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    ODs’ top 4 gripes about vision care plans: Part 4—Competing with me for retail sales and patients


    3. Concentrate on the experience

    What can you offer your patients that the online experience does not? Why should a patient buy from you? You must give patients a reason.

    I know the Internet can be convenient, but I personally have not found it to be faster. Although shopping at home on Sunday night while watching TV with the kids is convenient, I do so with some trepidation. Am I getting the best deal? Am I getting the right thing? Is this the best site? What if it doesn’t fit or work?

    By being customer focused with knowledgeable staff and providing a customer-centered experience, you can provide a reason for patients to buy from you. Maybe it is your involvement and giving back in the community, or maybe it is the free coffee you offer patients. No matter what it is for you and your team, it is up to you to give patients a reason. 

    Related: ODs’ top 4 gripes about vision care plans: Part 3—Reimbursements

    4. Provide an alternative

    Some patients do just want to buy online. As I said before, don’t allow this to make you change your entire business. Concentrate on the majority who want to buy from brick and mortar.

    If you just cannot let it go, then create an alternative for the online shopping experience by offering glasses and contact lens sales through your website or online portal.


    Wrapping up

    As with any business, we must always monitor our industry and make adjustments as needed. I have found that if we focus more on our team, patients, and processes than on the competitors, disruptors, and challenges, we will be successful.

    Concentrate on the things you can control and do not worry about the things you cannot control.

    The eyecare industry is a $40B a year business, and everyone wants a piece of that pie.

    The good news is that as the primary eyecare provider, you are the gatekeeper. Focus on what you and yor practice can do better than anyone else, and the rest will take care of itself.

    I look forward to your questions and comments. Email me at [email protected].

    Read more from Dr. Spear here

    Carl H. Spear, OD, MBA, FAAO
    Dr. Spear owns a multi-location group practice with his wife Dr. Katie Gilbert Spear in Pensacola, FL. Dr. Spear is commander of the ...


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