We know you’re worried about online eyeglass sales. And no matter how many times you hear that only a small percentage of people buy glasses online, you’re still going to worry. Why? The companies that sell online eyewear and at-home exams “want to make their [customers] experience better than going to the doctor,” says Mick Kling, OD, who presented at SECO 2018. But it is possible to gain an edge. “Start by asking yourself ‘what [can] we bring to the table that is just as cool and sophisticated?’” he advises.
In this series of posts, we’re exploring how to shepherd your optical into the 21st century and beyond. If you missed the first post in this series (how to go paperless—finally), you can read it here.
Advance Your Technology—the Easy Way
Below, Kling shares ideas on to use technology in your practice—without having to be a tech whiz.
You’ve got to start somewhere.
Take each element of your patient experience in the optical—from exam to eyewear pickup—and figure out how you can use technology to make those elements better or easier. For instance, if your opticians don’t have tablets, purchase a few. It’s an affordable way to communicate to clients that you are in the know, says Donna Suter, who conducted sessions at SECO 2018. They’ll think “look at that iPad they’re carrying around from station to station,” she explains.
From Instagram Stories and Facebook Live to YouTube and now even LinkedInLive, video has become ubiquitous on the internet. You, too, can harness the power of video to engage patients in your optical. Most of the large manufacturers have “cute videos on all of their lenses,” notes Suter. Download them onto your tablet and use them to educate your clients. For example, instead of explaining how free-form progressives work, you can watch the video together.
Tip: Don’t skip the ‘download ‘part. If you have to go online to show a client a video on how AR coating is applied, your computer is almost guaranteed to freeze. Or there will be a playback issue. Or the site will be down. “No one wants to look stupid. We don’t need that pressure,” says Suter.
If you want to sell more premium frames and lenses, you should upgrade the way you measure and fit patients. It’s hard to convince someone of the value of lens technology when you try to dot their eyes. Consider ditching the dotting altogether and switch to a digital measuring device. From desktop applications to tablet-based tools, there are many modern options on the market. Lens technology has changed, and your measuring technology should keep pace.
Tip: Regardless of how you measure, “it’s important to know the dynamics and the geometry” so you can educate the patient on what you’re measuring and why.
Ready to future-proof your practice? Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll talk about giving your practice a 21st century aesthetic that patients will love!