Insights From Our Editors

What Motivates Patients to Shop for and Purchase Eyewear?

Price, convenience and familiarity with a specific practice or retailer hold significantly more sway in a patient’s eyewear shopping and purchasing decisions than other variables, according to The Vision Council’s 2013 Frame Purchase Motivation Study. For 40 percent of recent frame buyers, “familiarity with a doctor or retailer in the past” leads them to buy eyeglass frames from that location. The “cost/price of the eyeglasses” offered by an eyewear retailer is the second strongest purchase motivation factor in the decision of consumers to select one specific eyeglass retailer over another. Overall, cost and price was an influential decision factor among almost 30 percent of recent eyeglass buyers. Convenience (specifically, the location of the eye doctor or retailer) was an influential decision factor among one-quarter of eyeglass buyers when deciding on a retailer to buy eyeglass frames.

It’s far easier to get current patients to increase their purchases of services and materials than it is to go out into the world and find a new patient–and your return on investment is also higher. But how do you do that most effectively? Here’s help. There is an article titled 10 Ways To Get More Sales From Existing Customers that is worth reading. Click HERE to access the article. What I like best about this article is that each of the “10 Ways” has a link to another article permitting even deeper drill down.

This is a list of the “10 Ways” to whet your appetite to read the article. Where necessary, I’ve adapted the “10 Ways” to our eyecare world.
1. Think lifetime value, not transactional value
2. Go for a no-brainer up-sell
3. Offer complementary products or services
4. Stay in touch
5. Practice the art of the perfectly-timed pitch
6. Contact local employers emphasizing increased productivity with improved vision
7. Remind patients of everything you offer
8. Create incentives for referrals
9. Give patients a say in what you sell
10. Put some skin in the game with performance-based staff contracts

Do you want to work smarter and not harder? Then, prioritize the “10 Ways” list and start with the one that will have the greatest positive impact on your practice. Once you know what you want to do, follow these five steps.
1. Identify a staff member to be in charge of managing the project.
2. Decide how you are going to measure success.
3. Create and implement the plan.
4. Measure.
5. Refine the plan.

Each of these “10 Ways” has a proven track record of being effective. Take this week to create a plan to work smarter and not just harder. What you’ll find is that your level of patient care and satisfaction will increase as your practice improves in its effectiveness.

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