4 Key Online Optical Trends:

Eyecare Business September 2019

  1. Online Sales: Just under 5% of eyeglass frames sold in the 12 months ending September 2018 were bought online, according to research done by the Vision Council. That is, however, an 11% year-to-year increase in unit sales. That growth rate has pretty much stayed the same since 2014.
  2. Online Dollar Volume: As for revenue, sales of optical products online rang in at $2.13 billion for the 12 months ending December 2018. That’s up 9.2% from a year earlier.
  3. Plano Sales: This is an entirely different story. “During the 12ME period September 2018…up to 9.3 million American adults purchased plano sunglasses directly over the internet,” reports the Vision Council.
  4. Internet Users: Among American adults who indicated in 2018 research they used the Internet to purchase eyewear over a six-month period, 24% bought Rx eyewear and 31% plano sunwear.

Create a High-Efficeincy Practice

In an article in Optometric Management, the editor offers six tips to maximize your patient flow for increase profitability.

Tip 1: When it comes to administration think “e”. By allowing your patients to schedule appointments and  fill out patient forms online, you can free up to 45-minutes a day for your employees and free up time for your patients as well.

Tip 2: Utilize high-tech equipment. The use of high-tech equipment in both diagnostics and production is key to increasing practice profitability. <end article> With the Q-2100 Digital Lens System you can produce free form quality lenses at a fraction of the time and cost as with traditional labs. Dispensing lenses with just-in-time delivery will be noticed by your customers and they will return with repeat business. Everyone wants things quickly and efficiently and this in-office technology allows you meet the expectations of the consumer. <begin article>

Tip 3: Delegate. Don’t try to be the keeper of all the knowledge. Share information and give your employees the opportunity to grown and expand their abilities in the work place.

Tip 4: Provide staff training. Do multiple people know how do do the same job? If not, they should! Cross train your staff in dispensing, lens production and administrative tasks. By cross training your team you will operate at peak efficiency.

Tip 5: Schedule weekly staff meetings. Industry leading consultant Dr. Richard Kattouf recommends you schedule weekly staff meetings at which discussions on how to refine individual responsibilities are discussed to maintain efficiency and enthusiasm.

Tip 6: Value your time and your patient’s. Time is important to everyone. By focusing on efficiency creating choices, you will see an improvement in the time you and your patients spend at the business. Your family will appreciate it and so will your customers.

Turn Your Staff into Marketers

Rebecca Jonhson, Optometric Management

MarketingMarketing is more than communicating the value of a product and making a sale. It is about building relationships that result in trust and increased business. Creating a patient-centered experience with a feeling of community is the best marketing tool to ensure a loyal following of patients who enthusiastically refer friends and family.

Let’s take a look at some role-based marketing opportunities.

Appointment scheduler – MARKETING MESSAGE:
“You made the right decision.” The solution is to regularly schedule time with your employees to discuss the uniqueness and mission of your practice. Make sure employees can list reasons a perspective patient would receive value by choosing your practice.

Front desk receptionist – MARKETING MESSAGE:
“You had me at hello.” Keeping personal notes in the patient’s file reminds the receptionist to celebrate the patient. For instance, “Mrs. Parker, I saw that Jason got a baseball scholarship at Georgia Tech. I bet you are proud.”

Technician – MARKETING MESSAGE:
“You are in good hands.” A pre-test script increases the confidence of the technician in discussing technology.

Optician – MARKETING MESSAGE:
“You received quality and value.” Reassuring the patient of the quality and value of the products you provide fosters patient referrals, great reviews and satisfied patients. The optician should follow-up with the patient within two weeks of the purchase to ensure the patient is satisfied with his/her new eyewear.

Checkout/biller – MARKETING MESSAGE:
“You are welcome back.” The checkout experience should be compared with the grand finale at a fireworks’ display, not a sterile discussion of insurance and out-of-pocket expenses. Look to delight your patient with this last impression. For example, a vase of fresh flowers on the desk and an offer of a Hershey’s Kiss or a York Peppermint Pattie can create the perfect ending. Also, attach a “Like Us on Facebook” postcard to the appointment card.

Give Thanks, Showing Patients Gratitude

Innvision Magazine By Daniel Rostenne

Showing patients gratitude should be a year round affair. Giving your patients the recognition that they chose you, when they could have chosen any other eyecare professional out there reinforces that they made the right decision. It builds trust, loyalty, and goodwill and they will certainly remember it when its time for their next eye exam. give-thanks

Here are some easy ways to show gratitude using digital marketing:

  1. Create a nice thank you graphic that can be sent by email or as a post card after a visit.
  2. Run a Facebook thank you campaign
  3. Share for them. Help your patients to succeed in their endeavors by liking their Facebook pages, sharing content and reciprocating.
  4. Hold a customer appreciation day in which you offer discounts or giveaways for loyal customers and spread the word through an integrated campaign on Facebook, email, website ads and direct mail.
  5. Respond to reviews, both good and the bad. Thank those that leave positive reviews and those that complain as well…
  6. Offer social media exclusive deals.

for complete article vision invisionmag.com

Online Optical Sales Pass $2.1 Billion in 2018

Vision Expo Daily March 2019

The vision Council Market Research team conducted its yearly VisionWatch internet influence study and found that online sales reached over 2.1 billion in 2018. The study surveyed over 4,900 respondents who shared information regarding their online habits when shopping for and buying eyewear.

VisionWatch examined their presence in the optical industry. Here are a few of the online sales finding from the internet influence survey

  • 34.8 percent of recent buyers reported using the internet to varying degrees during their last contact lens purchase.
  • 25.5 percent of prescription eyeglass buyers used the internet for assistance during their last purchase.
  • Unit sales of online eyewear increased by about 11 percent in 2018, on par with growth rates of online eyewear sales from 2014 to 2017.
  • About 28 percent of recent eyewear buyers with easy access to the internet claimed that they will not use the internet for any assistance or functions when purchasing eyewear in the future
  • 32.1 percent of recent eyewear buyer with easy access to the internet indicated that they may possibly or probably will use the internet to directly purchase eyewear in the future.

Choose Your Words when Recommending Photochromics

Eyecare Business Volume 27 Number 4 by Susan Tarrant

We all know the importance of doctor-driven lens recommendations. We know the importance of optical staff following up on that message once the patient leaves the exam room. But what you may not know is the importance of the language you use when discussing lens options, particularly options like photochromics.

A Transitions Optical, Inc., study finds that using positive, neutral, or, of course, negative language has an impact on the patient’s overall experience.

75% of the patients who hear “positive” language from their ECPs regarding lens options report a positive eyecare experience and are more satisfied with the overall visit.

58% who hear negative language (including product disclaimers) report a negative overall experience.

How a product is recommended is just as important as actually making the recommendation. The study finds that, even when it comes to discussing product benefits, a patient may perceive disclaimers as “negative,” even if the ECP believes he is making a helpful, neutral observation.

Choose Your WordsSome examples, from the study, of the “positive” language used:

■ Can be worn indoors and outdoors
■ UV protection
■ Adapt to a variety of lighting conditions
■ Are convenient
■ Match level of tint to light
■ High quality

Some examples of “negative” language used:

■ Don’t work while driving in a car
■ Won’t work as well as sunglasses
■ Too expensive
■ Not dark enough outdoors
■ Don’t get dark/clear fast enough
■ Not completely clear indoors

Furthermore, many of the “negative” comments are simply not true anymore. Take a moment to talk to your lens or lab representative to learn how the technology has advanced and what you can offer your patients.

When Bad Reviews Happen to Good Businesses

Eyecare Business by Alicia Hoglund

As published in  Eyecare Business, four out of five consumers say they have changed their minds about a recommended purchase based on a negative online review. With online reviews more prevalent than ever, keep in mind the following Do’s and Don’ts when dealing with a negative review.

  • DO always respond. If you make a mistake, accept it and let the customer know it won’t happen again
  • DON’T minimize or invalidate the review’s concerns
  • DO listen intently to the customer
  • DON’T respond with an angry or defensive reply. Even if the complaint is biased or unjustified,  people reading the review will assume this is how your company handles complaints.
  • DO be compassionate and caring
  • DON’T contact a negative reviewer without a plan to make things right by him or her
  • DON’T use generalities. Be specific when addressing a problem. Speak to the matter at had specifically where appropriate and avoid canned responses.
  • DO be willing to give a little. Sometimes customer just want to be heard. Your willingness to go the extra mile might just win them back as customers and even be worth a referral

Cast Digital Lenses In-House

Offer your patients one-hour lenses while cutting lab costs in half with the Q-2100R Digital Lens System from Optical Dynamics.

Kenneth N. Johnson, ABOM, NCLC, LDO, Vision Care Product News

Do you want to offer patients same-day lenses cast in-house? Do you want to reduce your lab bills? If so, an in-office lens casting system might be the answer. The Q-2100R Digital Lens System from Optical Dynamics can help grow your business while driving down costs by up to 50%.

FREE-FORM TECHNOLOGY
The Optical Dynamics Q-2100R Digital Lens System incorporates free-form technology into the design and manufacture of the progressive and single vision molds it supplies with the unit. In this way, the lenses made with these digital molds benefit from the features of free-form manufacturing. One advantage is the increased surface accuracy of the lens designs, another is the increased power accuracy of the prescription created. The outcome is better surface quality and more accuracy in the curves generated through much tighter tolerances.

HOW IT WORKS
To make a lens, free-form glass molds are injected with the liquid monomer using the Q-2100R Flash Fill System. The Q-2100R is computerized and easy for staff to master. After the Rx has been entered, the appropriate molds are loaded. The machine scrubs the molds under high pressure to ensure cleanliness, and if an anti-reflective (AR) treatment is to be applied, it is done at this stage. The molds are assembled and injected with liquid polymer. The material is then cured in a light chamber, followed by a post-curing chamber, after which your AR Rx lenses are done. The whole process takes 30 to 90 minutes

LENS OPTIONS
Optical Dynamics offers a family of premium progressive, bifocal, and single vision lenses that are custom molded to a patient’s exact prescription. These are produced using a variety of progressive lens design molds, and both spherical and aspherical FT28 molds as well as aspheric single vision molds. Another option is atoric back molds for minus lenses to further control curves and distortion for myopes. The company’s proprietary liquid monomer, called clearLIGHT PLUS, is available in a clear form. It also has three photochromic options named sunSMART II grey, sunSMART II brown, and a new extra active sunglass version called ultraSUN II. All the lenses, according to Optical Dynamics, have an impact resistance that meets FDA standards even when cast to a 1.5mm center thickness, work well with drill mounts, and are tintable.

If you’re looking to increase profits, reduce turnaround time, and add in-house lens casting, the Q-2100R may be your answer.

Kenneth N. Johnson is the Optical Manager at Professional Eyecare in Waterford CT.

Optical Dynamics & Vision Dynamics Lab to Attend VEE

VEE LogoRepresentatives from Optical Dynamics and Vision Dynamics Laboratory are pleased to attend this year’s Vision Expo East Friday March 22nd  through Sunday March 24th at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. Although we will not exhibit at the event, team members will be available for onsite appointments should you wish to meet and discuss our in-office lens technology, photochromics, color enhancing sun line, glass or fixed tint products, and other lab services:

Attendees include:

  • John Dippold, President ext. 285
  • Michael Yager, VP Sales ext. 291
  • Eric Lindquist, National Sales Manager Lab Services c. 801-205-6133
  • Julianne West, Marketing ext. 253

For appointments, please call 800-797-2743

Exhibit hours for the event are as follows:

  • Friday March 22nd 9:30am – 6:00pm
  • Saturday March 23rd 9:30am – 6:00pm
  • Sunday March 24th 9:30am – 5:00pm

We look forward to meeting with you at this year’s event!

Vision Dynamics LLC to Attend VCA Summit

 

Vision Dynamics LLC is please to attend and support the Vision Council at their Executive Summit next week in Orlando.

An annual event, the Executive summit is filled with opportunities for executive-level networking, leadership development, economic trend updates, and hot-topic panel discussions. This powerful resource is designed to keep members aware of the optical industry’s changing landscape in charting a course for the future.

This years speakers include former executive at  at Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc. George Blankenship.  With three decades of experience in international strategy, retail and real estate, Blankenship is best known for his growth strategies focused on customer experience, implemented in his work with such notable and impactful companies. As the greater vision and vision care industry continues to evolve and expand, Blankenship will offer a unique perspective on how organizations within the industry can adapt to an ever-changing marketplace. The event will also feature Jeff Cherry, an expert on the topic of Conscious Capitalism and Liz Wiseman who will share ideas from her top 20 business leadership book, Multipliers. Closing the Summit once again is our favorite economist, Brian Beaulieu.

Our executive team looks forward to spending time with industry friends at this informative event.