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The Rx-Men: Extraordinary ECPs Reveal Their Secret Powers

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Optical League of Extraordinary ECPs

When Metropolis was menaced by evil-doers, a handsome alien in blue tights and a red cape appeared to protect the city. When Gotham City was overrun by crazy criminals, a millionaire playboy dressed up like a bat to strike fear into the hearts of his foes. And when villains began to roam the streets of New York, its citizens placed their hopes in a wall-crawling teenager in a spider suit.

But what of eyecare customers? Was there no one to treat them with sensational service? To stave off conflict where it rises? To save the most mangled of frames and return them to rights in the blink of an eye? To fight the insurance bureaucracy and rise victorious on the side of their patient??

Never fear, true believer, for a new breed of heroes has stepped boldly into the limelight, ready to take on any obstacle with no hesitation. These optical champions fight for truth, justice and the best possible eyecare experience for all on a daily basis. Some were gifted with powers beyond mortal ken, while others have earned their skills through knowledge, repetition and a dedication to be the very best.

Let those who would perpetrate average service, mediocre dispensing and a lackluster patient experience tremble, for INVISION gives you … Optical’s League of Extraordinary ECPs!


ALTER EGO: JON DuCOTE
BASE OF OPERATIONS: EYEWORKS OF ATLANTA, ATLANTA, GA

“I AM THE MASTER OF ADJUSTING! THE ALL-POWERFUL FRAME MAGICIAN!” There is no such thing as ego when you are a superhero who routinely saves the day and loves doing it like ADJUSTOMAN.

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“Long ago when I worked at Sunglass Hut, ODs would send their patients to me for adjustments,” says Jon DuCote. “I really do love adjusting frames for people. It’s one of the most satisfying parts of my job.”

One of his best saves comes by way of one of his favorite patients, “Rev. Smith.” “He brought in his prescription Ray-Bans and was so distraught! They were very bent out of shape, lens popped out. He thought nothing could be done,and I have to admit, I was a bit shaky about them. But I’ve never turned away from a challenge to conquer!”

Spoken like a true hero. “Patience and a magical combination of tenderness and pressure with thin metal, I used my powers to bend the frames and put the lens back into the frame in a matter of moments!” says ADJUSTOMAN. “When I handed them to him, he went nuts, going on and on about what a miracle worker I was!

Over the years, people would come in saying, “Rev. Smith told me I had to come see you to get my frames adjusted.” When a Reverend calls someone a miracle worker, it’s a big deal!


ALTER EGO: RICK RICKGAUER
BASE OF OPERATIONS: VISION ASSOCIATES, GIRARD, PA

RICK RICKGAUER earned his superhero identity deep, deep in the trenches. “I’m a freak when it comes to fixing drill mount problems,” he says, “because when I worked at a chain we sold so many pairs that came back for repairs I had to learn how to fix them or drown in complaints.”

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In fact, while working at that retail chain, he literally had to make tools from other tools in order to repair drill mounts. “For example, I had sidecutting pliers covered in transparent tape to remove compression fittings without scratching the lenses; push pins to remove broken prongs; double nylon jaw pliers to compress the fittings,” he says.

Now having been with Vision Associates, a private practice in a small Pennsylvania town, for nearly four years, DRILL FREAK uses his powers for good. “Now that I have the proper tools it almost seems unfair. Once I had this lady come with a broken bridge on a drill mount. She was leaving on vacation, and the only bridge I had was one that didn’t particularly match. It was close enough, but the prongs were slightly bigger than the original drilled holes.” What to do!?!

“I carefully widened the holes without ruining the lenses. It took some time and patience but it was a success and off she went to enjoy a splendid vacation.” Crisis averted!


ALTER EGO: DR. TEXAS L. SMITH
BASE OF OPERATIONS: DR. TEXAS L. SMITH & ASSOCIATES, CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA

“I HAVE MY PATIENTS laughing within two minutes of every exam — this includes men, women and children. I have a joke for almost every situation, and nothing puts a patient at ease quicker than laughter,” says Dr. Texas L. Smith. Truer words were never spoken, and there may be no greater superpower on the planet than giving the gift of laughter.

One of DR. CHUCKLES’ go-to jokes? “I once had a patient that thought she had bromyalgia because she hurt everywhere she touched with her index finger. Turns out she didn’t have bromyalgia … she had a broken index finger.” Now that’s funny stuff.

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One experience stands out above all others for DR. CHUCKLES. “I asked a long-term patient during her case history if she had had any recent medical events or surgeries. She lifted her sweater and said ‘I recently got these.’ As my life, my wife, and my practice all flashed in my mind in an instant, I was composed enough to say ‘My compliments to the surgeon.’ The rest of the exam gave new meaning to ‘Which is better 1 or 2?’” Ba dum bum!


ALTER EGO: VALERIE SMITH
BASE OF OPERATIONS: SMOKE VISION CARE, NEW BUFFALO, MI

VALERIE SMITH of Smoke Vision Care is no regular insurance biller. She’s earned the nickname HONEY BADGER but, unlike her namesake in the wild, it isn’t because she “Don’t care.” With nine years under her belt at Smoke Vision Care, her superhero moniker came about four years ago, thanks to her fierce ability to ensure all claims are completed and reimbursed correctly. She is one of the greatest assets Smoke patients have and she fights for them daily.

Since taking over the billing in Smoke Vision Care’s Buchanan location, she has kept their accounts receivable well managed: Accounts past due over 90 days are rare and average less than 5 percent for the last four years.

In fact, her powers go so far as to find vision insurance for patients who didn’t even realize they had it. Recently, a patient didn’t know she had EyeMed but, upon hearing the news from HONEY BADGER, purchased glasses. Also, when patients with an ASR under a local university’s plan kept repeatedly having their claims screwed up, reducing their material benefits and giving them less to use on glasses and contact lenses, HONEY BADGER went to bat resulting in all the claims being reprocessed in the patients’ favor. Her favorite way to save the day, though, is to read VSP their own manual when they screw up the way they cover services.

However, it should be noted, despite her hardhitting ability to fight for patients, Smoke Vision Care counts her as one of the most understanding leaders they have, calling her “fair, calm in the midst of chaos and someone who rarely makes mistakes.”


ALTER EGO: JEFF GROSEKEMPER
BASE OF OPERATIONS: CASA DE ORO EYECARE, SPRING VALLEY, CA

SUPERHEROES ARE TERRITORIAL, so similar super powers around the country is only natural and we can never have too many miracle workers. “The good Lord has given me the gift of repairing frames and aligning frames that have been tweaked very badly, even run over by cars,” says MIRACULOS, or Jeff Grosekemper to many. “They call me the miracle worker in the office and some patients have even called me that but I’m quick to remind those that the Lord has given me my talent.”

MIRACULOS has been a certified optician for 22 years. The last 16 have been spent at Casa De Oro Eyecare helping the good citizens of Southern California battle their eyeglass woes. Like the story of a women who called the emergency line late one Saturday night when the doc was out of town … “She had just moved into the area up the street from our office and was unpacking. She dropped a box on her glasses and was very distraught. She said she couldn’t see to unpack anymore,” MIRACULOS recalls. “I told her I would come in the next morning, a Sunday, and see what I could do. The frames were bent at the bridge and the temples splayed out badly and unevenly with a screw broken.” Can they be saved?!? Have no fear! “I was able to replace the screw and align the frame. Best of all, she was surprised to hear ‘No charge.’ I made a patient and a friend that day.” Miracle worker, indeed.


ALTER EGO: DR. MICHAEL PENNEY
BASE OF OPERATIONS: DR. MICHAEL PENNEY FAMILY EYE CARE, POPLAR BLUFF, MO

SOMEWHERE IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI resides THE BOSS MAN. Having opened his practice in 1987, Penney is now the longest practicing optometrist in Poplar Bluff with a staff of the most loyal, long-term employees around. Lorelei, Debbie, Suzanne and Candice collectively have more than 50 years of experience under their belt working for THE BOSS MAN.

THE BOSS MAN’s crew describes his superpowers as “caring, compassion, loving, selfless … the list goes on and on.” Suzanne Pigmon calls Penney the “all-American Superman! He loves our country and does his best to provide care for both his patients and his employees.” Lorelei Morris adds, “It’s rare to find a job that you truly enjoy. Luckily, I have done so, and that’s greatly in part thanks to Dr. Penney. Our office is like a family, with Dr. Penney leading us as the patriarch. He is encouraging, complimentary, motivating, kind, funny, trustworthy, and supportive. He’s one of the hardest working and most generous people I’ve ever met.”

One example of THE BOSS MAN’s heroics particularly stands out to Debbie Padgett, an employee of 24 years. “We had a 90-year-old patient who was a WWII vet,” she says. “In talking with him during his exam, Dr. Penney found out the patient had been in the 4th Armored Division during the war. The patient told Dr. Penney about how each man received a book that detailed the battles they’d been in, kind of like a yearbook. He said that his book had been lost or stolen many, many years ago during the war. Dr. Penney searched and searched until he found an original book, exactly like the one the patient had lost. The next time the patient came in, Dr. Penney presented the book to him. I will never forget the look on the patient’s face when he realized the book Dr. Penney gave him was just like the one he’d lost.”

Ultimately, what makes THE BOSS MAN a superhero is the love and loyalty of his staff but that’s not all, it’s also what he inspires in others. “Although I spend almost every waking moment with this man, he never ceases to amaze me,” says Penney’s wife, Karen. “Being his wife for almost 26 years, and working with him every day in the office, he still remains my hero because of his compassion and generosity for others. I have learned so much and been so inspired by his kindness and desire to be in the service of others.” High praise.


UNDER THE MILD-MANNERED guise of a former forensic accountant lives the soul of a hero. “Give me an upset patient, emotional employee, or feuding staffers … I have the ability to receive their emotional punches and hit back with a calmer and more productive outcome,” says James Armstrong, aka DE-ESCALATO. “With over a dozen staff members, working in under 1,500 square feet of total office space, I usually see at least one set of tears in my office a month.

“The first thing I do is listen, which involves more than you might think: soft eyes, affirming head nods, or anything else I can do to make the employee comfortable so that they keep talking and get everything off their chest. Once unburdened, I usually find myself affirming their story back to them, so they know someone is listening. More often than not, once they have gotten it out in the open and know that management is aware, the problem is solved.”

But DE-ESCALATO’s job doesn’t stop there. “When situations get more elevated, or involve more deeply personal issues, I do my best life coach impersonation. Everything can have a positive spin, and there is no value in focusing on bad news. After reprimanding an employee for breaking a company policy, I make sure to end the conversation talking about what they’re doing right. Regardless of how I feel, my job is to make sure they leave my office happy, motivated and ready to help patients.”

And DE-ESCALATO is ready to start another day fighting for the greater good!


ALTER EGO: REXANNE COLLIER
BASE OF OPERATIONS: TEXAN EYE OPTICAL, AUSTIN, TX

REXANNE COLLIER is a seasoned veteran. She’s been in the optical industry since 1994 and the optical operations coordinator at Texan Eye for eight years overseeing three locations, so it’s no surprise her superpower shines as the last line of defense in tricky situations. THE CLOSER helps her staff with difficult patients and problem-solving.

“When my staff has done their best helping with a difficult situation and the patient is still not satisfied, that’s where I come in,” she says. SWOOP! “By thinking outside the box and looking for a solution from every angle, I excel at problem solving and pride myself on being understanding and sympathetic to the patient’s needs. I can confidently say I have a tremendous ability to reach patients on their level, explain my position and come to an agreement that satisfies them. The patient leaves with a sense of security and the knowledge that we care about their needs.”

Her patients leave appreciative and impressed, when initially, they came in genuinely irritated, THE CLOSER to the rescue!


ALTER EGO: DR. SELINA McGEE
BASE OF OPERATIONS: PRECISION VISION, EDMOND, OK

“WHEN I SET A GOAL, sometimes ones my team thinks are crazy and unreachable, we make the goal,” says Dr. Selina McGee, the day-to-day alter ego of THE VISIONARY. “I set weekly, monthly, yearly and five- and 10-year goals, and thus far in a 14-year career in the eyecare field I have been very blessed to have met all my goals.”

Most recently, THE VISIONARY set a goal for her office to increase gross revenue in 2016 by 25 percent. They grossed $709,962 in 2015, so the new goal was to hit $887,453. “I have found that if you draw yourself a roadmap toward your goal and do it in bite-size pieces it becomes more attainable,” she says. “The roadmap needs to also have a very clear endpoint so everyone on the team knows where we are going, why we are going, and what it looks like when we get there.” So, she took the gross number the practice needed to reach and began to work backwards: How many patients did they need to see per month? Per week? What did their totals need to be each day? What did they need to average per patient?

“Once I had the hard numbers, then I talked to my team and asked myself and them, ‘What do we have right now to attain this? What is missing to achieve what’s possible? What tools do we need to get there?’ For me, when I break down my goals into what I need to do right now it’s not nearly as daunting.”

Of course, it doesn’t stop there, as a superhero is never off duty. “As a team we revisit and reassess monthly, this allows us to not lose momentum and to correct the course if we need to. We ask ourselves, ‘What’s working?’ That one is usually easy. Next, ‘What’s not working?’ and this one is always harder, but when you build your team and trust each other great things can come from those two questions. Real problems get solved.”

The result? Precision Vision hit the 25 percent mark with five months left in the year. POW!


ALTER EGO: DR. CYNTHIA SAYERS
BASE OF OPERATIONS: EYESHOP OPTICAL CENTER, LEWIS CENTER, OH

“MY STAFF TELLS me that I should put a couch in my office because I have a second job as psychiatrist,” those are the words of DR. INSIGHT. “I have an amazing ability to turn any patient, no matter how difficult, into a smiling, happy patient. I have a knack for finding out something we have in common to strike up a conversation to make them more comfortable. I think it is my ability to connect on any level that keeps patients coming back.”

But Dr. Cynthia Sayers of EyeShop Optical Center is not a trained psychiatrist. She comes by her ability to connect naturally. Take the case of a patient she calls Eeyore. “She is in her late 60s with multiple health issues,” explains DR. INSIGHT.

“She came in a wheelchair, with her son pushing her, barking orders! I was a little intimidated at first, but have learned that finding common ground can help break down the walls with these types of patients. I asked her some personal questions and found out the most important thing to her is her French bulldog, Zelda. I too have a French bulldog so we immediately started chatting about our pups.” BINGO! “I had to schedule her back for several visits,” she says. “On all her visits she would ask about my dog. She was always a bit gruff with her son, which is why I coined her my Eeyore. Instead of getting upset she took it as a token of affection. She would call me occasionally to chat and we became buddies. One day, while celebrating our fifth annual Patient Appreciation Day, she called. She was on doctor ordered bed rest and her son couldn’t let Zelda out. She asked if I would. When my staff asked where I was going during the party, I told them I had to help with Zelda. I’m pretty sure they thought I was crazy.”

“Eeyore was much appreciative. Moral of the story: you never know what someone is going through and finding common ground can make a loyal patient for life,” says DR. INSIGHT. Spoken like a true superhero. But she offers a word of caution … “Angry patients be warned … you will leave EyeShop in a good mood!”

 

 

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Best of the Best

How This Colorado Practice’s ‘Office Culture Blueprint’ is Boosting Referrals

And how they persuaded their team to embrace a new mindset.

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EYE CARE CENTER of Colorado Springs, CO, has a large specialty contact lens practice that owes its success in part to the referrals it receives from ODs and MDs in Colorado Springs, Denver, Pueblo and as far away as California. You don’t maintain a referral-driven practice without top-level service, and with so much on the line, sometimes it pays to codify what’s expected of staff. But no one responds to a laundry list of rules. “We have found we have to re-educate ourselves and any new team members we hire,” says co-owner Sara Whitney, OD, and this realization recently led the practice to develop its own “office culture blueprint.”

THE IDEA

Translating a vague desire to get the best out of your team into a set of tangible principles is harder than it sounds. “We made a feeble attempt to create a culture statement a few years ago,” recalls Whitney, “and we never finished it because we didn’t really know how to implement it.” Practice founder and co-owner Dr. Reed Bro eventually came across the concept of “above the line behavior,” an approach based on personal responsibility. Whitney says the beauty of this concept is that it encourages “behaviors that create a positive event for the next person in the chain.” The goal is to “resist the temptation to blame…to complain for the sake of complaining, or become defensive.”

Dr. Reed Bro and Dr. Sara Whitney

THE EXECUTION

Whitney, Bro and office manager Mindi Andrade developed what would become the office’s cultural blueprint over several months. It takes its starting point from a few core beliefs. These are matched with a set of encouraged behaviors and desired outcomes. Your core beliefs, Whitney says, “are the reasons you decided to start practicing optometry or open a business.”

Once these basic elements were finalized, the managers initiated a transitional phase in which they used the vocabulary that forms the core of the blueprint in day-to-day interactions with one another and with staff. “We did not present the blueprint to the team until we were comfortable that we were able to personally apply the core beliefs to any situation,” Whitney says. They launched it at the beginning of January, when people are making resolutions and personal improvements. “We printed up the culture matrix on a card for each member of the team.”

Whitney says you can tell right away which staff will be on board and who will resist. “We lost three team members around the time the blueprint was rolled out. It may have just been a personal decision for the employee, but it can cause you to momentarily doubt your decision to demand these behaviors.” It’s important to be strong and stick to your guns at this stage, she says. Remember that the key beliefs you identified as the basis for your blueprint are important. “They are the reason you get up in the morning and come to work,” she says. “Expectations … make some people uncomfortable. They will resist change, and you have to let them move on.”

THE REWARDS

Whitney says the blueprint has delivered its targeted outcomes: an enhanced sense of community, patient satisfaction, trust, loyalty, adherence to treatment plans, and referrals. But there are personal benefits too. “I think those who have embraced this new mindset will be able to see it spilling over into their personal lives.”

Ultimately, Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs’ aim with the blueprint was to cultivate behaviors that grow the business, and so far, that aim is being met. Says Whitney: “We have developed the mindset that being presented with a challenge is our opportunity to get ahead of the problem and to possibly even be someone’s hero.”

Do It Yourself: Develop an Office Culture

  • DON’T RUSH IT. “Take time to define your beliefs over a period of weeks or months,” says Whitney.
  • WALK THE WALK. “Live out behaviors that support your beliefs,” Whitney advises. “You are the biggest example of your practice culture.”
  • TWO-WAY STREET. An office culture doesn’t have to be static: Survey your team periodically and ask for feedback.
  • COMMUNICATE. If you don’t, a blueprint is just a list tacked to a wall.
  • STAY STRONG. A change like this might cost you an employee. But stay the course or it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

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Best of the Best

Tennessee Practice Throws Itself an Epic Birthday Party, Creates New Tradition

This patient-appreciation event made for a great business-building tool.

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ANDREW AND ELIZABETH HOWARD, optometrists and co-owners of LaFollette Eye Clinic in Jacksboro, TN, pride themselves on a level of service that has patients coming in from Ohio, Texas, and Florida. As the practice’s 30th anniversary approached in October last year, they decided a one-day trunk show wouldn’t reach as many people as they wanted. An occasion like this warranted something special.

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THE IDEA

“We like to capitalize on milestones as a way to generate interest, and the 30-year milestone was a great opportunity,” Andy recalls. When it comes to event planning, ideas at LaFollette are typically generated and fleshed out in-house by the practice’s eight-person Leadership Team, which collectively boasts decades in eyecare. But, they also enjoy looking at other practices and sharing ideas with other doctors. “This event was a mixture of the two techniques. We traditionally hold one or two open houses or trunk shows a year, but we had never held a week-long celebration,” Howard says.

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THE EXECUTION

It took the team several meetings to brainstorm ideas, then organize them. Various aspects were delegated to different leads on the team. Says Andy: “Involving the team builds engagement, loyalty and morale, and helped us keep our costs down.”

A “Diamonds and Pearls” theme was chosen. According to Andy, these are not only “modern and traditional anniversary gifts, but it’s also a great song by Prince.” The celebration itself featured giveaways, prizes, a 30-percent off sale, snacks and drinks all week, activities such as face-painting for kids, cornhole, and a “photo booth” with a retro-style instant camera for patients who used ’80s-themed props or their own new glasses for digital images that were shared on social media. In addition, demonstrations were held with reps from local crafters and artists’ groups — even a Lion’s Club member who brought in leader dogs for the blind. (A donation drive was held for the Lion’s Club.)

A local artist’s association was invited to bring in artwork; these were joined on LaFollette’s walls by “storyboards” highlighting the practice’s services, including photographs going back to the ’80s. Long-time patients and ex-staff members joined the celebration, and the optical even changed the music to ’80s hits for the week.

The costs were “minimal” given the scale of the event. A giant eyeglasses balloon sculpture was the most expensive item. “We had enough cupcakes for everyone, but they were made by a team member who is a wonderful baker.” All giveaways were donated by local businesses in exchange for marketing.

THE REWARDS

The biggest surprise to Andy was how many people showed up just to wish LaFollette a happy anniversary. Sales were up during the week, but that was secondary to the goal of celebrating and thanking patients, he says. “It was more fun than we’ve had in a long time; that by itself is worth the effort.” He adds: “Now we need to begin looking for another excuse to have a week-long celebration… We had too much fun to wait 10 more years!”

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Do It Yourself: Hold A 
Patient-Centered Celebration

  • ALL HANDS ON. The key, says Andy, is involving the whole team. “So many people have different talents, and an event like this allows that talent to shine.”
  • CROSS-PROMOTE. Talk to neighboring businesses and see if they’ll contribute prizes in exchange for some free marketing.
  • GO WITH A PRO. Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you don’t have the HR depth that LaFollette has, consider using a professional event planner.
  • WIDE FOCUS. To foster a sense of community, think beyond eyewear. According to Andy, the leader dog for the blind was one of the hits of the week.
  • PICK A MOTIF. Choosing a theme gives you a hook to hang activities on. Practice turning 20? Ask your stylist for “The Rachel.”

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Ways ECPs Are Benefiting from Short Intro Videos for Their Practices

Practice introduction videos have multiple benefits, and these days they’re a cinch to produce.

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Introducing yourself to potential patients and customers, eliminating the element of surprise for first-timers, and boosting your SEO and Google rankings: Producing a professional-looking intro video for your practice has multiple benefits and doesn’t have to bust your marketing budget. Check out this handful of practices that have embraced multimedia.

Precision Vision

Edmund, OK

Precision Vision in Edmund, OK, designed their video to help patients get to know the practice before coming in. “The video was structured to try and eliminate surprises,” says owner Dr. Selina McGee. It plays on the website and her Facebook page, boosting SEO across channels and driving traffic to the practice. McGee hired a videographer to shoot and edit the video for about $800. “I wanted it to look completely professional.” McGee’s main goal was boosting SEO, but now that she’s got the video up and running she concedes she could probably do an even better job of getting patients to see it. She’s also come to realize it has other potential benefits. “Customers always want to see the real you, so create something authentic that shows your personality,” she advises. “Have fun with it. Remember, your patients and customers can’t buy YOU down the street.”

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Spanish Oaks Eyecare

Cedar Park, TX

Spanish Oaks Eyecare’s video involved some luck. It was professionally done. “However,” says owner Dr. Dina Miller, “we were approached by [a crew] wanting to use our waiting area for a film. So in exchange they offered to do it at no charge.” The video walks the audience through Spanish Oaks’ office, with both exterior and interior shots, before showing Miller examining a patient and reviewing their optomap results. It ends with the patient in the optical working with her optician Bob. “During that part, we let people know how we’re different than most opticals and why ­— we carry only independent frame lines.” The video, whose main goal Miller says is to introduce Spanish Oaks to potential patients and customers, is posted on Facebook. “It’s a great way to … make yourself ‘real’ and familiar.”
She advises other ECPs to make sure the video features actual staff. “That’s one of the most important parts; making it personable. I was tempted to have someone else sit in for me but at the end of the day, I knew that would really take away from the video and its purpose.” And don’t be afraid to edit: Miller opted for voice overs, as they had felt uncomfortable speaking to camera, and added captions for things she wanted the audience to know (for example, the fact that her optician is one of just two people with an active American Board of Opticianry Advanced certification in her part of Texas). “Also,” she advises, “consider having parts where you and possibly your main staff talk to the camera about what’s important to you, what sets you apart from others — not the generic ‘We have the best customer service/patient care,’ etc.”

Ziegler Leffingwell Eyecare

New Berlin, WI

According to Dr. Dave Ziegler, Ziegler Leffingwell Eyecare hit on the idea of making an intro video as a way of giving “strong visual exposure of what it is like to be in our office.” And they found a striking way to do just that, hiring a real estate photographer to use a drone, which opens the video hovering outside the front of the office, then enters through the front door and flies throughout the office. “This flight path through the office is the way our patients experience our office during a typical eye exam,” he says. The video boasts a script written by Ziegler himself; he hired a professional to do the voice over for maximum impact. He felt it was important that the video should be less than a minute long; it’s now posted to the practice’s website, one among many features that he says win their website routine praise. Asked whether the time and expense that went into making the video were worth it, he replies that more than that, “it is necessary” for any practice, in his view.

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Dr. Bladh OD

Diamond Bar, CA

The folks at Dr. Bladh OD, a Diamond Bar, CA practice, understand the power of videos to increase a business’s Google ranking by boosting the amount of content that links back to its website. They signed up with a company called Promo! that allows them to make multiple 15-second videos. “The [Promo!] site has a ton of content with professional videos to use.” Once you edit it, the video is yours to keep. So the video is professionally done, but everything added to it is DIY.
“Video marketing gets so much more traction than pictures or boring blog posts,” reports Josh Bladh. The videos are similar, but each has its own emphasis. Most feature music and a few lines of text to get people’s attention. “Search engines are putting more emphasis on video content so this seemed like the best option to get our foothold with video before paying for anything professional,” he says.
The videos are posted to Facebook and Instagram. “We will add videos to blog posts on our website where relevant.”
In the practice’s experience, consumers typically need six to eight touch points before they’ll call and commit to an exam. So, using videos to boost these contact points for the service’s relatively low monthly fee makes sense. Bladh warns ECPs to do their homework before signing up for such a service, however, as some companies will give you a hard time if you attempt to use any unused video credits after letting your subscription lapse.

Anthony Aiden Opticians

New York, NY

Anthony Aiden Opticians went for a more adult approach in their video, a 30-second short about … a misunderstanding. It may seem like male fantasy, but optician Anthony Gaggi swears it’s based on reality. “My sister’s friend was a stylist; she was working alone one night and…” Well, we don’t want to spoil it; suffice it to say whether you find it hilarious, titillating or offensive, there’s no denying it conveys the store’s edgy, fashion-conscious style. “My goal,” Gaggi says, “was to bring a high-quality fashion video to my website.” The video is also displayed in the store’s windows. A friend who works in TV offered his services for free; Gaggi says clients love it.

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