Increase Your Contact Lens Capture Rate with These Tips
If your eye care practice sells contact lenses and eyeglasses, you might be asking a number of questions: What is capture rate? How could I help patients, sell optical products, and build my practice?
While the term capture rate might sound a little intimidating, it’s actually a simple concept. It’s basically the number of patients who filled eyewear prescriptions through your practice versus the number of prescriptions that you issued overall.
Selling contact lenses and glasses may not be initially comfortable for you, but that’s okay. There are few simple things you can do to satisfy your patients’ health care and eyewear needs.
Mention your optical services when talking with patients
You might say that you didn’t go to school and establish a practice to work as a salesperson. But you might not realize that you’re always selling yourself and what you do.
Talking with patients is a large part of working as an eye care professional (or any medical professional, for that matter). How else are you going to learn about the condition of your patients’ eyes and their medical and optical needs?
During the course of their appointments, you talk with patients to explain their examinations, discuss the state of their eyes, and talk about other eye-related matters. Why not mention your optical services at these times?
Mentioning them doesn’t need to sound like a slick sales pitch. When you’re discussing treatment, you could mention that your optical offers prescription contact lenses. Since your practice is the one examining and monitoring patients’ eyes, this mention of contact lenses is an offer of medical assistance, not a scam to empty their wallets.
Use online platforms to promote your optical services
Depending on your comfort level, discussing your optical services during examinations may feel awkward or unprofessional. If you feel that way, consider letting online promotions handle the talking for you.
Consider buying advertising space on a local internet site. Not only do several people read and refer to these sites, but they’re also tailored to specific geographical areas, so you could get the most targeted bang for your advertising buck.
Other online mentions could also boost business. For example, do you know how cashiers give you receipts with information about how to leave them a positive online review? You can do something similar with your own patients.
Hand out cards or include information on their appointment invoices that ask optical patients to leave reviews on Yahoo and Yelp about their experiences purchasing prescription contact lenses from you. Satisfied patients could provide valuable word-of-mouth recommendations that encourage other people to use your services.
Send digital or print announcements
In addition to including information on invoices and cards, you can harness the internet and printed materials in other ways.
When you send out email messages, texts, or postcards that encourage people to make appointments for their eye exams, include messages about your optical services.
For printed postcards, such suggestions can be as simple as asking, Did you know that we sell contact lenses and glasses? and printing it in a font that’s larger and in a different color.
Digital mentions can include even more information. Again, in texts or email messages, you might want to ask patients if they know that you carry contact lenses and glasses.
Those types of media also give you additional sales opportunities. For example, in your email message or texts, you can also include a link to your optical practice’s website. This link could even take patients to a page where they could buy contact lenses directly from you.
Issue digital copies of prescriptions
Whether they’re buying their eye contact lenses or eyeglasses online or in person, your patients will need prescriptions.
Why not make things easier by issuing digital copies of these prescriptions?
As the other sections in this post illustrate, many people do many things online. If patients use the internet to receive appointment reminders and other information from you, there’s a good chance they’ll be comfortable with receiving and accessing their prescriptions from you and using this documentation to order contact lenses.
Digital prescriptions include accurate information that’s easy to read, so you’ll be able to order the contact lenses the first time. The prescriptions exist online, not printed on little slips of paper that can be torn, or feature writing that can be smudged.
Prescriptions stored online are easy to save and access, unlike printed prescriptions that can be easily lost. In short, digital prescriptions make it easier for patients to patronize your optical practice.
Optimize your website
Customizing your optical website is another digital task that could also make life easier for your patients–and for you.
If your email or text messages include links that send people to your website, make sure your web pages are attractive, well-organized, and easy to use.
Patients may grow frustrated if they don’t understand what you’re trying to tell them on these pages or if they can’t use your site to find the information they want.
Periodically check your website to see if it accurately reflects what you and your practice are doing. If your web pages have dated material, patients and potential patients might think that if your practice doesn’t pay attention to its website, it might not care about its patients.
Consider hiring someone to create your website and designate a tech-savvy employee to keep it current. Updated online material inspires confidence that the practice is paying attention to all its work.
This attention could extend to your sales features. To make it easy for patients to order contact lenses and glasses, you can place a button (clickable feature) on your web pages that says something like Buy contacts and glasses here.
Streamline processes for your staff
While your patients may be busy interacting with your practice online, your staff still plays a vital role in increasing your glasses and contact lens capture rate.
Staff members communicate with patients (in-person, digitally, and over the phone), schedule appointments, enter and retrieve health information, cooperate with other medical practices, work with insurance companies, and perform countless other tasks to operate medical practices and assist patients.
Helping staff members perform these tasks in ways that reduce time, effort, and frustration benefits everyone. It can boost your capture rate and so much else. Contact us if you’d like to know more about tools that could help you, your staff, and your patients.
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