Building a healthy and growing contact lens business involves two key challenges:
⦁ Finding new wearers
⦁ Maintaining the business of existing wearers
Here are five actions you can take right now to help achieve these goals:
⦁ Recommend contact lenses to anyone who may benefit from them
According to the National Eye Institute and Glasses Crafter, only 11% of people in the U.S. wear contact lenses, yet over 75% need vision correction1. Given increasingly active lifestyles, contact lenses are more useful than ever to large numbers of people, and research shows that most contact lens wearers had to take the initiative to get them2. Recommending contact lenses to patients results in much higher rates of trial and fitting3 and the Biofinity® family of contact lenses makes it easy with options for myopes, hyperopes, presbyopes, patients with extended range requirements and digital device users.
As with any aspect of healthcare, patients are looking to their eye care professionals to provide firm recommendations on how to optimize their visual lifestyle rather than an array of options. Recommending the Biofinity family of contact lenses allows you to meet that customer expectation.
⦁ Make it easy to trial lenses
Nothing compares with actually experiencing lens wear. Patients are surprised by the comfort and the clear, unrestricted vision – it can be genuinely exciting. Give patients that experience as soon as they respond positively to your recommendation. Assign a staff member to properly maintain and promptly fill your fitting sets so that you always have the trial lenses that you need on hand. Train a staff member to insert and remove lenses so that the patient can experience the sensation of lens wear in the moment without utilizing additional chair time.
⦁ Let every eligible high Rx patient know that contact lenses ARE an option.
Many patients believe that their prescription prevents them from pursuing contact lens wear, either because they’ve been told they aren’t available in the past or have heard something similar from friends and family. With over 21 million SKUs available, CooperVision covers more than any other major lens manufacturer - even the most challenging prescriptions. The Biofinity® family of contact lenses alone has options for high plus, high minus, high cylinder and digital device wearers. Fitting a high refractive error patient in contact lenses can be life-changing for the patient and generate significant patient loyalty in the long term for you.
⦁ Sell annual supplies
Make it cheaper to buy in bulk than the minimum quantity. Compliance improves if plenty of lenses are on hand and it saves patients unnecessary journeys as well as practice staff administration. Patients are less likely to seek alternative sources of supply if their next purchase coincides with their annual aftercare visit. CooperVision now offers services like LensFerry to make the sale of annual supplies even easier and more affordable for your patients while retaining sales in your practice.
⦁ Constantly seek to improve the wearing experience
“Happy” patients can be happier. Question them closely about their lens wearing experience: comfort throughout the day, ease of lens handling, etc. Ask them about digital device use! Research indicates that 90% of patients are not currently discussing digital device use with their doctors5. They don’t know that you now have an option for them to try in Biofinity® Energys, so be sure to discuss digital devices with every patient.
Ask patients to score all areas of contact lens wear and visual comfort with marks out of 10, and always look to achieve high grades. Patients should be educated to expect regular trials of the latest technology. This increases their likelihood of successful lens wear and reinforces that you are their trusted eye care professional always trying to improve their lens wearing experience.
- National Eye Institute, Glasses Crafter, October 9, 2014.
- CooperVision Australia New Zealand Channel Research 2014.
- Hanks A. Proactive Versus Reactive Contact Lens Discussion. Contact Lens Spectrum. December 1991
- Cho P, Boost M. Daily disposable lenses: The better alternative. Contact Lens & Anterior Eye 36 (2013) 4-12.
- The Vision Council: Eyes overexposed: the digital device dilemma: 2016 digital eye strain report