The economy seems to make no difference in the eyewear buying habits of 30.8% of consumers, who say they will not change their buying behavior because of the state of the economy, according to The Vision Council‘s VisionWatch Economic Situation Study: April 2012. On the other hand, 28.8% say they will use their current eyeglasses for a longer period of time and hold off on purchasing new eyeglasses. Some 25.3% say they will search for the best value when shopping for prescription eyeglasses while 21% say they will continue to use their old frames and only purchase new lenses. Some 5.9% say they will use the internet to purchase their next pair of prescription eyeglasses while 8.8% will try and save money by purchasing multiple pairs of eyeglasses at the same time. Some 19.1% say they will spend less than they spent in the past on the eyeglasses they end up buying.
What are the strategies we want to accomplish with our patients?
1. We want to provide our patients the best care in services and materials.
2. We want to provide for all of our patients’ needs (e.g.: indoor, outdoor, computer, safety).
What tactics should we use to achieve our strategic objectives?
1. Use a lifestyle history questionnaire to identify all of our patient’s needs.
2. Prescribe an optical solution for each patient need where appropriate focusing on premium products.
3. Work with patients to prioritize the solutions.
4. Offer a multi-pair discount to increase the value of multiple pair sales (experience shows that significant movement does not occur until you offer between a 35% to 50% discount).
5. Have clear visuals in your optical shop that you offer solutions for all price points.
6. Explain to patients what they lose in benefits to their health, safety and function when they choose lower price points (focus on benefits, not features).
7. Make sure at least 20% of your frame board is dedicated to sunwear.
8. Review your frame board mix. Compare the number of frames you have on your board in each price point to the number of frames you actually sold last year in each price point. Remix your frame board to better reflect your strategic objectives and the reality of your practice.
9. Make sure your office offers payment solutions such as CareCredit and PayPal.
10. Make sure your patients with frame coverage on their vision insurance use it–it should be the rare exception that these people order lenses only.
Sit down with your staff today and implement a plan of action to help your patients get the best care for all of their needs.