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November 28, 2023

"If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will"

— Bob HOOEY, best-selling author.

A visit without a purchase represents a missed opportunity. Various reasons might prompt this decision: perhaps the patient found better services elsewhere, a broader frame selection, or more attractive pricing.

Clinics can measure non-purchase visits by considering the percentage of individuals who, after a full examination, take their prescriptions and leave without buying anything. This metric includes the array of services and products offered, such as dry eye treatment, children's myopia treatment, frames, ophthalmic lenses, sunglasses, contact lenses, drops, and eye masks.

What follows is some actionable advice for mitigating these missed opportunities.

The Patient is Paramount

Every optometry clinic should prioritize its patients' eyecare needs. A patient's experience with a clinic encompasses not just the point of purchase but every interaction—from viewing the clinic's website or advertisements to physical visits. Building lasting emotional connections at every interaction point is crucial. Therefore, creating a detailed "customer journey map" can ensure that each of these interactions remains positive.

Focus on Vision, Not Just Exams

Sometimes, patients take their business elsewhere after receiving their prescription. The missed opportunity often arises because of a disproportionate emphasis on prescriptions. Simply put, these clinics aren't doing enough to showcase their eyewear. That's why it's so crucial for the optometrist (or other staff) to highlight the benefits and quality of their products. Doing so highlights your clinic's expertise and inclines patients to make their purchases on the spot.

Optometrists Prescribe; Opticians Recommend

As experts in eyewear, Opticians guide patients in selecting lenses and frames that cater to their needs, tastes, and lifestyles. Whether a patient needs eyewear for office work, reading, driving, or any other activity, an optician is your best bet for recommending the right products and prompting a sale.

Master Your Transfers

The process of handing a patient from the optometrist to the optician is vital. Done well, it can instill confidence in the patient. Clinics should accompany patients to the optics area and introduce them to the opticians, highlighting the expertise and role each plays in ensuring eyecare needs are properly fulfilled.

Regularly Train Your Team

A successful optometry clinic relies on a well-trained, patient-focused team. This holistic approach should involve every staff member, from the optometrist to the receptionist. It should emphasize the importance given to each step of the patient journey and define the role of each team member.

It's essential to implement ongoing training for the entire team, focusing on service quality and products. Doing so fosters a performance-driven environment with operational consistency. It yields better results and greater profitability.

Track and Assess Performance

To evaluate and enhance team performance, clinics must establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and ways to assess them. Specifically, you'll determine:

  1. What are we doing well?
  2. What could we do better?

It's an ongoing process with regular meetings to discuss strategies and results. And once you've implemented your corrective measure, you'll need to assess their impact on conversion rates, retooling where necessary.

Eager to Curb Non-Purchase Visits?

It's time to implement effective strategies! And you're not alone—to help you improve the patient experience and optimize sales, OSI offers training and support on a range of essential topics. Head here for more info!

About OSI Group

Founded in 1982, OSI Group is a leader in developing value-added services for independent optometry clinics throughout Canada. In addition to these services, OSI Group has developed Optosys Solution, a comprehensive clinic management software dedicated to vision professionals.

Always innovating, we exist to simplify your operations, elevate the patient experience, and champion independent optometry across Canada.

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