Capture rate is a key performance indicator; possibly the most significant component in measuring and increasing revenue per patient. Capture rate can be influenced by several factors. The good news is that you can have an impact on all of them.
Multiple Pairs: Multiple purchases are often overlooked when thinking about capture rate. Consider the fact that multiple pair purchases may be an untapped resource for many practices. All the costs associated with bringing that patient in the door have been absorbed, including the limitations placed on you by vision care plans, so they are now a private pay consumer. The offices that consistently ask lifestyle questions perform very well with multiple purchases. Lifestyle questions increase multiple purchases by giving you information about your patients’ pain points that you have solutions for; but more importantly, provides relief and comfort for your patients. I am not talking about a “spare pair” that is tossed in a drawer and rarely used. I am talking about eyeglasses that solve a unique problem or fill a specific need for the individual. Computer eyeglasses can relieve eyestrain, backaches, headaches, and a whole lot of frustration. Music glasses can improve the performance of someone playing an instrument. A glasses wardrobe of many different styles makes a powerful fashion statement. Quality sunglasses are extremely important. Take advantage of this opportunity!
Effective Hand off: To talk about multiple pairs, you must first get your client to the optical area for the first pair! Asking every patient to have a conversation with your optician about needs you have discussed during the exam will boost your capture rate. Any time you can make that connection, you encourage a relationship between the optician and your patients. For instance, if every contact lens wearer was asked to meet briefly with the optician, that provides the optician with the opportunity to find out if they have kept their eyeglass prescription updated along with their contact lenses, make the case for top quality sunglasses, present new frame collections or just clean and adjust their existing eyewear.
Outside Prescriptions: Welcome outside prescriptions, even market to them. Announce new arrivals and splash fashion images all over your social media platforms. Approach any non-dispensing Ophthalmology groups and family physicians to develop a reciprocal referral arrangement.
Proactive Invitations: Be sure to have the first and last staff member that interacts with the patient to ask if there is another member of their family who needs to schedule an eye exam at this time. Join a networking group, visit large employers in the area, reach out. People respond very well to being invited, it makes them feel special and appreciated.
Follow up Phone Calls: There are many people who have been talked into trying online, discount or big box optical stores, but become frustrated and disappointed with the product, services and even the prices compared to what they were lead to expect. Following up with a phone call in a month or so from the exam gives you a chance to invite them back for that second pair you spoke about or ask them if they’ve had their new Rx filled if they didn’t make a purchase with you.
As with every initiative, consistency matters. Take the time and effort to urge your customers to meet with the optician and forge a relationship. With practically zero investment, you will undoubtedly see improvements in your capture rate and your revenue per patient.
ABOC, NCLEC, CT LO
IDOC Optical Management Consultant