To make the most of your optical sales, every member of the practice should be involved from the very first time a prospective patient calls your office, says Valerie Manso, ABOC, FNAO, Diane Drake, LDO, ABOM, FCLSA, and Tom Griffith, OD.
Atlanta, GA-To make the most of your optical sales, every member of the practice should be involved from the very first time a prospective patient calls your office, says Valerie Manso, ABOC, FNAO, Diane Drake, LDO, ABOM, FCLSA, and Tom Griffith, OD.
Before a patient even enters the office, it is important that your practice is working as a team in order to improve productivity and customer service, Drake says. Every team needs a leader to set the pace, and defined roles for each member. Every member of the team should understand the services the practice offers, receive continuing education, and support each other.
Prescribing begins with the staff, Manso says, and that first phone call can convert a caller into a patient with a few simple tips. The phone should always be answered promptly, and every member of the practice team should know how to greet the patient.
The patient should be asked if they have insurance, and if they do, use this as an opportunity to increase your sales. Tell the patient that they are very fortunate, as their first pair will likely be covered, but their insurance may not cover sunglasses, reading glasses, or any of their other optical needs. This will set the patient up to consider additional items, as they’re already receiving a “discount” thanks to their insurance, and Manso says she’s seen practices experience significant increases in their sales with this one simple step.
When the patient comes for her appointment, the doctor should be mindful in his recommendations. Don’t forget to recommend anti-reflective coating for your patients that spend a lot of time in front a computer, or sunglasses for your patient that is an outdoorsman. Forget the optical jargon, but tell them success stories or why you wear it yourself, says Dr. Griffith.
When you’re handing the patient back off to a member of the staff, recognize the importance of that staff member in the way you speak about her. Don’t use disparaging terms, like “one of the girls,” when referring to your staff members.
• Create a mission statement that accurately identifies your practice’s brand
• Make sure your staff understand how to communicate your brand
• Market your practice-and communicate your brand-through your Web site and e-mail newsletters
• With your staff, “inspect what you expect"