Selling AR treatments to patients is a highly profitable business tactic as well as a professional one.
Eyecare professionals (ECPs) know they should offer anti-reflective (AR) lenses to all patients during their eyewear selection visits. But the fact is that only about 29% of lenses sold have an AR treatment, according to the AR Committee of The Vision Council. If this is so, then a good number of ECPs are not following this practice.
Two optometric offices clearly understand the value and profitability of AR lenses. Katie Rippley, OD, and her team, including optician Michele Smith, of Rippley Eye Care, Denton, TX; and Michael Green, OD, and his team, including Pete Wylie, ABOC, of Medical Center Eye Clinic, Scottsbluff, NE, each made the commitment to recommend AR lenses to all their patients about three years ago. Currently, each office is adding the treatment to 90% of orders.
Since Rippley Eye Care and Medical Center Eye Clinic made the commitment to taking AR to a higher level, they have increased optical revenues by 5% and 10% respectively. While the “AR Profit Analysis” table (below) is not a profile of either of these offices, it does illustrate how powerful AR treatment sales can be. As you can see from the table, with just 58 jobs per month, the yearly profit jumped substantially, just from making this one simple and visually worthwhile recommendation.
To take AR lens sales to a higher level, both teams, including the doctors, committed to being onboard to achieving the goal. The doctors learned that a recommendation to a patient while in the exam lane has a strong influence over the patient’s decision to purchase an AR lens treatment (and other products or services).
Dr. Rippley discusses lens treatments with each of her patients and recommends AR treatment by specific brand. Dr. Green educates his patients on the benefits of AR treatments and encourages them to listen to what the optician explains about this option. The communication about AR treatment between the doctors and opticians in each office is continuous and repeatable.
The teams at both Rippley Eye Care of Denton and Medical Eye Clinic each made the decision to offer Essilor of America, Inc.’s Crizal Avancé™ as their AR treatment of choice. Wylie believes that offering a low-quality AR product is asking for trouble. “Your patients will not forget a bad experience with AR lenses that you recommend. They will probably not want it again and may go somewhere else for their next eyewear order. When patients have a good experience with the AR lenses you recommend, they come back and recommend you to their friends.”
Smith agrees and said her office believes it has a responsibility to offer patients the highest quality products and treatments.
While you can spend substantial dollars in other aspects of your practice, like marketing, the value of patient satisfaction through products like AR treatment is almost priceless.
Jill Luebbert is a certified paraoptometric and optician practicing in northeast Nebraska.