Why Are Patients Leaving?


By Katie Gilbert-Spear, OD, MPH

You want patients to feel welcome to shop and browse your optical to make their eyewear purchases after they finish their exam. But your capture rate may reveal that more patients than you’d like are walking with their prescription from your practice. If you are committed to the change, you can turn those numbers around.

We’ve found that there are five top reasons why patients are not buying in the practice.

1. They are not aware of your product. Display your products proudly from frames and samples of specialty ophthalmic lenses to contact lens brands, nutraceutical, beauty products and beyond. Advertise brands and specific products on your website and social media. Create inviting displays complete with imagery and brochures, if applicable, so patients can start to learn about what you have to offer and can follow up with questions and comments once they meet with you and your staff.

2. They don’t understand the benefits. Use your time in the exam room to educate patients. Give them a base of knowledge that staff can follow up on and answer additional questions.

3. They don’t feel the product has perceived value. Share a personal experience or patient positive feedback such as how daily disposable contact lenses have helped a young baseball player improve their game without the hassle of wearing glasses under their helmet. Or maybe your personal experience wearing blue light-blocking lenses has reduced headaches.

4. They don’t see how your product meets their needs. Make a connection. Whether you’ve seen patients for years or you are having a first visit with them, review their history and ask about career and hobbies. Take the time to discuss how your specific recommendations will enhance their lives.

5. Your product is not accessible to them. Is your reception area in the middle of the optical or is it separate? Make sure you and the staff mention that you have a wide selection to choose from, and if your optical is separate from reception, remind patients that they are free to browse while they are waiting.

Read additional stories from Dr. Gilbert-Spear and Dr. April Jasper, co-editors of Women In Optometry on this page and on the Distinctive Strategies & Leadership page

Optical Sales: Presentation Is Everything

By Katie Gilbert-Spear, OD, MPH Aug 2018

Many patients come to your office and plan to buy their eyewear from you.

Efficiency: A Critical Step in Creating a Distinctive Practice

By By April Jasper, OD, FAAO, and Katie Gilbert-Spear, OD, MPH Jul 2018

You might be the friendliest doctor in town. But if you’re not efficient, patients won’t be as motivated to come back.

We Do So Much for Our Patients, But Are We Telling Them Why?

By By April Jasper, OD, FAAO, and Katie Gilbert-Spear, OD, MPH Jun 2018

When there’s legislative activity going on focused on a topic—like updating the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act—it might be tempting to do nothing.

Financially Stressed? Make a Plan for the Future

By WO May 2018
Where's the money? Dr. April Jasper shares some strategies for those who feel overwhelmed and under-reimbursed.