By ROB Editors
Presentingthe benefits of Transitions lenses drives sales.Here’s how the 2013 Transitions Practice of the Year educates patients about these lenses and makes the sale.
MAKE STAFF PRODUCT ADVOCATES. Put employees into Transitions,and let them share their experience withpatients.
TRAIN TO EDUCATE ON TRANSITIONS.Offer workshops in which staff practice selling Transitions lenses.
COMMUNICATE BENEFITS TOPATIENTS. Use e-mails and postcards to remind patients of your products. UtilizeTransitions Online Marketing (TOM) tool.
Transitions adaptive lenses are a winner for patients as they protect their eyes from ultra-violet radiation and improve vision in daylight. Here are lessons on educating and selling Transitions from the 2013 Transitions Eyecare Practice of the Year,Clarus Optical, the optical dispensary of Clarus Eye Centre, an eight-doctor practice located in Lacy, Wash. According to Practice Administrator Kimberly Manthe, 40 percent of the eyeglasses sold at Clarus Optical include Transitions lenses. “Prior to our Transitions education efforts, about 27 percent of the eyeglasses we sold included Transitions lenses,” says Manthe. Of these Transitions sales: Some 21.4 percent were Transitions VI; 13.1 percent were Transitions XTRActive; and 5.5 percent were Transitions Vantage.
Clarus Optical staff trains staff on facts about how Transitions lenses work, so they can pass this information onto patients. Here they are taking part in a game to see who can answer the most questions the fastest. Practice Administrator Kim Manthe “referees.”
MAKE STAFF PRODUCT ADVOCATES
Clarus Optical offers the full family of Transitions lens products because the staff believes the lenses help meet the different visual needs of their patients. One of the biggest messages the doctors and opticians emphasize to patients is the importance of UV protection for the eyes. Clarus positions the Transitions family of products as the best solution for providing that protection.
The practice realized that to achieve its goals, it had to boost knowledge among staff members and make it easier for them to give more personal recommendations on the Transitions family of products.
Early in 2013, Clarus fitted its opticians with all three of the everyday Transitions lens products–Transitions VI lenses, Transitions XTRActive lenses and Transitions Vantage lenses–to allow them to fully experience each lens. The practice says this program was successful due to support from Clarus doctors and staff, as well as lab partner Jorgenson Optical Supply.
“Not only are our staff members wearing Transitions lenses, we also have demo tools at each dispensing station that give our staff the chance to show how the lenses activate and how quickly they fade back to clear,” says Manthe. “Because our staff is wearing the lenses, they will often activate their own lenses–and then put them back on–to really show off the technology.”
Clarus also makes sure it has plano Transitions glasses in the dispensary so that patients can activate the lenses and try them on to experience the technology themselves. A “30 Day Test Drive” on Transitions lenses also helps to show patients that the practice stands behind the brand and helps first-time wearers feel more comfortable trying the product.
Clarus Eye Centre (which owns and operates Clarus Optical) was founded in 1968. Dr. Gary N. Scholes was the first of the practice’s current owners to buy the practice in 1993 and then Dr. Jay C. Rudd joined in 2001. In 2006, Clarus opened the doors at its current location.
80 support staff members (5 of whom work in Clarus Optical)
Clarus provides more than 8,000 refractions and 12,221 comprehensive eye exams each year, of which 2,374 were new patients in 2013.
In the optical alone, Clarus Optical achieved $1,700,000+ in gross income for 2013, which represented a 15 percent increase in growth over last year.
TRAIN TOEDUCATE ON TRANSITIONS
Clarus held two “Training Days” sessions in 2013, where staff members were split into groups so they could work as a team to finish short tasks that revolved around various premium products including digital lens technology, AR and Transitions lenses.
“We find that if you make education a game, or more interactive, it’s easier to keep the level of seriousness in check because you can reward those who are answering correctly and still bring attention to any areas employees need to work on,” says Manthe. “Sometimes I even wear a referee shirt to make it ‘official’.”
Winners were rewarded with gift cards. Clarus strategically held the trainings after a major trade show, so attendees could share what they learned while it was fresh in their minds.
“We also rely on a lot of Transitions Optical’s online resources, like TransitionsPRO.com to help fuel our education, and especially when we welcome new employees to our team,” says Manthe. “Plus, we consistently work closely with our Transitions representative, Jonathan Ormsby, who keeps us in the loop on what new education tools are out there. He is a big part of our team.”
COMMUNICATE FREQUENTLY WITH PATIENTS
Inspired by a presentation given during the previous Transitions Academy, a yearly educational conference held in Orlando by Transitions Optical, Clarus wanted to learn how to improve their patients’ visit and experience. The practice surveyed its patients for nearly two months to collect data. Manthe then developed a course based on those results called “Our First Date” which she presented to staff members to share tips for making a good first impression and providing great customer service.
“The survey showed that wait times were a big obstacle for our practice, so after more evaluation, we hired an additional greeter for the office and set up a check-in kiosk to make changes to our service flow,” says Manthe. “We surveyed our patients later in the year and the results showed that our changes made a positive impact.”
To keep patients in the loop about promotions or special events, Clarus leans on the Transitions Online Marketing (TOM) tool to create postcards and send reminder e-mails. Clarus is also active in its community, and participated in more than 25 events and health fairs in 2013 to provide screenings and educational materials to people of all ages.
Use Web Site to Educate Patients
In addition, Clarus uses its web site to educate patients and potential patients about Transitions lenses, says Manthe. The practice includes a link to Transitions Optical’s EyeGlass Guide, an interactive, online tool that shows patients what type and how many pairs of glasses they may need for their lifestyle. The Clarus web site also features a lifestyle image of someone wearing Transitions lenses that visitors can click on to get to the Transitions.com web site, and lists Transitions lenses as an option on its eyeglasses page.
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Clarus Eye Centre, owner and operator of Clarus Optical, is an independently owned practice in Lacey, Wash. To contact: KimM@claruseye.com