How to Increase Contact Lens Sales for Generation X Patients

Generation X is sometimes described as cynical, anti-establishment, and distrusting of authority. So it’s no wonder that they struggle with contact lens compliance. And CL compliance doesn’t only affect patient’s eye health—it affects how much money they spend on eye care.

Steering those patients towards daily disposables as the healthiest contact lens option can help boost patient compliance, while boosting your practice’s revenue at the same time.

“Historically, between 40 and 90 percent of patients are non-compliant with the care of their lenses,” said David Kading, OD, in his presentation at SECO 2016. Studies show that one-day replacement schedules are the most complaint (87%), followed by one-month schedules (74%), he notes. For ECPs, prescribing replacement schedules with greater compliance results in:

  • Increased product revenue
  • Higher professional fee revenue
  • More optical revenue
  • Greater loyalty to your practice

Optometrists and opticians can steer patients towards more compliant replacement schedules by offering the healthiest option (daily disposables) and framing it as a health/medical choice, instead of offering the patient a “menu” of options. Ideally, you want patients to return yearly for exams; it’s what’s best for their ocular health, patient loyalty, and ultimately for practice profitability.

Consider these stats:

  • Reducing the average interval between contact lens exams from 18 months to 16 months results in a 12.5 percent increase in the number of exams performed each year from existing wearer base.
  • Reducing the average interval between contact lens exams from 18 months to 14 months results in a 28.6 percent increase in the number of exams performed each year from existing wearer base.

Tip: “Check daily disposable compliance by asking what solution the patient uses. Their answer should be ‘NONE!’” says Kris Kerestan Garbig, OD, also a presenter at SECO 2016.

Short And Sweet

One of the strongest trends in contact lenses is increasing daily disposable usage, according to Kading, and industry partners are investing their R&D in daily disposables, he says. This, coupled with the prevalence of emerging presbyopes, means that there is a large market for daily disposable multifocals. ECPs can capitalize on patients’ desire for convenience and comfort, while increasing revenue based on specialty exam fees, CL sales, and even sales of spectacle lenses and frames (since your CL patients will also need backup glasses, task-specific eyewear, or sunwear)

They are the healthiest option, emphasizes Kerestan Garbig, since patients put in a clean, sterile lens each day. There’s no chance for buildup of protein or CL debris. Dailies are also the best choice for allergy patients, she says. Dailies eliminate the chemicals involved in CL cleaning and storage and eliminate solution-related red eyes and allergies. They save time on CL care and money on CL solution. And they’re extremely flexible for part-time wearers. There is a daily disposable to suit practically every CL patient.

Why are more daily disposables not used in the U.S.?

Cost is usually the culprit, points out Kading. Multifocal lenses are premium products. It’s not uncommon for ECPs to have preconceived notions about how much money patients have, and how they’ll want to spend it, resulting in gearing recommendations towards what we think a patient wants to spend.

This subconscious bias is a mistake with any patient, but specifically with Gen Xers. Gen X has spending power—they are usually among the most financially stable patient demographic. They are also unwilling to compromise on comfort and convenience. They aren’t ready to age, and they overwhelmingly want to continue wearing contact lenses. Therefore, they are ready for earlier discussions on premium contact lens options and will be more receptive to these options.

Next up: Transitioning patients to multifocal CLs in 3 easy steps…

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