+61401395441 leigh@optomly.com.au

Optometry Marketing Ideas

Do you want to get more patients to try Multifocals? Do you wonder why some patients don’t take your recommendations?

Tap on the video below:

Recently I attended a webinar from Behavioural Expert, Bri Williams. She is the author of the new book, “Behavioural Economics for Business”. Bri’s webinar was why customers don’t take action.

Have you ever told your patient your recommendation, and they just don’t connect with the idea?

You know, the patients who you’ve spent so much time explaining their eye condition in appointments, phone calls and even summary letters.

You might wonder whether they can understand the concept at all. Or whether you’re losing your ability to explain eye conditions simply.

Perhaps behaviour is harder to change than we realise. Maybe we’ve been overconfident.

Today, I’d like to share with you how you can upgrade more of your patients to multifocal lenses. Just through understanding how behaviour works. At the end, I’ve got a website bonus for you.

Rational vs Irrational Thought

In Optometry school, we’re taught to think of patients as rational thinkers. Therefore, if they knew enough of the reasons behind our recommendations, that they would automatically accept it and gladly take action.

However, patients’ unconscious filters tend to skew our recommendations. These are things that make it frustrating to change behaviour.

For example, you know when someone comes in for a routine eye exam, and tells you that their vision is fine. Then at the end, you say that there is a slight change in their vision.

They’re quick to say, ‘so there’s no change in my prescription’.

You say ‘no, they’re pretty much the same, but you can still change your frames if you want’.

Then they say ‘but my eyes aren’t any worse’ and you say yes.

Clearly, they came in expecting you to say that their eyes aren’t worse, and just wanted you to confirm this.

How to get patients to try Multifocals

So, let’s take an example of a potential multifocal wearer. You know that they keep putting their reading glasses down, and losing them. You know that they would benefit from multifocal lenses.

What do you say next?

The first step to changing behaviour is to understand where someone is at the moment. And where you want them to be next. In this case, you want them to wear multifocal glasses.

System 1 vs System 2

Do you remember learning about the fight or flight response at University. You know, the sympathetic vs parasympathetic system. Otherwise known as ‘stay and fight’ or ‘rest and digest’. It turns out that there’s a similar system for our thoughts.

We have System 1 & 2. System 1 is like the parasympathetic system. It’s the default or autopilot section of our minds. This is the part of our minds that is the easiest to use. It’s the path of least resistance, where we tend to maintain the status quo. In our example, this is the section of your patient’s mind that says “stay with reading glasses- they’re not too bad”

System 2 is like the sympathetic system*. It’s the thinking section of our minds. This is where we have to stop, pay attention, and weigh up the logical evidence. This is the section of our minds that says “lets give multifocals a try”

(*NB: As you know, the sympathetic nervous system isn’t conscious. In this example, it’s similar to System 2 Thinking in that neither are left on all the time, or you’d feel exhausted.)

Behavioural Barriers

Lets have a look at the behavioural barriers that get in the way of patients trying multifocals. Then we’ll look at the behavioural enablers that help patients to try multifocals.

Three of the main barriers to changing someone’s behaviour, from Bri’s talk, are Apathy, Paralysis and Anxiety.

Someone who is Apathetic just doesn’t care what multifocals are. They find them boring. They might be lazy or tired at the appointment. That is, that the effort that they require to listen to what you’re saying is greater than the reward of trying multifocals. Maybe­­ they’re in a hurry during their brief break for lunch.

Secondly, for Paralysis, someone is interested, but feels that there are too many options to choose from. You know how many freeform multifocal lenses that there are on the market. Especially for an office worker. Do you go with a lens that’s biased towards a greater intermediate section? Or do you try to straddle all three? Then there’s the option of which multicoat to choose, and whether to get clear, transitions or polarised lenses.

Which one should the patient choose? They become overwhelmed with all the options. They become paralysed, and do nothing.  This means that they tend to stick with reading glasses.

Thirdly is Anxiety. Patients are interested in the idea of multifocals, but worry whether they’ll get used to them. This is the idea of loss eversion, where patients are happy to forsake the benefits of multifocals, in favour of not risking what they have. Some of the factors to this risk include the costs of multifocals, the time to choose a frame with the depth that they need, the effort of bringing their spouse back for approval, or their credibility, like whether they’ll fall over at the wedding because of their multifocals.


How can we navigate through these?

These are factors that encourage patients to try multifocals. The three factors are to Mitigate their fears, Clarify their options, and Encourage or Engage them that their decision is right.

Firstly, Mitigating their fears. We need to remind patients that they have nothing to fear by trying multifocals. You can give them certainty by mentioning your 90 day adaptation warranty. And explaining that there is no cost for changing to a bifocal or single vision lens. You could also minimise the upfront commitment for multifocals, by offering payment on collection. This includes swiping their private health insurance card on the day. You could also offer a lay-by system.

You could also introduce a statistic like 70% of people in our practice wear multifocal glasses. This encourages your patient to follow the lead of others.

If they needed extra incentive, you could give them something to fear. For example, you could explaining that their spouse will be angry at them if they have to keep hunting to find your patient’s reading glasses.

Secondly, we need to Clarify their choices. This means that you only offer one type of multifocal lens to them. (You can switch to an Enhanced Reading lens if you like.) However, the choice is already made for them. You can also offer the blue-blocking multicoat as the default. Then ask them if they want Transitions or not.

Thirdly, you can Engage the patient. One of the ways to do this is to make it as easy as possible to try multifocals. In the consultation room, you could explain multifocals, and tell patients that the next step is to choose frames, then say that you’ll them in about ten days time when they’re ready.

You might also include signage about multifocals. For example, stickers on demo lenses that say “multifocal suitable”. The frames that are borderline or too narrow don’t get stickers. If patients ask you whether they’ll fit, you can reply that you’ll take a seg height and check.

You can also get the immediate gratification side on board. For example, a patient selects a pair of frames that have a large frame depth. You might say that ‘these frames will be too deep to look over the top at the TV. But they will suit multifocal lenses. ‘

I hope you’ve found some useful ideas? It helps you to boost the number of patients in your practice that try multifocals.

Well done on reaching this far!

Here’s your bonus…

It turns out that you can apply similar principles to your website too, and your recall letters.

On your website, you need to picture a patient viewing your website. What would you tell them to click on, once they land on your homepage, if you were able to?

Your website has to have a clear goal in mind. That is, to direct patients to make an appointment. If you have online booking, then have a big button in the top corner that stands out from everything else. If you don’t have online booking, then make your phone number large.

This makes it easy for patients to know what to do next on your website.

Also, try to avoid using lots of different colours on your site. Or using the same colour as the button for your Appointments elsewhere. This makes it too confusing for patients. In the end, they just won’t make an appointment.

Thirdly, make sure that your website font isn’t too hard to read. Choose an easy-to-read font like Arial or Helvetica. And don’t try to put too much text on the page. In a previous article, I mentioned that patients only read a small percentage of what you write. Even though it’s a remarkable writing piece, save yourself the effort.

Here’s an example of a local chiropractor’s website that I like. Click here

I hope that you’ve found useful ideas and tips to grow your multifocal lens sales.

If you need a hand with your website, send me an email: leigh at optomly dot com dot au

Please share this episode with a friend or colleague.

Thanks again for reading! Stay tuned for more! 

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