Online frame retailer, Warby Parker, wants to take down the local eye doctor’s office. It is not bad enough that your patients can take your eye exam and buy their frames online. Now, it looks like they don’t need you for an exam either.
According to Vision Monday, Warby Parker is rolling out a mobile refraction service. Basically, you download an app, take a 20 min eye exam, and if your RX hasn’t changed since your last one, a WP OD will write the patient a new one. If there is a change, then the patient will have to go see their local Optometrists (Gee, thanks).
Unless you want your office to go the way of JC Penny and Sears, then you are going to have to put some things immediately in place. I offer three:
Recall, Recall, Recall. Recalls, emails, and cards just became even more important. The best way to avoid this mess is to get your patient in your office so you can at least have a chance to recapture the frame sale. You might even think about hiring a full-time recall staff. Think about it this way. Let’s say your RPP (Revenue Per Patient) is $325. That means that every time you do a comprehensive eye exam, you deposit $325 (we talk about how to best determine this number in “Prosight Success #1 Practice Progress”). And let’s say you pay an employee $12 an hour to make recalls. With taxes and Social Security, let’s say that employee costs you $15 an hour. Then they work 8 hours. What did that day of work cost you? $120. That means that if your employee could book at least 1 exam from phone calls, then you have a net of $205. No brainer, right? And a decent recall staff is going to book more than that. If they get their exam from you, you are on the way to fighting Warby Parker.
Educate Your Patients: Warby Parker qualifies their app with the admission that the test is not a comprehensive eye exam and it isn’t meant to replace visits to an eye doctor. No duh. Unfortunately, many patients will take their script and run. Every eyeball in front you must be educated on the importance of a yearly eye exam. Teach them all the conditions that can be detected. Talk Glaucoma. Talk Cataracts. Make yourself indispensable to their health.
Shape Up Your Frames/Frame Seller: People don’t buy ugly frames from Warby Parker. They buy fashionable frames from pictures of fashionable people. Your office better be full of fashionable frames sold by fashionable people. If you have ugly frames and frame seller who can’t project a fashion sense, you are going to lose frames to Warby Parker. Your frame department is a fashion department. Approach it as such.
Gordon Duncan is the CEO/Consultant of www.prosightsightsuccess.com. His most recent book, “The7 Essentials of Profitable Eye Care”, is free for digital download.
Gordon Duncan is an award-winning educator, salesman, teacher, manager, and writer. He has taught in the public school system, lobbied for school's accreditation, managed eye clinics, led sales' teams, and also publishes books on theology, church, and culture.