Optical Dispensing: Why Your Patients See Buying New Frames as a Chore

Picking out new glasses is an experience that affects everyone a little differently. Just like shopping for anything else, sometimes it is a stressful and drawn out process, and other times you find exactly what you want, right away. Usually the former, your patients don’t always want to be shopping for frames when they have to. We did a survey and found that approximately half of those interviewed enjoy mixing things up, but that leaves 50% who view new glasses as a chore- at best. 

So, what makes them feel this way? Is it the sense of immediacy to purchase, adjusting to a new prescription, or choosing glasses that fit their face? In order to improve their experience you have to know exactly what they do not like. We took they survey to the next level and found the top four reasons why your patients hate buying new glasses, and how you can improve your optical dispensing to enhance their experience in your practice.


How to Improve Customer Experience in Your Optical Dispensary

Primarily, price. Glasses can be expensive, and sometimes it is difficult to discern exactly what the cost for the customer will be. How much is insurance going to cover? Is your office offering any deals at the moment? How much are the frames and lenses, and are there cheaper options? Breaking down the price and explaining it in a way that shows the true value of what your patient's will be receiving  calms their nerves and makes the processes a little easier.  

Approval from their peers. Everyone wants opinions from their friends before choosing which glasses to buy. A way to cope with this is to make it fun! Maybe have a tablet or desktop with a camera and Facebook or Instagram so they can post pictures of their top favorites and have their friends and family rank them. Not only does this make the experience more fun for your patients, it can also help improve your social media standing if you link the posts to your office.

Finding the time to shop for frames. When purchasing new frames, it is not as easy as shopping for most things. Your patients have to schedule a time to pick them out and then a second time to pick them up-- and your office might be out of the way for some of your patients. Think of ways you might be able to combat this for your patients; maybe offer to ship them directly to their house, or possibly offer to extend office hours one day a week. And by using an online ordering solution, like VisionWeb, to order your spectacle lenses, contacts, and frames your patients will get their orders 1-2 days quick than if you phone or fax in their order!

Choosing the frames. Your patients feel pressured and stressed by not knowing what kind of glasses look best for them. There are so many different weights, shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. They have to make a decision on whether or not they want designer frames. The number of decisions they have to make before even beginning the process is overwhelming.

Lack of inventory. You can only carry so much stock. So maybe you don't have the frames your customer was looking for. There is always the option of becoming an eyewear affiliate, or having a website where you offer a greater stock. It would be unreasonable for you to carry every new style, all the time.

Hopefully knowing what makes the process so frustrating will help your office to improve it, or at least know where your patient's feelings are coming from!

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