bombarded with sometimes incorrect and confusing messaging regarding eye care and specifically contact lens evaluations. The message of what a real eye exam is and why it is so important to their future eye health begins with you and me. Patients don’t know what they don’t know. The best way to tell them is to start the conversation in the exam chair.
Consider doing press releases to the local news regarding decorative contact lenses and safety tips during these holiday months. It is always a good idea to tell actual stories (in a HIPAA compliant way of course) of how an eye exam resulted in a positive outcome for a patient who was confused about safe contact lens use.
I love to take advantage of materials that others have created for my use. The first place I look to for information for my practice is the American Optometric Association (AOA) website. Go to AOA.org and search Halloween and Decorative Contact Lenses and you will find all the resources you need including a really cool infographic on the safe use of decorative contact lenses. Here are some links below:
Enjoy these holiday months and never forget to take advantage of every opportunity to continue to tell your story instead of letting others tell it for you.
April Jasper, OD, FAAO has a private practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. She serves on several Advisory boards including Vision Source, Allergan and Alcon. Dr. Jasper is President of the Florida Optometric Association. Her passion is sharing with her colleagues in areas of practice management and technology in an effort to help them become more successful in patient care and personal growth. She has created the company Distinctive Strategies and Leadership to accomplish that mission. Learn more at www.DistinctiveStrategies.com.