When it comes to patient retention, convenience is king. The reordering process for contact lenses can be as easy or difficult as a practice makes it, and the easier it is for patients, the more likely those patients are to stick around for years of continued sales. If patients come to you for all of their optometric needs, why would you want them to go somewhere else to actually buy their contact lenses? From in-office ordering to website functionalities — which include a wide range of options from accepting orders via email to implementing a full-on ordering system via a third-party service — making this process as easy as possible for your patients will keep them coming back year after year.
Bausch + Lomb offers annual rebate programs and uses advances in technology to offer a more streamlined user experience on its rebate site. On top of benefitting from the convenience of online ordering, patients can select prepaid gift cards or to donate their rebate to Optometry Giving Sight.
Within the CLX System, the Client View offers users a comprehensive view of all the patients and their order timing or status. Through My CL Reorder, emails and texts are automatically sent to patients who are due to reorder.
What ECPs Say About Digital Marketing Services
co-president, rosin eyecare, chicago, IL
It’s important to level the playing field in giving our patients the convenience of ordering online. Most of the research we have seen with regard to this indicates that while price is important, convenience is the driver.
The CLX System takes convenience one step further. Patients having the option to go online — what I call passive ability — whenever they want to order contact lenses from their eyecare provider is an ability we absolutely want. But the CLX System proactively reaches out to our patients via email or text and alerts them that based on their previous purchase date and modality of lenses, as well as the [previous] number of boxes purchased, they are close to running out. This illustrates to the patient that we are keeping an eye on them and adds a more personal touch than the passive system. It is appreciated and they treat it like a conversation: we get email responses thanking us!
ABB OPTICAL GROUP
ACUVUE (Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.)
BAUSCH + LOMB
ESSILOR OF AMERICA
Points to Consider
Give them the link. When patients leave, give a card with the reordering URL, suggests a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson. All communication about reordering — emails, reminders and texts, should include this link.
Keep it simple. The reorder feature should be prominent on your homepage. It should also be easy to log in. “If you have a ‘register’ function, take time to register them before they leave so they’re ready to order when they log back in,” says Eric Bruno, general manager of U.S. Vision Care, Alcon.
Do the work for them. Aaron See, vice president of marketing, ABB Optical, recommends maximizing patient ease by minimizing their work. “Get the order in the office and ship it to their home instead of having them do it themselves. Or, ship it to their work so their coworkers see it.”
Give an experience. Giving patients an easy way to order from your site, expands your relationship into their home. “You extend the in-office experience, versus making ordering from home an isolated experience,” says Shankar Raja, vice president of digital, Essilor of America.
Give them a deal. Convenience is king, but it doesn’t hurt to sweeten the offer, like Bausch + Lomb’s annual supply rebates, suggests Jill Saxon, OD, director of professional strategy at Bausch.
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 edition of INVISION.