Get Noticed on the Web with EyewearPromotions.com

Looking for ways to increase your presence on the Web? Is your practice showing up in Web searches, or could it use a boost to get to the top of the listings? Eyefinity has a tool to help—EyewearPromotions.com—a new consumer-facing Web site for private-practice professionals to help you compete with retail.

At EyewearPromotions.com, consumers will see appealing promotions with a retail look and feel, and can search for practices by zip code. What’s more, EyewearPromotions.com links to your eWebExtra™ site, automatically updating the promotions page so consumers see the same promotions in both places. Research shows that promotions create a sense of urgency, attracting patients to your practice rather than a retail chain.

You can also download promotional signage from EyewearPromotions.com for displaying in your practice to increase incremental sales to your existing patients. With signage in three locations–EyewearPromotions.com, your eWebExtra site, and your office–the consumer sees consistent messaging and graphics, which increases retention.

Since your eWebExtra site links to EyewearPromotions.com, it can help your Web site rise to the top of consumer Web searches, resulting in more hits, and more consumers looking at your practice. Last year, more than 40% of consumers looking for an optometrist found them on the Internet.

Subscribe to EyewearPromotions.com before July 5, 2011, and get 1 month free with a 1-year subscription. For more information, contact Eyefinity at 877.448.0707, option 2, or e-mail Eyefinity Inside Sales.

Custom Fit Sunwear Can Set Your Practice Apart

Today’s entry comes from Kirk Poole, Field Services Manager for Eyefinity:

One thing that sets a private practice setting apart from other sunwear sales channels is the ability to obtain a custom fit. Custom fitting is not just for a user’s primary pair—custom-fitting can make the sunglass wearer feel better about their purchase, whether it is plano or prescription sunwear.

Your staff should become familiar with the adjustment standards in the industry. There are steps to achieving a custom fit: basic adjustment (the “four point touch”), nose pads, temple placement, bridge fit, frame angle, pantoscopic angle, retroscopic angle, face form/wrap, and vertex distance.

Your staff should be well versed in performing all of these steps. Incorporating training and executing service in these areas into your practice is key to attracting repeat customers—especially when it comes to sunwear.

With summer on its way, the savvy optometric practice will prepare by stocking an adequate percentage of sunwear in its dispensary. What is “adequate?” Depending on the climate in your geographic region, an adequate percentage of sunwear is approximately 20%. Sunwear can be marketed to all patients, but a key demographic is the contact lens wearer, who is in need of UV protection on top  of the vision correction provided by their contacts.

Additionally, it is recommended that you run a price-point promotion on sunwear for contact lens wearers during the summer months.

Another idea for promoting sunwear during the summer is to pick a “Sunwear Awareness” week in the office, and have all staff wear their sunglasses. Signage, balloons, and custom pins are a great way to draw awareness to the importance of UV protection, making sunwear top of mind for both your staff and customers. Be sure to measure your multiple-pair sales metrics during that time period to track the effectiveness of this campaign.

For detailed staff training on how to properly custom fit eyewear, OfficeMate users can visit www.eyefinityofficemate.biz.

Keeping Your Patients for a Lifetime: Remember the “Little Things”

Today’s blog comes from Eyefinity’s Jessica Leeson, who has worked in many facets of the optical industry. Her experience includes general management of large-volume retail locations and multi-unit management. Jessica is also an ABOC optician and licensed in California.

Your practice is busy. At times, when everyone is so busy, it can be difficult to remember the “little” things. But remember, it’s the “little” things that mean so much to your patients’ experience in your practice, especially in the dispensing process.

Displaying eyewear on a velvet cloth—especially higher-priced items—leaves a lasting impression and also reassures patients about the premium prices. When you provide eyewear that meets your patients’ needs, it could lead to multiple pair sales. They’ll likely leave your practice after having made a significant purchase, but satisfied with the money they’ve spent.

Why not increase their satisfaction by sending them home with accessories related to their eyewear purchase? We recommend that you order merchandise bags that include your practice name and logo instead of ordering generic bags. Sending patients home with a lens cloth and a bottle of cleaner with your practice name on it will remind them of the great service you provided.

To turn a one-time patient into a lifetime patient, you must provide a high-quality patient experience. Attention to detail does make a difference!

For more information on how to increase the success of your practice, visit www.eyefinityofficemate.biz.

Selling Multiple Pairs: New Revenue Sources without Adding Patients

Today’s entry comes from Kirk Poole, Field Services Manager for Eyefinity.

Woman in SunglassesThe difference in multiple-pair sales between retail chains and independent optical practices is staggering. Retail channels, on average, sell multiple pairs to 30% of their customers, while independents average between 10% and 15%. With 30% of eyeglass wearers using two or more pairs of eyewear, it is logical that an independent eyecare provider would want every patient to purchase multiple pairs from his or her practice.

We have found that, in independent practices, there are several barriers that prevent multiple-pair sales. For example, such patient objections as, “I only want what my insurance pays for,” or, “I can’t afford to spend that much,” curtail many sales. These objections, however, should not be the end of the sales conversation.

Patients are likely to have specific needs, and second or third pairs can address these needs. These second or third pairs can bring value and improve patients’ quality of life, which are benefits that are worth paying extra for. It is up to the sales associate to uncover needs that can only be revealed through conversation and by asking the patients open-ended questions.

Open-ended questions often uncover patients’ needs for second or third pairs for computer use and outdoor activities. After identifying the patients’ needs, leverage those needs to demonstrate the benefits of a second or third pair, overcome objections, and convince the patient of the value of the additional pairs.

Here are some examples of open-ended questions that you might consider asking:

  • How do your glasses work for you when you are out in the sun?
  • How do your eyes feel after looking at your computer screen all day?
  • How long is your commute on a daily basis?

Overcoming objections is naturally uncomfortable, but by demonstrating the value and explaining the benefits of the additional products and how those benefits relate to patients’ needs, you can enjoy the additional revenue generated through multiple-pair sales without acquiring additional patients.

For more information on selling multiple pairs, including detailed strategies for overcoming patient objections, visit www.eyefinityofficemate.biz.

Kirk Poole is the manager of field services for Eyefinity. He has worked in the optical business for over 30 years. He holds a degree in ophthalmic optics and is accredited by the ABO as a charter-certified optician. Kirk has managed single to multiunit locations in multiple states and achieved positive results at a national retail level for over 10 years.  He also served as a national trainer for new regional sales managers.

Establishing High Standards of Service

Today’s entry comes from Jessica Lesson.

What distinguishes an excellent customer experience from a good or—worse—mediocre experience? In a word, service. In today’s optical industry, the service a customer receives is just as important—if not more important—as the quality of care and materials they receive. As a practice owner, we know you want to make sure that every patient who visits your practice experiences a consistently high standard of service.

You may endeavor to hire the most conscientious, outgoing, and friendly staff and believe that these efforts alone will ensure that your patients receive the highest standards of care. These measures, however, won’t ensure that staff members consistently provide high levels of service. To ensure that high levels of service are evenly applied from staff member to staff member, you must explicitly state your expectations and establish standards of service.

To establish standards of service, your practice should have a mission statement and a job description for each position:

  • A mission statement should be a short, formal statement about what your practice stands for. A mission statement is designed to guide the actions of your practice as an organization and to create a sense of direction for you and your employees.
  • The positions within your practice that have a set of consistent responsibilities should have job descriptions that directly align with your practice’s mission statement. As a general rule of thumb, most practices should have a job description written for the office manager, front desk and back office staff, pretesters, sales associates, and opticians to ensure that staff members are following consistent, high standards of service.

Setting job descriptions for these various positions is important, even if your practice isn’t large enough to fill each of these unique positions with an individual person. A hybrid job description combining one or more of standards set for these basic positions can be created for employees that wear many hats in the office.

For more information on establishing job descriptions, including sample standards for the major functions in any optometric practice, visit www.eyefinityofficemate.biz.

Jessica Lesson has worked in many facets of the optical industry. Jessica’s experience includes general management of large-volume retail locations and multiunit management. Jessica is also an ABOC optician and licensed in California.