Casting, It’s a Good Thing

So as a staff member, why would I want to cast lenses?

Job security: Ever think it’d be easier to just call a lab and have the lenses made? It is easy. In fact it’s so easy that pretty much anyone can do it. Making lenses requires a little more effort, but it also makes you an integral part of the transaction. The person that makes the lenses is harder to do without than the person that orders them. Making lenses in-house also makes the practice you work for more profitable!

It’s pretty cool: Do you ever think about the direct output of your efforts helping people see? You’re making something that improves their lives. You’re not just an order taker and delivery box. Some stores can’t even tell you what kind of lenses they’re selling. The corporate office or lab decides that for them and doesn’t feel the need to tell customers. If you make the lenses you’ll know more about how they behave and how they should be used. You become a more important part of your customers’ lives.

Keep it local: With economic worries and political unrest around the globe, more people are deciding they’d rather spend their time and money at local businesses. Let your customers know you’re actually MAKING their lenses at your store on equipment that’s made in the USA. If you need something out of range, our lab can probably surface it for you and it’ll still be made in the USA (we cast our own blanks in Louisville, KY and surface them in the same lab).

Differentiate yourself and the business: Remember earlier when we were talking about how easy it is to phone an order in? With Internet eyeglass retailers growing, the consumer can easily “phone in” a prescription too. It’s important to give the customer something they can’t get online, so they’ll want to come to your store. Whether it’s a quick turnaround, intimate knowledge of lenses and materials, or the fact that you’re going to personally make the lenses for the user, you have the opportunity to give your customers something a little more special. There are still lots of people that value a personal touch and want to build relationships with the businesses they frequent. Don’t underestimate the importance of those parts of the transaction.

And remember Casters Do it Better!

 

Maximize Profits with Your Digital Lens System!

RB602 ImageUsage: The more you make…the more you’ll make! It simple if you change the way you think about your business. With the Q-2100 Digital Lens System you have the capability of producing up to 90%+ of all the Rxs written in a typical practice. If you process only 15% of your lens needs on the system you will not see a huge impact. If you’re producing over 70% of your lens needs, you will be thrilled with your bottom line.

Pricing: clearLIGHT plus and sunSMART II should be near the top of your pricing structure. People often use acquisition cost to determine retail price, don’t make this mistake when pricing your new products. The digital lenses you produce in-house break this traditional model because you get to take the mark-up of the lens manufacture, the distributor and the wholesale lab. You need to make sure you capture all of this value in your pricing structure. This is not over charging, it is assigning a value to your acquisition of the new technology, the manufacturing of the lenses, the faster service, and the improved product quality.

OE605 Dr. Chris Ortiz2Integration: Now that you can make it, its time to sell it! Ensure your entire practice is knowledgeable about the new products you have purchased. Everyone must understand why you chose to integrate digital lens technology into your practice and how to sell clearLIGHT advantage and sunSMART II. Your staff is key to maximizing your potential. This is not a niche product…this is a new way of doing business. Educate, reward, monitor, and reinforce your team’s commitment to this new lens technology and you will be successful.

Be Our Guest

Repost The New OD, Optometric Management March, 2015

In today’s evolving healthcare environment, it’s become vital to separate yourself and your parctice from the crowded landscape. Utilizing proven business models from the marketplace is a great place to start.

Consider the elite hotel brands across the globe whose mission has become impeccable customer service. …This high level of doing business can become your way of doing business if you follow these simple principles

  1. The Art of the Greeting – Ensure that your staff members greet patients by saying, “Welcome to (insert practice here). My name is (insert staff member’s name). How may I help you. Reminding patients where they’re receiving excellent patient care helps establish your brand. Bellman
  2. Dress for Success – From the front desk to the technician, and especially in the optical center, it’s important to have a uniform or dress code.
  3. The Attitude – You can’t train happy and nice and good social skills are hard to learn, too. Therefore, it’s imperative to begin with the end result in mind and hire for personality rather than job skills or experience – in certain positions.
  4. Be Our Guest – Develop a culture that promotes the patient as a guest. When you pass a patient in the hallway, say hello or offer a friendly smile and make sure your staff does the same.
  5. Classy Clinics – Closely monitor your physical space. Please your eyes where patients do by sitting in your waiting room, exam rooms and optical and notice everything.
  6. Don’t Tell the Patient, Show Them – When you are staying at a prestigious hotel, you’re taken there by a staff member. Your staff should do the same.

Providing 5-start service is a great way to build patient loyalty and increase referrals.

Disarm Your Competition

Market PositionEstablish Your Market Position – With your Q-2100 Digital Lens System and nanoCLEAR AR unit, you are the most advanced optical location in your area. Use this to your maximum advantage by letting everyone know. Review your advertising, recall notices and patient handouts and tell them about your leadership position.

Faster Service – Look at your past service level from your patient’s point of view. How do you stack up against the competition? With the purchase of your digital lens system and nanoCLEAR AR unit, you can now offer the fastest service in town. In fact, you are the only one that can offer same day AR…not even the biggest guys in town can do that. Use it to make the buying experience at your location more convenient than anywhere else. Broken lens…no problem, change in Rx…no problem, heading out of town and need them today…no problem! Capitalize on your new ability and your patients will remember and tell their friends.

Better Lenses – You are not only using the newest technology, you are producing some of the best lenses available. clearLIGHT lenses offer your patients a new level in clarity of vision. By  processing lenses directly from the liquid plastic to the finished Rx utilizing free form molds, you have eliminated the visual noise inherent in all other lenses. Your patients will see better and have increased confidence in your practice and your staff. Your competitors can’t touch your quality at any price.

Better Photochromics – You now have the sunSMART II photochromic lens that provides maximum patient comfort in all light conditions…your competition doesn’t. sunSMART II lightens faster and will continue to perform with the same vigor even after extended use. Your photochromic has the photochromic material throughout the lens. The lens carried by your competitors does not. Differentiate yourself and you will stand out.

No Expensive Lens Inventory – The irrefutable law of business is that the lowest cost producer wins. You are now the lowest cost producer. Evaluate your stock and then get rid of it. It represents idle cash that can be put to better use. Your staff will sell and your patients will buy what you make and feature. Your patients want the best vision possible and if it isn’t clearLIGHT advantage they are sacrificing visual acuity. Help them see better than ever before.

Everyone Can Operate It – Take advantage of the technology and cross-train your employees. Make sure everyone knows how it works and is comfortable making lenses. Your competition needs his highly skilled lab tech to complete a job. If the tech is off, the customer has to wait. Not at your practice…the customer can always get their eyewear when needed. That’s the kind of service they will tell a friend about.

Patient Warranties, What Should I offer?

As a Q-2100 or nanoCLEAR AR system owner, you have certain lens warranties that you can pass onto your patients. These warranties carry a real value to you and your patients and can help build a long lasting customer relationship.

  1. Non Adapt: Optical Dynamics offers a 6-month progressive non-adapt warranty from the date the lens is dispensed. If the patient returns their lenses for non adapt, save the lenses and you can return under warranty
  2. Warranty SealPhotochromic: Optical Dynamics offers a 6-month photochromic warranty from the date the lens is dispensed. If the patient returns their lenses for photochromic issues, save the lenses and you can return under warranty
  3. Scratch: If coated with Optical Dynamics’ scratch coat (nanoXT or XTR), Optical Dynamics offers a 12-month scratch warranty from the date the lens is dispensed. If the patient returns their lenses for scratch issues, save the lenses and you can return under warranty. This warranty does not cover abuse of the lens.
  4. nanoCLEAR AR: If coated with nanoCLEAR AR, Optical Dynamics offers a 12-month AR warranty from the date the lens is dispensed. The warranty covers scratching, peeling and crazing. If the patient returns their lenses for these issues, save the lenses and you can return under warranty. This warranty does not cover abuse of the lens.

In order to return under warranty, you must

  1. Provide proof of the date the lens was dispensed and returned along with the reason for the return.
  2. Return in groups of up to 30 pair or 32 pair photochromic (the same quantity as in a bottle of monomer).
  3. Call Optical Dynamics customer service 800-587-2743 to obtain an RMA number.
  4. Once the lenses are returned they will be reviewed and if they comply with the warranty standards will be replaced in like product at the warranty price.

Stand Out from the Crowd

Lab Talk 20 Tips to Improve Your Lab’s Customer Service by Julie Bo’s

  1. Ask customers how you can improve
  2. Use technology to your advantage
  3. Don’t rely on digital communication alone
  4. Offer a resource for quality concerns
  5. Set metrics to measure product quality and customer response time
  6. Speed ordering and tracking with web-based tools.
  7. Help customers understand your process
  8. Encourage customers to submit orders throughout the day
  9. Define expectations
  10. Provide alternatives when necessary
  11. Keep you customer service reps well-trained
  12. Put a smile on your face before answering the phone
  13. Have regular meetings with your entire lab staff
  14. Follow up on all customer requests – no matter how small
  15. Remember, first impressions count
  16. Listen first, then speak
  17. Draft customer service standards
  18. Give more than expected
  19. Capitalize of the power of “yes”
  20. Own up to mistakes

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Tips for Selling Multiple Pair

It should be every associate’s goal to present the multiple pair option to all patients. In an article posted on theopticalvisionsite.com, tips were shared to help achieve this goal.

Step One

Sit with the patient and start a conversation about their Rx requirements. Ask questions about the patient, their needs and lifestyle. You might find they need a second pair for:

1. Occupational or computer glasses
2. Photochromics for an active outdoor life style
3. Performance pair for outdoor activities
4. Sunglasses for driving

Step Two

People in sunglassesAlways bring up multiple pair options. Never prejudge the patient. Always inform of all products available.

Step Three

Always position eyewear as more than just for vision correction. Eyeglasses are a fashion accessory that reflect your style and image. Eyewear enhances your appearance just like a nice pair of shoes, purse or other fun fashion accessories.

Step Four

Always point out the importance of specialty eyewear for sun, sports, safety, as well as performance options.

Step Five

Don’t forget to share multiple pair pricing packages. Point out any 2nd pair or lens packaging options or discounts available.

Utilize the above steps and you will be sure to sell that second pair!

Three Easy Tips to Increase Your Photochromic Lens Sales

sunSMART II Girl indoor outdoor logoCapitalizing on increased photochromic sales can improve both patient satisfaction and your bottom line. According to Vision Care Product News, “the goal of every eyecare professional should be to offer the best products to all patients and photochromic lenses are high on the list of great products to offer”. Whether sold as an everyday lens or as a second pair, you can use the following tips to build your sunSMART II photochromic business.

Tip #1: Is everyone in your practice wearing photochromics? If not, they should be. A personal recommendation from someone wearing the product can go a long way in the sales process. Tell them how much you love your photochromic lenses and how they comfortably adjust to the light both indoors or out and see just how far your testimonial can go.

Tip #2: Are you recommending lenses during the eye exam? If the doctor shares a product recommendation with the patient in the exam room, they will be more likely to act on the suggestion. When the doctor is wearing the product recommended, you are almost assured a sale.

Tip #3: Are you presenting the photochromic option to everyone? Adult, mature adult, teen or child all can benefit from a photochromic lens. Make sure to always ask, “Would you like lenses that are clear indoors and darken when you are in the sun?” Or ask, “Are you concerned about eye health?” Both questions lead directly into the photochromic lens discussion increasing your chance of a sale.

 

Monitor Your Lab Bills & Maximize Usage

The Q-2100 Digital Lens System allows you to produce lenses in-house at a fraction of the cost when purchased from a traditional lab. Once integrated into your practice successfully, you will see an impressive reduction in outside lab costs. As a practice owner, manager or lab manager, it is important you take an active role in monitoring production and outside expenditures to ensure that you are utilizing the technology to its fullest potential.

  • Check your lab bill to see what was produced in office and what was purchased from an outside lab. Are you capturing all progressive, photochromic and AR jobs possible? You should maximize production of jobs that fall in the range of the technology. Remember, you are producing digital designed lenses, some of the best in the industry. Promote the premium products you produce in-house first.
  • Check your lab bills and compare the cost to producing in-house. While you are undoubtedly focusing on the most profitable products, verify what you are paying for custom processed single vision and FT lenses. You may find that it is more cost effective to produce these lenses in-house as well.
  • Continue to check your outside lab bills for total dollars spent. As with all new technology, there is a certain level of excitement that is present when first purchased. Usage starts out high as the lens unit is new and fun. Over time, production levels may fall as it becomes part of every day operations. Make sure the enthusiasm for the technology remains strong through incentive plans and monthly goals that reinforce your commitment to in-house lens production and practice profitability
  • Are you utilizing Vision Dynamics Lab for out of range and expanded product offerings? Vision Dynamics Lab carries a complete array of Optical Dynamics lens products, including clearLIGHT advantage, sunSMART II grey & brown, ultraSUN II, blueVIEW and amplifEYE. As a Q-2100 owner you receive discounted pricing on all Vision Dynamics Lab products and services. Check against current lab pricing to profit even more.

The key to ongoing success is system utilization. The more you make…the more you’ll make.  Your staff is key to maximizing your potential. Educate, reward, monitor, and reinforce your team’s commitment to this new lens technology and you will be successful.

Do You Let Your Store do the Talking?

Eyecare Business November by Erinn Morgan

welcome-matTrend #1 The Big Picture – The store is a tool of communication. And, a successful retail environment must be holistically designed, from the front door to the sales floor to its on line presence. This includes the sign above your door, the welcome mat below, the surface treatments on the walls and floors the stationary that you use, and the nature of your sales associates.

Trend #2 The Product at Work – Across the board, stores are using a plethora of mannequins. Can they also work in optical? Even if employing mannequins in your eyewear displays is not for you, thought-out-lifestyle presentations can still show how the product is intended to be used.

Trend #3 Think Locally – Being locale-specific and connecting with the community is important, too. And who does it better than Anthropologie? One of my favorite presentations done by this retailer was in its San Francisco store on Market Street. The company replicated the Golden Gate Bridge, constructed of boxes of Rice-A-Roni. You can’t get more San Francisco than that.

Trend #4 Get Interactive – New digital and video shelf talkers, and other types of interactive displays, are finding their way into stores across the country. Pick up the merchandise and the shelf talker communicates what the product is – an how it should be used.