Why Your Optical Dispensary Struggling to Make Profit?

Why Your Optical Dispensary Struggling to Make Profit?

Medical offices treat patients, but they’re also businesses. Just like other businesses, they need revenue to operate and expand.

Practices might be wondering how to increase sales in opticians and optical dispensaries if they’re struggling to sell eyeglasses, contact lenses, and related products.

While there are factors that could hurt profits, there are also ways to address them. Some profit-related problems and solutions follow.

Fierce competition

There are many optical services now competing for people’s eyewear dollars.

Your patients may have your practice’s optical services at their disposal, but they also have so much more. Many have a variety of brick-and-mortar establishments that offer a selection of eyeglass frames and lenses, sometimes claiming that they could create a complete pair of glasses in one hour or under.

As with so many products, eyeglasses and contact lenses are also being sold in large numbers over the internet. Like their physical optical counterparts, these digital retailers are featuring promotions and financial incentives intended to entice people away from medical practices’ eyecare services.

Just because something might be more inexpensive or more convenient doesn’t make it better, however. Customers have had optical outlet complaints and have criticized online retailers, saying that their new eyeglasses don’t fit and work in ways they should.

Since you offer eye care in addition to eyewear, tout this expertise. Remind patients that your training and experience could help them find eyewear that works and feels just as good as it looks. Maybe it’ll even help them look fierce.

Pricing and inventory mistakes

Since your patients may be considering optical customer services based on their prices, maybe you should too.

Pricing-and-inventory-mistakesEyewear comes in many times and price points. While you might consider offering pricier eyeglass frames to drive your profits, if no one buys them, you’re not making any profit at all.

It might be better to offer only a few pricier eyeglass frames, lenses, and accessories. Instead, concentrate on offering larger numbers and varieties of low-priced or mid-priced products.

Also consider your clientele. If most of your patients work in industrial occupations, it might be wise to feature more durable eyeglass options or work goggles. If you have a young patient pool, stock up on frames that are more suitable for children and young people.

Such selections indicate that you’re keeping your patients and their needs in mind. If they feel like you’re understanding and seeing them, they’ll be more likely to stay as patients and business clients. They may even recommend your eye care and optical product assistance to others.

Lack of patient understanding

Letting your patients know that you understand them is vital. Without this understanding, you could not only lose their optical business profits, but lose them entirely as patients.

Lack-of-patient-understandingUnderstanding patients takes work, but it’s work that pays big dividends. For example, you might want to ask for patient feedback.

To gather this feedback, you could create online forms on your website or hand out postcards with prepaid postage at your office. On patient questionnaires, you could ask them what you’re doing right, what they’d like you to improve, and if there’s anything specific that you should do to satisfy their eye care and eyewear needs.

With such feedback, you’ll be better able to gauge what patients really think about you and whether your practice truly works for them.

Communication difficulties

Gathering patient feedback requires communication. If your practice doesn’t communicate well, it doesn’t function well.

Communication-difficultiesGood communication could come in the form of anonymous online or print questionnaires.

Consider using your practice management software and electronic health record (EHR) systems to learn more about patients, keep in contact with them, and strengthen your optical business.

You could send them period email newsletters, say once every six weeks or so, with tips about eye health. These newsletters, and other patient-centered materials, could prominently include ways they could contact you to discuss their concerns or ask questions.

Communication is also as simple as talking with your clients during their exams. A short conversation could teach so much about your patients and how they feel.

Unsatisfactory customer service

Failing to communicate could lead to poor customer service.

Unsatisfactory-customer-service

If your patients visited your optical services, but encountered rude or unknowledgeable staff, they’d probably be reluctant to visit again. Even worse, they might share their experiences with others who would then be reluctant to buy eyeglasses or contact lenses from you.

Like other aspects of patient care, customer service involves listening to what patients say and responding to what you’ve heard.

Answering questions might be a big part of this equation. Although you and your staff members might not know how to respond, it’s okay to admit that. In fact, admitting that could be a good way to connect with your patients and customers. You could agree that eye care and eyewear are complex, but you and your staff will do your utmost to simplify matters.

Poor sales tactics

Selling eyeglasses and contact lenses could also be simplified.

Are you uncomfortable selling your vision products and haven’t promoted them? You’re not alone. Many eye care professionals are.

Promoting your optical services doesn’t need to be an in-person endeavor. When you remind patients to schedule their appointments by phone or my computer, you could mention your eyewear practice in these reminder messages.

You could also mention your optical offerings online. Consider creating a separate website for your optical services and link this page to your main practice pages. On your optical site, you could display the types of eyeglasses and contacts you sell, tips for picking the right frames, and tools that allow people to download their photographs so they can “see” what they look like wearing certain styles of eyeglasses.

Depending on your preferences, you could allow people to buy products online, encourage them to make an appointment for in-person assistance, or both.

Online optical services illustrate how many fields, even medicine, are becoming increasingly digital. By offering electronic assistance, you could improve patient care, run your practice more efficiently, and even boost your profits.

For additional electronic assistance, contact us. Our digital tools could help you find ways to boost your eye care practice and its profits.

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