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HomemibusinessHere’s a Year’s Supply of Contact Lenses

Here’s a Year’s Supply of Contact Lenses

If you were a contact lens manufacturer, how many lenses would you put in a box? Or, what if you were a patient, how many lenses would be simpler for you to receive when you visit your optometrist?

If contact lens manufacturers packaged their daily disposable lenses with 11 lenses in a box, how would you present them to your patients? Would you say: “There are 11 lenses in each box. Since you need a different box for each eye, that means if you were to wear the lenses every day, you’d need 33.2 boxes for each eye, or a total of 66.4 boxes. How many would you like to buy today? Three months’ worth? OK – that would be 8.2 boxes for each eye. Let me
go get a pair of scissors so I can take care of the 0.2 boxes.

I’ll be right back.” What if there were 43 lenses in each box? 211? If YOU were the manufacturer, how many lenses would YOU put in each box?

A Year’s Suppl y

To make things as easy as possible to explain to your patients, I think you’d agree that a supply of 365 lenses would be best. That way, as your patient is checking out at your front desk, your assistants would present two boxes to your patient and confidently say, “Here is your next year’s supply of lenses”. That’s easy, direct, to the point and understood by everyone.

It’s very easy to increase the number of patients opting for yearly supplies by using these three strategies.

The advantages of dispensing a yearly supply of lenses are many, and there are even more when you dispense them directly from your practice.

First, when patients have enough lenses to hold them until their next examination (in this case, one year) there is no reason for them to shop elsewhere for lenses. This leads to better patient retention. With more lenses at hand, compliance tends to be better. This is due to the concept of “pantry loading”. Simply, with more of a product on hand, be it contact lenses or toothpaste, you more readily use it.

Yearly supplies also mean less administrative work and costs for your practice. With a year’s supply of lenses on hand, patients don’t need to continually contact your practice to order additional lenses. Fewer phone calls (patient to practice, practice to lens company, practice to patient) and increased cash flow due to more cash on hand, are palpable benefits in practices that embrace
dispensing of yearly supplies.

Strategies to Yearly Patient Supply

It’s very easy to increase the number of patients opting for yearly supplies by using these three strategies.

First, make patients feel special, rewarded and privileged to be allowed to purchase a yearly supply of lenses. At the conclusion of your examination, use language like: “Since your eyes look so good and you will do great with dailies, I’m going to approve you for a year’s supply of contact lenses.” Carry this sentiment forward to the front desk. “I see Mr. Jones has approved you for a year’s supply of contact lenses. That’s great! Let me explain how that works.”

Next, eliminate the word “boxes” from your vocabulary and think in units of time. “I’ll go ahead and have the year’s supply sent to you. The cost, after the manufacturers rebate will be about AUD$1.00 per day. The fee for today will be AUD$480 and the lens company has this AUD$100 rebate that you can send in. That makes your final cost for today AUD$380.”

Finally, keep a small inventory of the powers you prescribe most in your practice. Nothing can be more convenient and show better customer service, than having your patients’ lenses available in your practice. You only need
to stock your “go to” lens brand and only need the most common powers. Done this way, the financial commitment to maintaining an in practice inventory is very small and pays great rewards.

Don’t let the way lenses are packaged interfere with your ability to have patients get the best lenses in the most convenient manner. Pushing that concept to the other extreme, you wouldn’t ask your dailies patients to come in every day to pick u p lenses either, would you?

Dr. Gary Gerber is the founder and president of The Power Practice (www.PowerPractice.com), a practice building and consulting company with a mission to make doctors more profitable and efficient by introducing innovative strategies
and techniques.