Insights From Our Editors

How to Help Your Patients Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

May 31, 2017

Research indicates that people tend to regret buying decisions that are material, rather than experiential, in nature. The experiential purchase is valued more than the strictly material. What could that mean for an optometric practice and optical shop?

First, what is buyer’s remorse? According to Wikipedia, “Buyer’s remorse (or buyer’s regret) is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item.…” Three common triggers for buyer’s remorse are the feeling the purchase was unnecessary, feeling they paid too much and terrible after-sale service.

We’ve adapted the content from the article “7 Ways You Can Stop Customers from Getting Buyer’s Remorse” for the eyecare practice:

1. Qualify your buyers
Don’t try to sell products or services that your patients do not want or need. Instead, focus on what patients want and need while making sure you are communicating clearly why the services and materials you are prescribing will improve the patient’s quality of life. Spend upfront time discovering how you can improve patients’ quality of life at home, school, work and play.

2. Cut out the fine print
Fine print, hidden costs and confusing terms of service make your patients regret doing business with you. Be clear and upfront with every patient to avoid buyer’s remorse.

3. Hammer the benefits home
There is a very straightforward flow to this presentation:
a)    Restate the problem using the patient’s own words. “Mrs. Jones, when you came in today you told me that you were having trouble driving at night.”

b)    Link the exam results back to the patient’s problem. “My testing today showed that you have the beginnings of a small cataract. That would indeed cause you to start to have trouble driving at night.”

c)    Give the benefits of what you are prescribing. “The cataract has caused a change in your prescription, so I am prescribing for you that change, and I’m going to also prescribe a glare-free lens treatment to help you drive better at night.”

d)    Give the patient a testimonial statement. “Patients who have your condition tell me that these two changes really helped them.”

4. Ask patients why they want to buy
It’s important that you know why patients want to buy. The easiest way to get this answer is to ask. Phrase it this way: “How important is it for you to update your glasses today?”

5. Remain accessible during and after the sale
Remaining accessible during and after the purchase gives patients confidence that you will be there in case any problem pops up unexpectedly. Be proactive in explaining to patients that you want them to love their new eyewear, and are here to address the things that happen in life like an unexpected bump to the glasses causing them to go flying. Make sure you explain your guarantee, and be liberal in its interpretation.

6. Give patients bragging rights
We can learn from Zappos. If you buy running shoes, Zappos sends a flier stating how the minimalist shoes help you prevent a common runner’s problem. Create a patient report that explains how smart the patient has been with their new purchase from your office. The laboratories you work with are happy to help you create these documents.

7. Under-promise and over-deliver
“We’ll have your glasses for you to pick up tomorrow.” If you’re not sure that you can deliver that, then do not make that promise. The rule is: never make promises you can’t deliver. The best approach is to always under-promise and over-deliver. When you over-promise and under-deliver, this leaves your patient with a feeling of regret that leads to buyer’s remorse.

Teach your doctors and staff these seven steps to help everyone in the practice to better manage buyer’s remorse.


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buyer%27s_remorse

http://blog.livehelpnow.net/7-ways-you-can-stop-customers-from-getting-buyer’s-remorse/

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