By Stuart J. Thomas, OD,
and Ellen Byrum-Goad, LDO
May 2, 2018
Anti-reflective (AR) lens treatments give your patients greater comfort and visual quality, and even make them look better in photos and videos by eliminating reflections on their lenses. AR should be an easy sell to patients, but can easily get overlooked in your opticians’ presentation to patients. Our practice has increased AR sales by starting in the exam room with the doctor’s recommendation.
We average 96 percent AR sales in our optical, and we have since 2010. AR adds approximately $59,000 per year to our revenue (890 pairs of eyeglasses x $ 67 profit on AR).
Doctor Shows Patients His Own AR Lenses
There’s nothing like a personal testimony, especially when that personal testimony is coming from the doctor providing care and expertise.
Dr. Thomas: During the examination I inspect my patient’s glasses, looking at both sides of their lenses to look for defects, scratches and AR. If they do not have AR on their lenses, I show them the difference on the reflections from the overhead lights in the exam room versus my lenses. I always explain the benefits of AR to patients myself in the portion of the exam reserved for discussing new prescriptions, and then cap off my presentation by noting that I always gets AR in my own spectacle lenses. I then show them that I have no reflection on my lenses, and point out that AR lenses increase the clarity of my vision – especially when driving at sunset and night. I also explain the one-year warranty we offer on the finish at no additional charge for the warranty.
Opticians Follow-Up with Their Own Personal AR Endorsements
Ellen Byrum-Goad: The rest of us in the office, including our opticians, all wear glasses with AR, so we also can speak from our own experience that this lens add-on is well worth the added cost. When a patient hears the same personal testimony about a product from both the doctor in the exam room, and the opticians in the optical, most will have little reason to doubt.
Use AR Lens Demo Glasses
Ellen Byrum-Goad: In the optical, we let patients see for themselves the difference AR makes by having them try on a pair of AR eyeglasses. Patients are able to easily see the reduction in the level of reflections with the AR glasses on.
Bundle AR Into Lens Packages
Ellen Byrum-Goad: All of our in-office marketing about AR relies on demonstration of the product – and the fact that we bundle that feature into every pricing strategy. Basically, we act like it isn’t not available on lenses.
Last year we decided to stock AR-finished lenses in-house. If you don’t want AR, we have to specially order lenses without it.
Anticipate & Address Common Questions
Ellen Byrum-Goad: Patients often are skeptical of a lens add-on that requires that they spend more on their glasses. So, it’s important to give them a chance to ask questions. If they say they’re not interested in AR, even after both the doctor and opticians have educated them about the benefits, we ask why, and see if they have concerns about it that we can address.
Common questions include whether it’s going to scratch more easily, or peel off, and some new patients say that they bought AR lenses at their old eye doctor’s office, and it was horrible. We tell them about the quality differences (you get what you pay for), and we explain that ours is easier to clean, and less likely to smudge. Plus, we point out that VSP and EyeMed give a discounted price on AR.
Send Employees to Optical Lab to Learn More About It
When we have a new employee, we send them on a tour of Robertson Optical Lab in Loganville, Ga. They get a bird’s eye view of the technology of the lens finishes, including AR. They see how this lens add-on, and others, improve our patients’ vision and quality of life.
Ellen Byrum-Goad, LDO, is practice manager. To contact: Ellen.Goad@thomaseyecenter.com