We are all aware of the power of “word-of-mouth.” And most, if not all of us, have been a part of passing along or merely discussing the latest news, trends, likes and dislikes — but what does that mean for your business? Social media-Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and more–are in the forefront of today’s interactions, but is that affecting your practice?
Absolutely! Patients today are overwhelmed with options. Many optical shops carry the same brands (either licensed or house brands) with many of the same styles. Consumers can research pricing and services on the Internet or even order their glasses online! So what makes you stand out?
The Word-of-Mouth Difference
Many recent studies have shown that consumers today find word-of-mouth much more credible than traditional advertising. So what is word-of-mouth? Real customers telling real stories and sharing their experiences. It’s important because 92% of customers trust recommendations from friends and family more than from advertising.1 This is especially true of Millennials who cherish recommendations and want to purchase from trusted brands and locations. Millennials are also more likely to share their experiences and stories, both in person and online.
Online or Person-to-Person
While Facebook, Yelp and Twitter get the word out quickly, research shows that online word-of-mouth is actually closer to only 7% when compared with communicating person-to-person!2 That’s because while we spend a good amount of time online, we actually spend more time speaking to others face-to-face, and those conversations are typically more personal, or they are directly targeted at a specific topic. Offline conversations are also often more prevalent and more impactful.3 In addition, each 1,000 of your customers can generate over 500,000 in-person conversations about you!1
Stand out from the Crowd
So how do you generate good word-of-mouth? The experience each customer has with your optical provides thousands of opportunities for great word-of-mouth advertising. Create a conversation piece-people love to share experiences, views, news and information among themselves, and glasses are front and center for each person-to-person encounter…as well as on many online faces too! Creating something entirely unique, customized to the patient, instills an experience like no other, and wearing a conversation piece not only shows uniqueness of personality but creativity as well.
Beyond Traditional Rimless
Silhouette has been working with Luxe Laboratories of Anaheim to showcase some of the limitless possibilities of rimless. Far beyond just changing the size of a lens, rimless provides the opportunity to showcase your creativity and expertise.
Think of creating an entirely custom lens by using special effects, tinting, facets, etching and much more. Did you know that you can actually create the effect of a full-frame (in colors) with a rimless frame? What is more personal than creating an entirely custom experience for your patient? Would it give them something to talk about?
When patients try on traditional frames, the shape of the lens is tied to the frame shape. They may love the color or the temple treatment, but the shape or size may not be well suited to their face. With rimless, you can adapt the lens shapes to best complement the patient’s face shape. Silhouette has created a shape kit to assist you with many options to put your patient in the best shape with custom treatments.
Bottom Line — Get them Talking!
For Silhouette’s National Sales Meeting this year, account executives participated in the “60 Ways to Wear Titanium Minimal Art” (TMA) contest. They were asked to creatively customize their own TMA design, proving the infinite ways that this iconic frame can be personalized. The results were fabulous!
ECPs Are Talking!
Don’t just take our word for it! Here are some thoughts from our customers. Silhouette customers are talking about how rimless changed their business!
“Word-of-mouth referrals make up at least 50% of our business. The number of people we have every week who come in saying, “I saw a beautiful pair of glasses on somebody, and they told me Debi and Shon at Stahl Optical are the best!” is absolutely flattering! We go above and beyond for every patient, adding our creativity to Silhouette’s infinite possibilities to build a patient’s dream glasses. That creates word-of-mouth! The customized spectacles I create are works of art, and the people wearing them are my walking palettes!”
Lab Manager/Owner of
Stahl Optical in Spokane, WA.
“We have a lot of people who want us to buy ads to advertise our business. I believe word-of-mouth is the best ad. An example is a local art teacher who wanted something special to show her creativity. She wanted a colorful pair of glasses in a heart shape with purple lenses and two stones on the lenses, which then became a conversation piece among people she knows. From there, we had people coming in asking to make something custom for them.”
Licensed Optician, Eye Designs,
Rock Hill, SC.