How to Reduce Eyewear Remakes

Whichever angle you look at it from, eyewear remakes are always costly.

They take additional time and resources because the order is placed again, which means that both, the clinic staff and lab technicians need to work all over for the second time.

Not only does this mean unsatisfied customers, which can ruin your reputation as a good optometrist, but can also lead to business losses as the eyewear is remade and re-shipped for corporate optical.

Although there can be various reasons why a customer asks for a remake, a prescription change recommended by a doctor is seldom one of them. It’s either that the customer finds their new glasses difficult to adjust to or it’s not to their liking and hence, they demand it to be changed.

While you are likely to keep a margin in your business and allow a free remake once per customer, don’t you wish the need doesn’t arise in the first place?

If you are looking for ways to reduce eyewear remakes, here are a few tips to help you make sure that your customers are satisfied when they try on their new glasses.

Have a clear conversation

If you want to master the art of refraction, start by listening to your patients very attentively.

Have a thorough conversation to see what type of glasses your customer wants. If they ask you for suggestions or leave the decision of design up to you, let them know what you think will suit them best and give them a sample to try on.

Give them time to make up their mind and make sure they are pleased before finalizing the order.

While most customers are usually very specific about what they want, listen attentively to determine whether they will be able to tolerate any changes in fabrication or not. Inform them beforehand if there’s a design or lens that may slightly differ from the one on display or shown in the catalog.

If there are customers with a past history of lens dissatisfaction, ask them to describe their ‘ideal’ eyeglasses. Discuss what issues they have faced before and how you can improve them.

Educate staff to troubleshoot

Your optical staff should be well trained to handle an unhappy customer.

Even if it gets a bit frustrating, the staff must maintain a friendly demeanor as they try to figure out what the issue is and how to fix it.

They should check if it’s a problem they can solve by themselves instead of simply sending the eyewear back to the lab.

Does the frame need a slight readjustment to ensure the customer is looking through the right part of the lens? Is there a pantoscopic tilt? Do the glasses lie flat on a surface or is the frame bent?

Such minor issues can be easily fixed by the staff so make sure they are well trained to do that.

Moreover, if the customer demands a remake only because they feel that they are unable to adjust to their new eyewear, politely ask them to try the glasses for at least a week despite the initial discomfort.

Adjusting to a new pair of glasses takes time and they might not find the need for a remake once they wear it for a few days.

Characteristics of an Excellent Regional Manager in Corporate Optometry

Characteristics of Excellent Regional Managers in Corporate Optometry

Trust

They respect what ODs do and encourage ODs to practice the way they choose to. Don’t interfere with OD business. They understand that in order the optical to grow the OD side of the business needs to grow as well.

Work-Life Balance

They promote work life balance. They know that people work better and collaborate more if there is a balance. Burn out in corporate optometry is real.  Promoting a work life balance can help off set the burn out. Happy ODs can focus on growing a business and will result in increase in optical revenue.

Alignment

Keep optical staff focused on long term goals that includes growing the Doctor side of the business. Great regional managers understand the the patient experience is not an optical sale. Working with the Doctor side of the business will promote eye health and an image to the patient to continue to see the OD at that location. In the long term the patient that continues their care with that OD is more likely to continue to purchase from that optical. It can hedge from online retailers.

Support

Recognize and reward the optical staff and OD. Without the team goals can’t be achieved.

They encourage growth and want to see the OD business succeed. In the long term it will benefit the optical.

They won’t sacrifice the Doctor’s business to grow their own. Regional managers will not influence ODs office to offer quick services or cheapest eye exam in the area. They recognize this tactic will not grow the business in the long run.

Create a Culture of Accountability

They understand each location has unique strengths and weaknesses and use those intuition to create a strategic plan.

Provide resources to improve optical performance and find solutions. They do not blame.

When something goes wrong great regional managers work with the optical team and OD. They are accountable for their own results.

CREATING A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE IN CORPORATE OPTOMETRY

Creating a Memorable experience in Corporate Optometry.

When you think of  memorable experiences you think of positive times filled with joy and laughter. It could be a game winning shot, a vacation, childhood memory of your parents or even just enjoying a loved ones company as laughter fills the room.  You tend to remember the times that you felt something. Creating a memorable patient experience is no different! The way a patient “feels” about the experience will reflect directly to your bottom line. People will generally really love something or not like it and there is no room for in between or being average in today’s competitive market.  Creating a memorable experience involves everyone through the patient journey. Think of a patient experience as a journey, it is not a single appointment or transaction but a journey that can evolve over the next 20-30 years as they continue to see you and refer others to your office.   Here are some ways to make a memorable patient experience:

1. Active Listening

Active Listening is paying attention to the patient from the moment they call for an appointment. Train your staff to take notes during the initial touch point. If a patient is calling the office because of having a negative experience at another office, have the staff ask probing questions to understand what type of experience they are looking for. Once the patient is in your exam chair you have a “blueprint” of their expectations. You are able to address their pain points that guided them to your office.  Provide a personal approach by facing  them when they are talking and maintain eye contact. Many times patients will tell you want they want, it is your job as an eye care professional to recommend the best options and help guide them to best personalized solution. Active listening establishes  the patient/ doctor relationship and aligns an active approach to their health care. If they feel like their part of the decision process it will create a memorable experience that will make your office stand out from the rest.

2. Doctor Driven Dispensing

Whether you own your office or are an employee, doctor driven dispensing is a way to not only to create a memorable experience in the optical, but create patient loyalty through patient education of products. The clinical findings from the examination should be aligned with the eye wear lenses options that you recommend, to the specific artificial tears that you prescribed to that patient. It goes back to active listening. You are the authoritative voice and experienced professional of that office, “customize” and educate patients to why you are recommending a product and how it is different from online retailers. Maintain eye contact when discussing personalized eye care. Doctor driven dispensing is an art that is frequently ignored by many ODs. Asking different questions will create a “wow” experience for the patient, ” they never asked me those questions before, maybe I wasn’t getting the right exam or eye wear that I should have had before”

3.  Storytelling

Storytelling can be an influential connector to your patients because it is an emotional driver. Memorable moments are created by emotions. It makes the patient experience a human experience. Storytelling can be formulated from active listening to understanding what the patient likes to talk about and transitioning it to an assessment/plan strategy for that patient encounter.  Storytelling by itself can be a powerful way to be memorable. Be yourself. Being authentic will connect with people. Letting them know that your family member has a the same issues with  progressive lenses and what specific product you prescribed compared to an affordable option creates more value for your office than competing on price.

4. Marketing a memorable experience

Online retailers like Warby Parker will donate a pair of glasses. It creates a memorable experience for the patient because they know that their eyeglass purchase with help others in need. The promotion is “Since day one, over 4 million pairs of glasses have been distributed through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. Alleviating the problem of impaired vision is at the heart of what we do, and with your help, our impact continues to expand.” The key phrase is “The whole story begins with you“, it creates a memorable experience where the patient is involved in something for a bigger purpose. Whether is is a local charity event or mission trip your office can do the same. Use your email database and social media platforms to educate your patients about your involvement in the community and how they can be involved by donating old glasses or how you can do a promotion for free eye exams for those in need through your office.

 5. Follow up

The patient experience does not end at the end of the exam.  Making a follow up call to a patient can make a lasting impression. Whether is it a follow up on corneal abrasion or a call to see how their contacts are performing. This discussion has more impact than you think in making your business successful and developing the critical doctor/patient relationship. Following up 1 week, 1 month or 6 months will create a memorable experience, simply set reminders in your EMR system to have your staff follow up on progressive adaptation or simple satisfaction with service or products. Let your patients know that you remember specific personal information, document in your chart; job information and children’s names to have a starting point for your next exam.  Your EMR system can be a great way to follow up on reactivating patients by sending birthday texts/emails with special promotions.

6.Unique Style

Your unique style makes you memorable. Humor is a memorable factor. Don’t be afraid to have a different approach to patient care, humor will make you likeable and approachable to new patients. You want patients to feel comfortable, being funny is one way to do it. Everyone likes getting compliments and it will also make people feel comfortable to ask questions and enhance the doctor/patient experience.

Your personality, humor,empathy, attention to detail is your signature to the world. It speaks volumes, use it to create a memorable experience that no one can mimic because “you” is UNIQUE.