I know this is hard to believe, but last month our percentage of patients purchasing a year's supply of contacts more than doubled. I expected some improvement because we gave it some attention at our retreat, but nothing like this. So naturally, I wanted to know what we did so right, so we can keep doing it. A little background: Last month, I told you about our retreat - The Best Ever. During the retreat, we were in the final stages of our BluePrint program, and were in the middle of Contact Lens Week, so we were in a contacts state of mind.
And since we had been sharing ideas and perceptions with each other, we all had a really good handle on the overall status of the practice. Over and over, during the retreat someone said, "It's like we said in the BluePrint....".
Why did we pick annual supplies as one of our primary goals? We already have a pretty good system in place and our average supply ratio is above average already. But our biggest problem right now is that we are too busy. And when you are a Service Based practice and you are too busy, some important things start to slip.
So how can we free up some time and keep our current schedule? One big factor was the amount of time we were spending with people in discussions about their contacts - number of boxes, rebates, shipping to home, shopping around, calling to let them know they have arrived, dispensing them, pay now, pay at dispensing. It should not be so complicated.
So we decided to simplify. Big Time. The biggest change was FREE shipping for all contacts, plain and simple. The only downside is that if the patient buys less than a 1 years supply, we have to pay for the shipping.
Now, no reason to wait to pay, no need to call to let you know they have arrived, no return to the office necessary, and no chance the patient will call at closing time and ask us to wait 15 minutes until they can get to the office.
Until now, we offered free shipping if you bought a year's supply, thinking that it encouraged them to buy the year's supply. I now believe it was counter-intuitive because it is too much to think about. Simplify.
Before we made the change we looked at every aspect of of our Contact Lens Process.Then we pulled the trigger and BOOM - big increase in annual supply sales. Plus, a decrease in phone calls being made and less patients needing their contacts "dispensed" in the middle of a busy afternoon.
Megan, the contact lens manager says, "The patients love us making it easy for them. We tell them about the price of the contacts, explain they will be receiving them at work in a few days and almost everyone is saying, 'OK sounds good.' No big deal."
If you would like to see our updated Contact Lens Process, feel free to take a look. Remember - this is a simplified version and it has to match all the related process manuals. And it is specific for our office and is not perfect for everywhere. It only works if you fit it with other aspects of your practice - which is why you need the BluePrint. Alright then,
Mike Rothschild, LeadershipOD P.S. More Simplification? Next time, I am going to tell you about a doctor who got rid of all of his New Patient paperwork and traded it for a "Wish List."